I shall henceforth boicot Plaza Lama (probably)

Pib

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Jan 1, 2002
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I always knew that they were nothing but a glorified colmado, and after watching how they handle food I had long decided that I'd never buy food there, and I haven't but today they managed to break their own outstanding record of crapiness.

Trying to avoid driving more than is strictly necessary, and because we don't have to cross 27, Chiri, the sprout and I headed for Plaza Lama to buy some polo shirts. We didn't mind so much their cracked floor, their creaky elevators, or the nonsensical way they arrange their fares; we are used to it. We got a bit bothered by the fact that the lady at the cash register was sending a woman carrying a baby all the way back to the ladies section to get the price on something that wasn't tagged, never mind that the poor woman was carrying a baby and the heavy accoutrement that generally accompany young babies. If we hadn't complained the young mother would have done just that, it never occurred to the lady at the register to send some of their hang-around-do-nothing employees, after all it was the humane thing to do, and the right thing to do since it is their fault that products are not tagged properly.

But then I had the misfortune of really having to go to the 'little girls' room'. At this moment I'd like emphasize the world 'misfortune', even if it really doesn't convey what I was subjected to. Let me put it mildly, it was as if somebody had thrown a sh!t grenade in the place. The stench was horrible. And again, allow me to emphasize 'horrible', my English-as-a-second-language vocabulary is painfully lacking of appropriate adjectives. There was no water to flush, and no water to wash one's hands. As quickly as the legs and circumstances allowed I removed myself from the premises. Outside we saw an employee sort of like half-assed washing his hand in a garbage bin with water from a bottle (that I am sure he had to buy).

I have to mention that that seemed to be the only bathroom in the building, shared by customers and employees alike. The other bathroom was closed to make room for a warehouse. If we forget for a moment the implication of employees abuse (imagine working a minimum of 8 hours and having to go, you can't chose to go somewhere else), but also the fact that this is a place that - and let me breath here - FOOCKING HANDLES FOOD!

Forget that above and let's be totally selfish. Can you imagine the measure of respect these people have for their customers. I saw pregnant women shopping there. The moms here probably remember what it is having to gone when you are pregnant, you HAVE to go, no ifs and buts. And if I had being pregnant and gone to a bathroom in that condition I would have certainly puked all over the place. It would have only completed the decoration.


Anyways, I don?t think I am coming back soon. Call me over-sensitive if you wish.
 

Chirimoya

Moderator - East Coast & Headline News
Dec 9, 2002
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Pib said:
The moms here probably remember what it is having to gone when you are pregnant, you HAVE to go, no ifs and buts. And if I had being pregnant and gone to a bathroom in that condition I would have certainly puked all over the place.
Even worse, wait till Piblet is potty trained and you're in a place like that and she simply 'has to go'!

I always knew that they were nothing but a glorified colmado...
Think oversized colmado combined with pueblo shop where people sell clothes, trinkets and odds and ends out of suitcases from their house, and the "tienda ambulante" vans selling everything from plastic colanders to snake oil all blown up to department store size and you've got Plaza Lama.

I didn't witness the state of the toilets, as I was minding Miss Piblet while Pib was answering the call of nature. I was going to go next, but when Pib came out and gave a graphic description of the scene, I decided nature could definitely wait. They don't call me iron-bladder for nothing.:cheeky:

Although if the rest of me was made of really strong stuff, I would have gone in there myself and taken a photo.

I have to mention that that seemed to be the only bathroom in the building, shared by customers and employees alike.
Where do you think the managers go?
 

Don Juan

Living Brain Donor
Dec 5, 2003
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Embarrassing, to say the least!

About four years ago, swollen with pride, I brought my Colombian wife and US-born children to visit MY country for the first time ever!
When we landed at SDQ, the entire airport reeked of something similar to poop. My daughter felt nauseous and we all went looking for the closest bathroom which happened to be the source of the fetid smell. My wife and child had not choice but to go in and take care of necessity. It was later described to me as the most hideous latrine they'd ever been into! Needless to say, I felt pretty bad as I had bragged about my wonderful country paradise.

If that had been the only chitty experience, it may have been forgotten because, otherwise, we truly had a great time. Problem is that just about every tienda and restaurant we visited had varying degrees of "toilet failure".

To this day, when the subject comes up, the one thing they remember most is not the beautiful side of DR but the number of smelly toilets they had to endure. How sad is that?
 

suarezn

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Feb 3, 2002
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Problem is that just about every tienda and restaurant we visited had varying degrees of "toilet failure".
Don't want to hijack the thread, but honestly what the hell is the problem with businesses and their toilets in The DR? It seems like you can never find a nice clean toilet...sometimes even in supposedly nice, expensive places.
 

GringoCArlos

Retired Ussername
Jan 9, 2002
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If anyone is still saying, "that's OK, I'll still shop at Plaza Lama, because I won't need to use their bathrooms anyway", then please take the escalator down into their supermarket the next time you visit, before you go shopping.

The smells of their supermarket as you descend into that infierno, will quickly change your mind about staying there. What awful smells. eminating from foods they are planning on selling to people to take home and eat!
 

mountainfrog

On Vacation!
Dec 8, 2003
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Loo and Kitchen

...what the hell is the problem with businesses and their toilets in The DR? It seems like you can never find a nice clean toilet...
... because they do not care to clean them. Full stop.

My grandmother always used to say that when you go to a restaurant go to the bathroom first as it should reflect the cleanliness of their kitchen, too.

m'frog
 

Chirimoya

Moderator - East Coast & Headline News
Dec 9, 2002
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Don't want to hijack the thread, but honestly what the hell is the problem with businesses and their toilets in The DR? It seems like you can never find a nice clean toilet...sometimes even in supposedly nice, expensive places.
In general, either its better than it used to be or my standards have slipped. One learns not to expect too high standards in certain establishments, but when there is such a contrast between the type of business and the state of their toilets, it does take you by surprise. Plaza Lama is one. The bathrooms in the otherwise swish Buena Vista Mall are no treat either. Having said that, even in humble establishments there is no excuse for filth. Simple toilet facilities is one thing, but keeping them clean for your customers should not be considered a luxury.
I once complained about the state of the bathroom at a private health clinic of all places, and the answer was: "what do you expect when so many people use it?" I replied that places with far more traffic like train stations and airports manage to keep their bathrooms clean, and that in any case this particular toilet had that old urine smell that you only get when the place hasn't been cleaned properly for days or weeks.

Don Juan said:
When we landed at SDQ, the entire airport reeked of something similar to poop. My daughter felt nauseous and we all went looking for the closest bathroom which happened to be the source of the fetid smell. My wife and child had not choice but to go in and take care of necessity. It was later described to me as the most hideous latrine they'd ever been into! Needless to say, I felt pretty bad as I had bragged about my wonderful country paradise.
The bathrooms improved vastly when the airport was remodelled, but standards have slipped considerably since then. They're still better than they used to be, though.
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
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Funny! Sadder!

there used to be a couple of standard stops on the Autopista Duarte that had real "pi$$oirs" !! Concrete troughs with a small flow of water!!

Recently stopping up by La Cumbre at two different places I found very clean smelling and neat places, with paper, dryers and running water.

It might be interesting to create a "sticky" and list places both good and bad...

And then send it to the newspapers!!!!!! Or Nuria!!


HB
 

snowbird44

New member
Oct 29, 2004
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I hear you

Toilets in the DR in most public restaurants and Bars are disgusting. Why is that? Dominicans are spotless in their homes usually.
I have encountered many public toilets in the DR without running water or the possibility to flush. God forbid you have to do the #2. I usually avoid going unless it is an absolute necessity.
I have been totally grossed out at some of the concerts I went to and that includes the Carwash in Sossua. I hope there has been an improvement since the new owner took over.:angry:
 

cobraboy

Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
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Funny! Sadder!

there used to be a couple of standard stops on the Autopista Duarte that had real "pi$$oirs" !! Concrete troughs with a small flow of water!!

Recently stopping up by La Cumbre at two different places I found very clean smelling and neat places, with paper, dryers and running water.

It might be interesting to create a "sticky" and list places both good and bad...

And then send it to the newspapers!!!!!! Or Nuria!!


HB
We stopped at a colmado/bar/tipico in Nagua for some water and a Mother Nature break, and the mens room gave me a whole new understanding of a "two holer": it was literally two 6" holes in the slab floor-nothing else.:speechles I passed...

Damas must have been worse, because Alida wouldn't even attempt going, either...and she's Dominican.
 

bob saunders

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Jan 1, 2002
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I fully agree with the general assessment, but on the other hand, I've use the washrooms at the bus station in Santo Domingo numerous times and always found it clean. My wife had a simular experience at Plaza Lama, and what we saw at the Pico P, would turn you off eating Chicken for awhile. I've seen many public washrooms in Canada and the USA not much better,in Italy and France worse,and wait till you visit some eastern and mid-eastern countries if you think the DR is bad, so the problem is universal.
 

shadInToronto

On Vacation....
Nov 16, 2003
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This would be absolutely fantastic .....

Funny! Sadder!

there used to be a couple of standard stops on the Autopista Duarte that had real "pi$$oirs" !! Concrete troughs with a small flow of water!!

Recently stopping up by La Cumbre at two different places I found very clean smelling and neat places, with paper, dryers and running water.

It might be interesting to create a "sticky" and list places both good and bad...
And then send it to the newspapers!!!!!! Or Nuria!!


HB
I've never seen a public restroom in the DR and most bathrooms I've had the misfortune of entering do not work properly or smell like crap. I have images of having to desecrate nature with nature's byproducts when nature calls :paranoid:
 
C

Chip00

Guest
El problema

From what I ascertain as a definite part of the problem being a civil engineer by trade is that the sewer systems in this country are hardly maintained at all, just like just about everything else. Some that vist this forum probably don't know that the majority of locals will not throw the used toilet paper into the toilet but in the trash can, as most of them are taught. I've seen that this is not the always the case in the tourist areas, but it is in the interior. Also, being that steel/iron is a sought out commodity, a lot of the sewer manholes "lose" their tops which therefore the locals feel obligated to fill with all types of rubbish and then wonder why the toilet backs up. It is the lack of education and ineeficiency of the government that perpetuates this problem. The need to stop paying the local politicians +US6k monthly and invest it instead in the infrastructure!
 

Pib

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Jan 1, 2002
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Allow me to do some compare and contrast

We were in Denmark in the summer. As we do every time we are in Copenhagen, we went to Nyhavn. Think of it as a combination between El Malecón and Calle El conde. It is a long two-lane pedestrian street divided by a sea-water canal. In the summer it's full to the brim with locals and tourists (mostly Swedes) doing what Scandinavians do best: drinking insane amounts of beer.

Usually when I had to 'go' I used the bathrooms in the restaurant/bar. Last time, however, we were sitting outside, and I decided to use the public facilities. I was holding brazing myself for the worse, the streets were packed and beer was running like water. I went down the stairs to the underground bathroom, found that I had to pay the equivalent of US$1.00 to use it and was greeted by the cleanest open bathroom I've seen (in Europe, US or anywhere else). I later came back with my daughter and they even had a changing table (and a 'parent with child' area). There was an elevator for disabled people. In short: it can be done.

What I found here (and I am sure I have more experience than most other posters) is that bathrooms are a measure of how much an establishment cares for customers. It goes from the oddly fancy (I am looking at you Italian Rest. on Paseo de los Locutores), to adequate and clean, to absolutely filthy. The bathroom at Plaza Lama, even at its best (I've been there before) have never even been 'adequate'.

Unlike Chiri, my bladder isn't made of steel, not even of a good composite plastic, when I got to go it's gotta be NOW! so I have seen plenty bathrooms. The ones at the airport are most times adequate, a couple of times they have been bad.

I think we should have a bathroom review section. If we had I'd like to give my thumbs up to the following establishment:

Isla Gas station in Bonao on the Duarte Road: You don't need to buy anything, anyone can use the bathroom. Always had water and toilet paper and the place was simple but spotless. I've waited to get there whenever I go to Cibao and always fill up the gas as my thank you. They also give out free coffee and last time cleaned my windshield too.
 

PJT

Silver
Jan 8, 2002
3,270
34
48
Funny! Sadder!

there used to be a couple of standard stops on the Autopista Duarte that had real "pi$$oirs" !! Concrete troughs with a small flow of water!!

Recently stopping up by La Cumbre at two different places I found very clean smelling and neat places, with paper, dryers and running water.

It might be interesting to create a "sticky" and list places both good and bad...

And then send it to the newspapers!!!!!! Or Nuria!!


HB


Good idea HB. lets first list the good places. Because once the bad places learn that good establishments are gettig good press it may????? change their thinking.

Regards
PJT
 

miguel

I didn't last long...
Jul 2, 2003
5,261
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Indeed!

Trying to avoid driving more than is strictly necessary, and because we don't have to cross 27, Chiri, the sprout and I headed for Plaza Lama to buy some polo shirts. We didn't mind so much their cracked floor, their creaky elevators, or the nonsensical way they arrange their fares; we are used to it. We got a bit bothered by the fact that the lady at the cash register was sending a woman carrying a baby all the way back to the ladies section to get the price on something that wasn't tagged, never mind that the poor woman was carrying a baby and the heavy accoutrement that generally accompany young babies. If we hadn't complained the young mother would have done just that, it never occurred to the lady at the register to send some of their hang-around-do-nothing employees, after all it was the humane thing to do, and the right thing to do since it is their fault that products are not tagged properly.

But then I had the misfortune of really having to go to the 'little girls' room'. At this moment I'd like emphasize the world 'misfortune', even if it really doesn't convey what I was subjected to. Let me put it mildly, it was as if somebody had thrown a sh!t grenade in the place. The stench was horrible. And again, allow me to emphasize 'horrible', my English-as-a-second-language vocabulary is painfully lacking of appropriate adjectives. There was no water to flush, and no water to wash one's hands. As quickly as the legs and circumstances allowed I removed myself from the premises. Outside we saw an employee sort of like half-assed washing his hand in a garbage bin with water from a bottle (that I am sure he had to buy).

I have to mention that that seemed to be the only bathroom in the building, shared by customers and employees alike. The other bathroom was closed to make room for a warehouse. If we forget for a moment the implication of employees abuse (imagine working a minimum of 8 hours and having to go, you can't chose to go somewhere else), but also the fact that this is a place that - and let me breath here - FOOCKING HANDLES FOOD!

Forget that above and let's be totally selfish. Can you imagine the measure of respect these people have for their customers. I saw pregnant women shopping there. The moms here probably remember what it is having to gone when you are pregnant, you HAVE to go, no ifs and buts. And if I had being pregnant and gone to a bathroom in that condition I would have certainly puked all over the place. It would have only completed the decoration.


Anyways, I don?t think I am coming back soon. Call me over-sensitive if you wish.
Let me tell you that I have been at that bathroom and it's the WORSE fricking bathroom in the whole DR!!!!.

I swear, I rather "do my duties" in a "letrina" and NOT that bathroom. Actually, a "letrina" is a 5 star bathroom compared to the shyt hole.

The last time I went to Plaza Lama, I said to myself that "no, it can't be like the last time, please God, I hope they fixed it". It was either to pee my pants or use the bathroom. I decided to use their bathroom. AY DIOS MIO, PA' QUE FUE ESO!!.

As soon as I went it, I felt this horrible odor hitting my face (nose) and I swear I thought I was going to die. Let me tell you how bad it was:

Imagine 100 Dominican and Haitian construction workers NOT taking a shower for 3 weeks and then having ALL of them take your head and make you smell their underarms for 1 minute each.

SOME of my friends in the DR wonder why I detect to eat supermarket-prepared food, now you guys know why!.

Btw, in case you are wondering if I used the bathroom anyways, WELL, a desperate situation requires "desperate thinking". So I went to the car, grabbed an empty Presidente bottle and ooooooohhhh, it felt so good!. Lol.

Now, have some of you guys ever visited the bathrooms at The Beer House, La Ceniza and La Casa Del Mofongo?. I am not saying that they stink ALL the time but the times that I had been there, they all stank.

Once, the Beer House's bathroom had, get this, NO light bulbs. I told a waitress about it and she said she was going to fix the problem. 3 hours later, still no light bulbs, but by this time, customer were peeing (and God knows what else) all over the floor, so you can imagine the "great" odor.
 
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Chirimoya

Moderator - East Coast & Headline News
Dec 9, 2002
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So, mods, how about it? A 'sticky' thread - in the grossest sense of the word - where posters provide graphic reports on the state of DR public conveniences as they experience them?:laugh: