Sunday, February 21, 2010

counting down!


75 days, apparently. 75 days left in the DR. I'm sure when I get back to the US and start transitioning, there will be things that I miss about being here. Certainly I'll miss all my Peace Corps and DREAM friends. I'll miss being so close to the beach. I'll miss egg empanadas.

But mainly, I'm ready to get home. What I miss most isn't material things--although there are plenty of those that I do miss, like hot water, a non-flood prone living space, and paved streets/sidewalks--it's just American culture. I'm not going to make a case that American culture is better than Dominican culture. But I'm used to American culture. For example, if many people are waiting for a service, such as asking for goods from behind the counter in a small store, who should get that service first? If you said, "the person who was there first," you are probably American. Or European. If you said, "the person who is loudest," you are probably Dominican.

If there's a dog in the neighborhood that you don't like, what should you do? If you answered "confront the dog's owner" or "call Animal Control," you are probably American. If you answered, "put out poisoned meat," you are probably Dominican. (Now, if you are Dominican, you definitely do not have an Animal Control line to call. And if you are a Dominican whose dog is accidentally killed by some poisoned meat, you are probably not too worked up about it--you probably thought of your dog as a security measure, not as a beloved family pet. But this is one of the reasons Duartecat isn't allowed outside.)

And I guess the benefit of two years here in the DR is that I really do understand where Dominicans are coming from, and I'm not like, "God, Dominicans KILL THEIR PETS." I mean, Americans have semi-arbitrarily chosen a few animals, like cats and dogs, that are "pets" and are taken care of, while others, arguably about as cute, like sheep and chickens, are kept in gross factory farms and eaten. But I still am American, and I'm looking forward to getting home and waiting in line for things, letting Duarte outside, and letting myself outside in a tank top without hearing every passing male's thoughts on the subject (which, granted, are invariably favorable).

Soon enough I'm sure I'll be complaining about how people in America are overly litigious and obsessed with their lawns, but for now, I'm pretty happy to get back to the devil I know.


Anonymous said...

can't wait to see you!

Your hostess... said...

Nice post. I'm feeling the same way these days, missing American culture (although I am in Europe, not the DR). Anyway, your post came at a good time. Thanks for sharing.

Hostess @