Friday, September 26, 2008

raindrops keep fallin' on my head

It’s 5:15pm on Thursday, and my projected attendance for my 6pm English class (meant to be the first of a new session) has suddenly dropped to zero. Why? Because it just started pouring rain. It’s been raining all week, but today was bright and clear enough that I felt secure in hanging some sheets outside to air. My Monday evening English class was also thwarted by the rain. Dominicans simply don’t like to leave the house when it is raining—your hair gets wet, you will get sick if you get rained on (apparently), and, well, no one likes the rain.

But no matter; how can I be down when I have such beautiful toenails? I posted a picture on Wednesday but didn’t give the full story. Here is the full story: manicures are very popular among Dominican women, particularly elaborate manicures that are not quite in line with North American beauty standards. In fact, a North American woman might label Dominican nails as “trashy-looking,” if she were a judgmental and culturally insensitive North American woman. So, on my mom’s last full day in the DR, we decided to go get our nails done, so she could bring a little bit of the DR home with her. My mom doesn’t really speak Spanish, and I’ve never had my nails professionally done, so we were a little out of our depth. Still, my mom made it known that she wanted her nails done (no acrylics) in the “mas bonita” way. She chose hot pink for the base color and then let the manicurist go wild, which entailed white, yellow, green, and silver swirly patterns. (I used to assume Dominican manicures entailed airbrush, but they are actually apparently done freehand.)

I, on the other hand, opted for a pedicure, since my fingernails are fairly destroyed and not really worth painting. Since toenails offer a smaller canvas, my nails are slightly less ridiculous than my mom’s. The four small toes are just French manicured, with a stripe of hot pink and a stripe of glittery silver. The big toes are a little fancier, with a pink and silver striped V design. Tasteful.

It’s 5:45 now, and the rain has slowed to a drizzle. I’m taking my umbrella and setting out for the school, on the offhand chance that anyone will show up. Probably they won’t, though—just because the rain has paused doesn’t mean it won’t start again, and then they will have to walk home in the rain (or ride a moto home in the rain—which may be a partial cause of the rain-phobia here, since motorcycles are much more prevalent than cars, and riding motorcycles in the rain admittedly does suck).

Update: It is now 7pm. No one attended my English class, although it did not actually rain between 6 and 7.

Of course, it is possible that no one would have attended my class even if it hadn’t been raining, HOWEVER I get stopped in the street all the time (and also people show up at my house) to ask about English class, and when will I teach English class, and how much does English class cost, and where will English class take place, and I provide all of these answers even though these answers are also available on any of the posters I have scattered about town. I have even pasted star stickers on these posters, and I know that people have been looking at these posters because they have also peeled all the star stickers off my posters.

Oh well, I’ll put up more posters (I have a package of 700 star stickers and I will not be thwarted) and try my classes again next week. Hopefully the weather (and/or Dios) will cooperate.

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