The first of every month at the church Centro Familiar, the church service time moves to 10 am instead of 6 pm. Upon, this discovery I was extremely excited because church in the morning is so much better than the evening because then you have your whole day to do whatever you want! In the morning I also can walk wherever I want.
But the rain ruined my parade. Literally. I couldn’t walk to the church because it was raining so hard but my upstairs neighbor called out from the balcony and told me to come to church in her van. I didn’t get my exercise. Church was good, loud and Spanish sermons are very all over the place and lack thesis statements or a common theme, but I am just happy that I am starting to understand them.
After church I was ‘not-allowed’ to walk back to my house because of my super over protective guy friends. Sunday was the carnival, which apparently means a lot of drunk, weird and crazy people running around on the street. The carnival also ruined my plans of going jogging on the beach with a friend. This was kind of sad, but I was expecting people at my house at 7 to have pancakes, so it gave me more time to clean the house.
In the middle of my cleaning at about 3pm I get a phone call from my friend who says, take a motorconcho to my house now we are going to the beach. It felt like that line from the movie ‘Mean Girls’ “get in loser, we’re going shopping” (If you don’t know what Mean Girls is.. well then just never mind)
I got ready so fast and before I knew it I was reunited with my love, the ocean. It was glorious. My friends here as always, thought I was being crazy because of how excited I was to be on the beach. Which made me think of what I was doing last March 1st. It would have been a Saturday, which means I would have been working at that terrible restaurant job I had once upon a time while freezing in the Canadian weather. Thank you God for changing my reality from last year. I am so grateful to be here.
After the beach, as if the day could get any better, we got pica pollo. Which is fried chicken with plaintain chips. Now, I know that fried chicken is good, but North Americans do not understand what good chicken is. You need to come here and taste chicken. It is fresh and delicious with no chemical enchantment or strange hormones added to it. It’s 100000x better in Dominican.
There is no concept of time when it comes to social events. I was expecting people to start coming over at 7 but only arrived back from the beach at 6:50. That gave me a few minutes to change and frantically do the dishes. Luckily for me, 7 means 7:30-8 here.
The one thing that threw me off was how my friend said he would go to the supermarket with me at 7 or before to buy flour because I couldn’t find it. But at 8 he still had not come to my house and I couldn’t start making pancakes without flour. I was inpatient because it was an hour after I was expecting to get flour. I told this to my one friend and we decided to go out on an adventure to find flour.
In theory this was a great idea, but it was a Sunday, which means every super market, but one is closed. The second massive problem is I thought the translation of flour was miel.. that actually means syrup here. There was a lot of confusion about that. Lets also remember that when someone says a store is ‘just around the corner’ or ‘close’ that is a lie. It probably takes at least 20 minutes to walk there.
After getting to the corner store, we discovered that there was not any flour being sold there and had to come back to my house empty handed. I thought the situation was hilarious because people were at my house while I was running around in the night looking for flour. Getting back to the house, my friend that was supposed to get flour with me at 7 finally was there. We ran to his car and drove like crazy to the supermarket because it was closing in 10 minutes. It was a mad dash around the store to try to find flour and we ended up getting those box mixes of flour because it was so much easier than trying to explain was flour is in Spanish.
Pancakes were served close to 9 pm and everyone was so hungry but no one seemed to notice the time. My saving grace was dinnertime is 9 or 10 pm at night. After being 2 hours behind schedule, I was perfectly on time. How is that possible? Dominican culture. This was also when I realized that, I really want to live on my own when I come back here. I love having people over and cooking but when it isn’t your house it is so hard to do that. I need space to myself to do this. After all that work I didn't even want pancakes, but I enjoyed having people over at my house.