Where Is Andy Graham?
I leave with JetAirFly.com Oct. 14 and fly to Brussels, arriving on the Oct. 15, and enter Lome, Togo, by Air Moroc the same day.
Ok, I am going to Kara, Togo, West Africa. So yesterday, the Oct. 13, I took a Caribe Tour bus for RD$ 300 (Dominican pesos) from Sosua, Dominican Republic, to Santo Domingo.
Then I shared a taxi to the airport with an American girl. We paid RD$800, my half was RD$400. She was almost late for her 4 p.m. plane because we arrived at 3:30 p.m. I hope she made the plane. I paid another RD$500 to go to Boca Chica, a famous beach town near the airport.
In reality, the Santo Domingo Airport would be better called Boca Chica, the better place to stay near Santo Domingo for savvy travelers.
I got dodgy information on hotels. All the information on the Internet was stupidly priced, trying to trap the unsavvy traveler. Generally, I was lucky; I just walked down the street, surrounded by really scammy Dominicas demanding I follow them. Well, I spotted what looked like a happy guy, older and, I now believe, Swiss, and I asked, "¿Sabes un hotel barrato?"
He did not speak English, so I was asking for a cheap room in Spanish. He said he had a room for 30 USD, or RD$1,200 pesos, which is not cheap to me. 3 USD is cheap, but 30 USD is cheap to tourists here. I am lucky to know the true value of hotel room.
Before I rented this, I had already talked with four other gringos, all naïve and generally not to be trusted. Never trust gringos and never trust locals in the Dominican Republic. There is an amazingly corrupt mentality in this country. I trusted the body language of the Swiss guy. I soon learned he was the cook at the restaurant.
Pequenia Swiss Hotel
RD$1,200, air conditioned, 30 USD "mas o menos," a great very small room with WiFi that fails to work. It is there but does not work. I believe I am just unlucky today with WiFi here; probably the hotel normally has functional WiFi, but not today.
I will hide in the room. I have almost no use for talking with people in Boca Chica. People in the Dominican Republic, both the gringos and the citizens, have worn out my patience for stupid behavior.
There are smart countries, like Germany, and dumbed down countries, about 90 countries, in my experience. I have to say, the Dominican Republic is 90th on the list, the very bottom rung. This is what makes it fun! Entering dumb countries, full of dumb people, is great entertainment.
More or less dumb people let you buy anything you want and do anything you desire. Everything is for sale. People are crabbing over each other to push one another down. They just refuse to work together as neighbors or a nation.
Meanwhile, Germany and the German people work together in unison for the survival of their nation. The individual people of the Dominican Republic are saving up, trying to maneuver, by hook or crook, to find a way to leave their country and go live in New York City area of the USA.
But the gringos come to buy what is offered, mostly women – too fun and too stupid at the same time.
One could write a never-ending soap opera about the gringos getting killed or maimed, or having the police extort money from them, a book that never ends. But most novels are about human nature, sort of making mistakes and then solving them.
I am not going to write this book. It would be a celebration of the stupidest country I know on the planet, not good form, not the way to make money for a good person. I will leave that book to the unsavory gringos who live here. But I hope aspiring gringos authors knows that they will kill you if you write the truth.
I will fly to Lome, Togo: 100 times safer and 50 times smarter than the Dominican Republic. It will be nice not to live behind bars and barbed wire, to live without armed guards with sawed-off shotguns.
We All Make It to the Travel Destination
We must continually remind ourselves: Everyone makes it to his or her travel destination. It is not generally possible to turn around on a plane trip and go home. Once we commence the plane journey, we have little choice but to continue all the way. We will arrive. It is possible we stop somehow, but our checked luggage will continue on to our destination.
Predisposition to Not Check Luggage
A weak person cannot survive without his or her bag and needs to check it. The strong person knows, the bag is just a bag, and the more items carried, the more the comfort upon arrival.
I do not need my luggage. My backpack is just convenience. The more I carry, the more convenient my life.
OK, I have an insight about why people almost refuse to check bags. They are too afraid of getting separated, and work monotonously not to waste time.
On a funny note, standing in line to board a plane is not what we savvy travelers do. We are the absolute last on the plane. We know we have a reserved seat, and we know they will find a place for our bag. Why waste the time standing in line, unless it?s to stand by a pretty girl?
Girl on the Caribe Bus
I sat next to what has to be the most intelligent girl from the USA I have met in maybe my whole life. She actually made me think. I even felt a little dumb at times. My mother would have loved this 30 year old woman.
I got her to the airport on time, I hope. My very alpha male behavior, my domination of other humans, and command of Spanish, coupled with savvy travel skills, saved her maybe 30 minutes of travel time. She probably saved another RD$1,000 pesos on the taxi and did not miss her plane.
I do hope she made the plane. The Internet here sucks. I lose the WIFI lottery today and will not know until she writes me an email.
She was a college professor in Miami, white, of German heritage, and she lived in Wisconsin by the Illinois border, maybe 300 miles from my home in Orland, Indiana. She was gorgeous, blond, sexy and of exceptional intelligence. I wanted to follow her home; she reminded me of Bah, dangerous to men.
Amazing whom we meet as travelers. Serendipitous good luck is always our travel companion; we are never alone.
Andy Lee Graham, on the way to Kara, Togo, to eliminate malaria in the city.
Note: I need 25 USD from all of you to save one child?s life. Please send it now. I know human nature well enough and the people of the USA well enough to know that if they believe 25 USD was needed to save a life, they would each give it up without question.