pirate movie

latka

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Feb 13, 2009
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Hello.

There is a thread here that I just read having to do with a man who was threatened on the streets of Sosua, and, assertions of bravado notwithstanding, is clearly scared out of his scull that the Dominican he encountered will make good on his threat.

Why do some of the discussions here give one the impression that living in the DR is like being in a pirate movie? Just wonderin'.

As some may know, I live in a very dangerous city, Detroit Michigan. It seems that people who grew up in the city typically are aware of the potential for violence, even death, but don't shudder in fear of going outside on a daily basis. There are others, however, particularly people who grew up/live in the more prosperous suburbs, who venture into the city on the weekends as if they are on safari: they buy drugs from people on streets I know to avoid even in daylight, they get drunk publicly and are at times loud and obnoxious, solicit prostitutes that I would not touch with my worst enemy's penis, and walk out into traffic as if made of intangible stuff. This behavior makes them very easy prey.

To their absolute astonishment, they from time to time run into situations where they get robbed, mugged, or even hurt. Suddenly, the target realm of their safari becomes the 7th abysmal ring of hell itself; a place to be avoided, lest some crack crazed welfare death bitch makes off with a few of their heads.

There's a running joke around here that white folk are the ones who, in the monster movies, want to go and investigate everything that falls out of the sky brandishing a death ray, whereas anyone else has the good sense to get the hell on, post haste. Race, however, does not seem to be the determining characteristic here. Those from the poorer suburbs, as well as whites who grew up in the city, tend to be far less conspicuous in their daily activities in the city. They are also far less likely to be set upon by ne'er do wells. I mention this because the majority of what I read hear that has to do with fear of violence seems to come from westerners, particularly those from the UK, a nation which does not suffer nearly as many gun related deaths as we do here.

So, never having been to the DR, I can assume either one of two situations exists:

Expats are typical affluent westerners whose behavior belies their dubios street smarts, which tends to land them in all sorts of unnecessary confrontations, especially when confronted by the "natives".

The DR is a very unpredictable place, where only the stupid or thrill seeking need tread, for yea, verily, death carouses 'round each corner, waiting to strike any innocent victim at random without provocation.

Which is it? Is the truth somewhere in between?
 
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Lambada

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There is a third scenario: there are many expats who live here perfectly happily with no 'trouble', leading normal lives, the only difference being they are slightly more attuned to their surroundings than they would be in jolly old Cheltenham.

I consider myself one such. And of course I don't post the day-to-day minutiae because.........well, you'd all be bored silly. Inevitably, when people have a problem they may post it - & that's fine, they can get advice. But you don't want to go reading that the sort of 'scary' events sometimes posted here, happen to everyone, because they don't. My guess is they happen to the minority. They certainly happen to people I don't personally know because I haven't had a conversation about this sort of thing in ages. There was a time when expats we didn't know phoned us when they were stuck in these sorts of situations, but, you know, it's time consuming so we eased our way out of that :). Of course, we're still here for our friends but one has to set some boundaries. But our friends don't get themselves in these sorts of situations, which is why I wrote above that my guess is this happens to the minority.

You don't hear much about 'normality' but that doesn't mean it isn't happening.
 

BushBaby

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Is that the case, you think?

If you have not already done so Latka, read some of Lambada's other posts. She writes what she thinks (or knows) & Knows/thinks what she writes. If she does not think/know it ...... she does not write it (unless it is in jest & there are a LOT of smilies around)!!

Danger is somewhat over played by some who post here for self attention. I am not saying that is the case in the one you were reading but it DOES happen. In other cases the scenario could have been avoided by a bit of 'Damage Control' being put in place so as not to draw undue attenion to oneself.

I have just returned from visiting a couple of barrios (poorer districts). I got out of my car a couple of times to visit with friends/acquaintances & didn't give these excursions from the car a second thought ..... it has become second nature to me now to be aware of MOST of what is happeniong around me & I had already noted before getting out of the car that there was no apparent 'danger' with me going to visit my friends/acquaintances in their homes. Mind you, I DID change from shorts to decent long trousers (pants) before going out so as to LOOK respectable & as showing respect to those I was visiting!!

Life is GOOD here if you know how to behave & be respectful ........ AND be aware of what is happening around you. ~ Grahame.
 

korejdk

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Dec 29, 2006
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behave & be respectful ........ AND be aware of what is happening around you
I couldn't agree more...never had a problem whenever I visited some of the worst barrios on the NE coast, although one HAS to be aware of it's surroundings...once I was in a disco in campo and as son as I noticed some tigres coming looking to cause trouble I quickly left, only to find out the next day that guns were fired...
Never a dull moment in The DR...
 

cobraboy

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Jul 24, 2004
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What are tigres???
Dominican versions of young gangsters and thugs.

There are more bad actors in the primary tourist areas than in the rest of the country. They hang where the easy money is.
 

latka

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Feb 13, 2009
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Dominican versions of young gangsters and thugs.

There are more bad actors in the primary tourist areas than in the rest of the country. They hang where the easy money is.

Please pardon my unfamiliarity with what I assume to be a British colloquialism...

By "bad actors", do you mean evil doers? I ask because in my neck of the woods, that term might indicate "wanna be" gangsters, i.e. kids that want to be perceived as gangsters.

Thank you all for bearing with me.

By the way, most of you seem to be British. Are there many American expats there? Not that I am looking for them; too many might constitute a need to formulate and interest in another area; as the aim, from my perspective, is cultural growth.
 

BushBaby

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Please pardon my unfamiliarity with what I assume to be a British colloquialism....

As I believe the North American colloquialism goes .........
"sidesplitting ....". They don't come much more 'USA' than our CB!!!!

By the way, most of you seem to be British. Are there many American ex-pats there? Not that I am looking for them; too many might constitute a need to formulate and interest in another area; as the aim, from my perspective, is cultural growth.
Only two Brits have responded on here so far Latka & as 'WE' are a couple, maybe we only count for 1 & 1/2!:ermm:!:cheeky:

I think on the Island North Americans exceed the Brits by 50:1 (but ONLY in numbers of course!!:cheeky:!!:cheeky:!)
Our intrepid leader is one which allows me to pull the chain on the N.As every so often - but it is ALL said with the best possible of tastes!! Grahame.
 

Lambada

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latka, there are ways of finding out about other posters here. Read a few of their previous posts, go to their public profile. Plenty of info there for you to discover cobra's nationality - I just went & checked his public profile - most recent question on his public messages 'What do you miss most about the US ?'. Bit of a hint there :cheeky:.

We can point you in the direction of the tools but the work is up to you. And the ability to ferret round & find out is exactly the same ability that expats need, so......now's a good time to start. :)