I hate the constant "si Dios quiere" mantra.
-Will you come and clean my house tomorrow ?
- Si Dios quiere.
- Will you be on time for our meeting?
- si Dios quiere.
- Will you start saving up some money this year?
- si Dios quieres.
I deeply appreciate the comments arete92. The advice you give is sound, and the tactics regarding giving a motoconcho 300 pesos or the security guy 500 make sense, though I agree the motoconcho would work better. I didn't ask anyone to pat me on the back or hold my hand but I do want to treat this issue thoroughly and I'm quite frankly disappointed by how the general tone of the thread had been going prior to your posts, which are very insightful and add a lot to the conversation. I thank you for that. As much as dominicans stick together it seems like expats are at each other's throats, or at least mine. This is my first thread here on the forums, and what a welcome it has been.
I totally get where you are coming from DR fan1990. I have had past cleaners say the same, and I have two things to say.
NOTICE - LINGUISTICS, NOT RELIGION BEING DISCUSSED HERE:
1. it is the basic phrase "God Willing" that exists in English. That said, when it is said here I often interpret it based on context to mean something more like "I Should be able to but that depends on what comes up." As Bob says, think "Ah, hoy no puedo, mi niño tiene gripe" or "tenemos que visitar a mi abuela en el hospital," Or the popular "Ah pero hoy está lloviendo". For lots of people here apparently rain, however little it may be, is like a blizzard in the depths of winter. You shall not pass!!
The same phrase is *Extremely* popular in Arabic and muslim countries and is "Inshallah", from which we get the spanish "Ojalá". In Arabic this phrase is MUCH more literally uttered, from a cultual/linguistic perspective that absolutely nothing occurs that isn't willed by God and thus although people will make definite statements, as a caveat it is always acceptable to say "Inshallah", more in the context of "I sure hope so but we never know what God's plans are", almost an avoidance of making any pure definitive statements out of a desire to avoid being disrespectful.
I like to see the glass half full so I try to give people the benefit of the doubt but like I said, when it's said here contextually it's very much more a person telling you that they intend on X, Y, Z but they don't know what other options or events may arise and they want to keep themselves open.
I find this whole "Yeah I should be able to as long as nothing else comes up" attitude to be very popular here and as an English-based Westerner I too find it off-putting. Plans are much less definite, and a lot of what happens has to do with how someone feels or what last minute issues/opportunities arise. Makes it harder to get things done. Same concept as the Jamaican "Soon come". At a certain point it just becomes being undisciplined and/or taking life less seriously.
I wrote this up before I saw JD426's response.