It's too hard trying to think "Dominican"

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SKing

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Nov 22, 2007
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Without going into what has just happened to me, I just want to rant...
It's too hard always trying to think "Dominican", I don't think that I will make it.
I have lived all 32 of my years in the USA and trying to change my form of thinking and doing is going to take some time...
I realize now that also that way of thinking can put me in some serious trouble.
It's too hard
It's too hard to try to think of what you SHOULD say when want you WANT to say just automatically comes out of your mouth.
It's hard to do things the way they are done there and not just EXPECT them to be done like they are here
It's too hard to try to avoid simple mistakes that can very well cost you alot

I have heard alot in my other posts "That is not how it is done here" and have been reprimanded several times for my North American thinking.
But how can one change that so easily?
Can someone who is right handed learn to write with their left hand in only a day?
I am moving in 42 days, and I just hope that I can avoid some common gringo mistakes or at least not commit one that will cost me my life.
I'm not off to a very good start, apparently.

Thanks for listening
SHALENA
 

2LeftFeet

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Dec 1, 2006
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I don't live there but.... my two cents..... I wouldn't compromise my morals... if you feel uncomfortable with doing something don't. You're going to make your mistakes. That's how you learn.

Just sit back and observe. Have patience. You will get a feel for things and eventually you will see how it's done.

Experience is the best teacher!!!!
 

whirleybird

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Feb 27, 2006
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Without going into what has just happened to me, I just want to rant...
It's too hard always trying to think "Dominican", I don't think that I will make it.
I have lived all 32 of my years in the USA and trying to change my form of thinking and doing is going to take some time...
I realize now that also that way of thinking can put me in some serious trouble.
It's too hard
It's too hard to try to think of what you SHOULD say when want you WANT to say just automatically comes out of your mouth.
It's hard to do things the way they are done there and not just EXPECT them to be done like they are here
It's too hard to try to avoid simple mistakes that can very well cost you alot

I have heard alot in my other posts "That is not how it is done here" and have been reprimanded several times for my North American thinking.
But how can one change that so easily?
Can someone who is right handed learn to write with their left hand in only a day?
I am moving in 42 days, and I just hope that I can avoid some common gringo mistakes or at least not commit one that will cost me my life.
I'm not off to a very good start, apparently.

Thanks for listening
SHALENA
Hey, don't give in/ up before you start.... of course it is going to be very different moving from a first world country to a developing third world country such as DR. However, there is so much good here that it far outweighs the bad IMHO. There are many frustrations and adapting to a different way of life and values is, indeed, a huge learning curve. I have now lived here 2 years and came from the UK where things were regulated and controlled - how refreshing it is here not to have those sort of restrictions imposed on daily life. Look at the positives, put the negatives away if you can and you will do fine I am sure. Sincerely wishing you very good luck.
 

Lambada

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Mar 4, 2004
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Yes Shalena, it's hard but it's not too hard. You're an intelligent woman so I've just PMed you a link to an article I wrote about the stages of the expat experience. We've all been there, even those who deny it ;). Think how far ahead of many you are.............there are those who move here not even knowing what it means to 'think Dominican', nor speaking any Spanish at all. Yep, me, 16 years ago. So, go easy on yourself, don't expect to have it all under your belt at the getgo. It's a process............has to be allowed to run its course.

OK so you've had a bit of a setback & are getting cold feet. All perfectly normal ( like just before a wedding :cheeky:). But the good news is, you've had a setback before you get here..............most have them after they arrive.

For now, nuture yourself psychologically. And learn the art of sitting back, listening, observing, nodding, smiling & saying nothing at all (you're a nurse, you must already have this as part of your diagnostic equipment). At least in Dominican terms saying nothing with a friendly smile is better than saying something you'll later regret.

Good luck! :) And come back & visit this thread 18 months down the line & tell us what you think then. OK?
 

cobraboy

Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
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Try what is working for me: Expect nothing, and you won't be disappointed.
 

Ezequiel

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Jun 4, 2008
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Without going into what has just happened to me, I just want to rant...
It's too hard always trying to think "Dominican", I don't think that I will make it.
I have lived all 32 of my years in the USA and trying to change my form of thinking and doing is going to take some time...
I realize now that also that way of thinking can put me in some serious trouble.
It's too hard
It's too hard to try to think of what you SHOULD say when want you WANT to say just automatically comes out of your mouth.
It's hard to do things the way they are done there and not just EXPECT them to be done like they are here
It's too hard to try to avoid simple mistakes that can very well cost you alot

I have heard alot in my other posts "That is not how it is done here" and have been reprimanded several times for my North American thinking.
But how can one change that so easily?
Can someone who is right handed learn to write with their left hand in only a day?
I am moving in 42 days, and I just hope that I can avoid some common gringo mistakes or at least not commit one that will cost me my life.
I'm not off to a very good start, apparently.

Thanks for listening
SHALENA
I really don't understand when you say it's hard to "think Dominican"!!!!

We Dominican are lay back, we are not robotic, we like to have fun, we have more freedom, we don't have to pay property taxes, we are more friendly so that mean you will be able to find friends right away within a week, we don't like weirdo who stay inside their house and don't socialize with its neighbors, we like to talk alot.
 

korejdk

Bronze
Dec 29, 2006
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Shalena, my two cents - you have to be a lion to fight the hienas and a fox to avoid the traps. The key is knowing when to switch.
 

Ezequiel

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Jun 4, 2008
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Shalena, my two cents - you have to be a lion to fight the hienas and a fox to avoid the traps. The key is knowing when to switch.
The best advise is to find a couple of good Dominican friends that can help her adjust.
 

Matilda

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Sep 13, 2006
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I promise you it will happen. You will realise one day that you are becoming more Dominican and as a result less stressed and more at peace with yourself and with life. For me it took maybe 3 or 4 years and is still happening all the time - little by little.

Examples.

I now do not mind at all if my once brand new camionetta is scratched, bashed, defaced. It is just a vehicle. Not like in the UK when one became apoplectic at any scratch on a brand new car.

If people help themselves to things from my fridge - juice, milk, eggs, whatever, and just put back the empty cartons. Normal. Now if you see a carton in the fridge I expect it to be empty.

Electiricity goes off. No problem. Just make sure you are always prepared with oil lamps etc, and as soon as it starts to rain or thunder, have them ready for when the light goes off.

Expect everything to take 10 times longer and occassionally you are pleasantly surprised.

Be pleasant to everyone and laugh and smile with them. I lose count of the number of ex pats I have seen screaming and shouting at Dominicans over some small event which really isn't that important in the scheme of things.

Read the article Lambada sent you. It really is true and very good. You will be fine. Just wake up every morning with a smile on your face and wait to see what the day brings, and guaranteed with will go to bed with a smile too!!!

Matilda
 

CFA123

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May 29, 2004
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Shalena,
With the right attitude, you'll learn more about yourself and likely be a better person for it.

There comes a point, if you're open-minded and honest with yourself, that you realize your U.S. perspective of the world and how it should run isn't the only one - and at times likely isn't even the correct one.

Enjoy the experience and read Jojo's post here & how frustration isn't always the only answer... http://www.dr1.com/forums/living/49331-cable-guy-family-huh-wheres-my-cable.html
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
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SKing: The event known as culture shock will happen. It is so different here.

So, one remedy is to go slow. Really slow. Go low profile. Choose your friends carefully. Go with gut feelings, not appearances.

And, above all, listen to people like Lambada who have been there and done that.

And go slow.

HB
 

suarezn

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Feb 3, 2002
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I don't think anyone would expect you change your thinking in a week. You'll acclimate over time and some things you will NEVER understand. My experience was in reverse (I came from The DR to live in The US), but nonetheless was similar in the sense that you have certain culturally acquired customs that are hard to get rid of (i.e. I was like, what do you mean I can't paint my house any color I feel like? What do you mean I can't sit outside and drink a beer if I feel like? What? If I even look at girl a few years younger than me now I'm a pervert? etc...etc...etc)

I know you don't want give the specifics of what happened to you to feel the way you're feeling, but maybe you can give us the run down without mentioning any guilty parties and we can all help you "heal"...
 

Hillbilly

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Jan 1, 2002
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A recent experience points out how things are.
A man requested a technical service. The person offering the service said "I'll be there at 4:00 p.m."
He arrived at 3: 58 p.m.
I got an email remarking on the fact.

It's not Kansas, but sometimes things do work right.

Just go slow.
Do not expect it to be perfect: This is the home base of Murphy's Law.

HB
 

Rocky

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Apr 4, 2002
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Shalena,
With the right attitude, you'll learn more about yourself and likely be a better person for it.
Correctamundo.
Follow Matilda's advice, and get CFA's results.
It's an opportunity accorded to you that is denied to all those who live in the industrialized robotic nations.
Here, you have an opportunity to shine like a star or go to "The Dark Side", take your pick.

Your life will have meaning & value.
Do not fret that you don't have all the answers yet.
It all comes with time and the voyage is as good as the destination.
 

Chirimoya

Moderator - East Coast & Headline News
Dec 9, 2002
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Every time I read threads like this I wonder if some dr1ers are going a little overboard and mystifying (is that the word?) Dominicans a bit too much.

Maybe it reflects some foreigners' lack of exposure to different cultural mindsets as much as anything else.
 

Lambada

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Maybe it reflects some foreigners' lack of exposure to different cultural mindsets as much as anything else.
Very true. But I guess it has to be geared to where SKing is at. She says 32 years of age & all that time spent in US. That's a bit different from all your travels, & Matilda's travels & those of us who went & lived in a foreign country as teenagers unaccompanied by parents. By SKing's age I'd lived in several different countries across 4 continents & travelled through a whole lot more so moving here wasn't that big a deal. Forty seven years ago in UK on leaving school it was the done thing to hike your way across India & Afghanistan (& you had to get there first of course :cheeky:) ). But if all you know is the US then you're starting from a different place. I'd better stop before I sidetrack into 'what has happened to our adventurous spirit......' ;)

Does Stevie call that 'being discreet'? LOL Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear..............
 

DRob

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Aug 15, 2007
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To Shalena, you've exhibited so much courage and character in getting this far. Please take that last step and make the most of your experience. For what it's worth, I (and I imagine more than a few others) sure am rooting for you.

Best of luck,

DRob:glasses:
 
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Chirimoya

Moderator - East Coast & Headline News
Dec 9, 2002
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Lambada said:
Very true. But I guess it has to be geared to where SKing is at. She says 32 years of age & all that time spent in US. That's a bit different from all your travels, & Matilda's travels & those of us who went & lived in a foreign country as teenagers unaccompanied by parents. By SKing's age I'd lived in several different countries across 4 continents & travelled through a whole lot more so moving here wasn't that big a deal. Forty seven years ago in UK on leaving school it was the done thing to hike your way across India & Afghanistan (& you had to get there first of course :cheeky:) ). But if all you know is the US then you're starting from a different place. I'd better stop before I sidetrack into 'what has happened to our adventurous spirit......' ;)
Yes, the youth of today... ;)
But generally, this quasi-fetishisation of Dominicans as oh-so-different is starting to get to me. Hay de todo.
I hope these posts survive the big clean-up.
 

Chip

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Jul 25, 2007
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Santiago
Guys this is getting out of hand - please take this debate somewhere else.

Shalena

There will definitely be some adjustments you'll have to make. Mainly realizing that here things are done slower and less efficiently, ie people are typically late, businesses tend to be inefficient and are prone to making excuses as opposed to finding solutions, not to mention here the customer is always last.

However, people here in Santiago are much, much nicer than their NA neighbor generally. I understand you speak Spanish fairly well so you wil soon find this to be the case. Also, I have personally noticed that those who speak the language well have an easier time at adapting to the cultural differences, for whatever reason.

Don't worry too much as this is not "used" here a whole lot. Life is less stressful and slower and you will soon have many friends. You will also soon learn when people are just being nice and when they are trying to take advantage of you.

When you get in town let me know and I will give you my number and you can call any time when you have issues. I also have a few American and Dominican friends that can be helpful as well.

ciao

Chip
 

Lambada

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Yes, the youth of today... ;)
But generally, this quasi-fetishisation of Dominicans as oh-so-different is starting to get to me. Hay de todo.
I hope these posts survive the big clean-up.
Using 'quasi-fetishisation' on this of all threads is wonderful irony...........:laugh::laugh: SKing must be thanking her lucky stars that she is unlikely to have to deal with some of the extremes of north coast gringos as displayed on this thread. Just think Shalena, you could have had a neighbour like one of the posters here..............:ermm: I bet everything will seem plain sailing after that, eh? :laugh:
 
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