Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I am turning into a Dominican

I have been in this country for over 10 years now and living with, and then married to a Dominican man for most of that time. In recent months I have discovered that I am beginning to exhibit certain Dominican traits.

Concon - courtesy of

  • I can make concon (burn the rice) - a Dominican essential.
  • When I see someone I know in the street I tip my head back and purse my lips, instead of saying hello.
  • Having previously berated my cleaning lady for using so much Mistolin (disinfectant) and Chloro (bleach), I now do the same as it helps keep the flies away.
  • I put liquid bleach into the washing machine along with washing powder to try and get the whites whiter.
  • I love mangu (mashed plantains) and have withdrawal symptoms if I do not eat it 3 times a week.
  • I usually eat with a spoon instead of a knife and fork - it is so much easier.
  • I can wait patiently for hours in a queue at the bank or at the dentists.
  • I shout 'dame' (give me) in the colmado rather than waiting for my turn.
  • If I bake or cook something special I always take some round to my neighbours.
  • I drink my coffee black with lots of sugar rather than white without sugar as I did before.
  • I love batidas (fresh fruit, ice, sugar and evaporated milk whisked in the blender).
  • I laugh much more and am far less stressed.
But there are some things I still don't do.

Los patos river, Barahona
  • I don't go into the river with all of my clothes on.
  • I don't feel the need to spit when I smell something bad.
  • I don't take one antibiotic when I have a headache.
  • I don't eat my avocado with salt.
  • I don't use sazon liquido (liquid seasoning), sazon completo ( a powdered seasoning) and Maggi cubes (chicken stock cubes) in everything I cook.
  • I don't watch Dominican soap operas.
  • I don't cook the rice with a plastic bag on top of the pan.
  • I don't put a plastic bag on my head when it rains and I still go out in the rain.
Anyone else turning Dominican or are other expats slowly becoming like the indigenous people in the country you live in?


  1. Thanks Puyaca!! I also have started saying vaina all the time and ay mi madre!

  2. I bought habichuelas blanditas de mi vecina en frente with any container I could find
    I tipped my garbageman in the hopes of getting it picked up
    I use to sing Somos Toros, somos Toros at baseball games
    I used to say Anda el diable y como tu ta?
    But what I never did:
    I did not wear jeans during the sweltering daytime heat only some nights in February
    I did not wear tacones!!!
    Was accept los apagones!!! Which is why I moved back to Canada after almost 2 yrs BUT with my 6'2" dominican souvenir, my love Andrés!

  3. Brilliant cyntella! I don't do the tight jeans and heels either! Luckily I have an inverter as we have no electricity for 12 hours a day so that is one stress I don't have. Congratulations on your hunky Dominican souvenir!

  4. I like this post so much as it supports my theory that Dominican is rather than a nationality, a virus. It's contagious! You'll soon be feeling you haven't eaten unless you've had rice for lunch...:)

    Regards from

    1. I love the idea it is a virus! I hope it was OK to use your photograph?

  5. I had an inverter too BUT when I decided to leave it was apagones en la mañana al principio y al final en las tardes igual, was driving me nuts. Estaba quillao!!! But I want to retire back in the DR with my man in some 20 yrs!!! Hopefully by then, the polititians will stop putting cash in their pockets and get solar panels for all citizens!!! It is a virus but uno que ta maravilloso!!!

  6. Enjoy your retirement lol, but methink its a dream re solar power and politicians no longer putting cash in their pockets!

  7. What a laugh. I think I'm the same. I'm in my twelfth year of living here, living with or married to a Dominican for most of that time and definitely practicing many of these traits, so I think it's a case of, if you can't beat them, join them. Once you've been here a while a lot of these things do start to make sense....worrying thought! Keep writing, you give me a good chuckle. Thanks. You have my vote, too, on the unlikelihood of honest politicians and solar power :-(