As I write this, 5 years ago today, Jango and I were heading to the airport. I remember our last morning in the hotel, how nervous I was. My biggest anxiety about the move had been about Jango.
I had him all packed up in his crate, with my nightie I had been wearing and a pair of socks I wore in the room for several weeks. At least the crate would smell like me. I had booked a Towncar to get to the airport, why not, I say. The cost was about the same as a regular taxi.
Bell, those bastards, had already cut off my phone, so I hauled all my stuff to the lobby of the old Edgewater hotel for the last time. I asked the guy at the desk to call the car company to confirm, because … well, see above about Bell, those bastards.
While I waited for the car, realizing the wait was over, I admit I was excited and scared. I knew it wouldn’t all be paradise, that it wouldn’t all be easy. I didn’t have enough money to just live happily ever after, but I had decided to worry about that when the time came.
It’s time. Again. And again. It’s interesting to me, as I reflect on all that has happened and all the things I have experienced. Highs and lows, like everybody does. Before I launch into a bit of self-mewling, I’ll remind you of one of my life long mantras:
Regrets are a desperate waste of your time.
I honestly don’t believe I would be ay better off had I stayed in Canada or Toronto. I had been toying with the idea of moving to Halifax, as things were not really working for me in Toronto. I couldn’t even get hired at Tim Horton’s to bake doughnuts. I had also been toying with the ideas of going back to college, but that wasn’t getting off the ground either.
I decided to roll the dice. Once the idea of moving to the Dominican was in my head, it was there. Five years later…
About a year or so ago, I had fallen into deep despair about my situation and then when I hit the point where I couldn’t take it any longer, a job arrived. I was so relieved and finally felt like I could breathe again. Lasted six months.
It’s been nine months of living a meagre existence, and a lot of my existence has come from friends. As rent approaches, the anxiety moves in again and my prospects, of late, have been dismal.
A few months ago, my landlady shut my water off, because my rent was late. When I asked my neighbour to turn it on, she showed up at my door, screaming at me in Spanish. Did I say screaming? Yes, I did. She was screaming.
I elegantly closed the door in her face and she went to the roof and screamed her head off. Then she came back down and hammered on my door with what may have been a flashlight.
She’s going to kick me out, she’s going to call the police (here I said, Si, you should because turning off my water is not only illegal but cruel) I managed to get her to calm slightly, even though the look on her face was pure murderous.
To be fair, I have to assume she has very little education. She’s also not likely happy with her lot in life, but I have to imagine it had precious little to do with what she wanted.
Even though I’m at the bottom again, and I will spend my last 500 pesos ($15 Canadian) on cat food, I’m still pretty happy. I am very optimistic that things will turn around for me, simply because they have to, eventually.
I’ve met some great people and learned a lot, mostly about myself. I’ve travelled a lot of miles, emotionally and physically, from my little home on the prairies. I’m rolling the dice in paradise and hoping for double sixes.
Would I still come here, knowing what I know?
Our view, about to land in Puetra Plata for the first time and the start of a brand new life