Thursday, January 26, 2012

Just tell me the truth!

Dominicans never like to upset you and they will always tell you what they think you want to hear. You ask directions and they will give them to you even if they have no idea at all where you want to go or how to get there.  They would simply never think of saying sorry they did not know the way. You ask what the weather will be like tomorrow and they tell you it will be sunny as they think you want it to be sunny. Unfortunately they have no idea whatever what it is I want to know - which is quite simply the truth. Pretty amazing concept really.

The first example is the vet. The dog was sick, so I called the vet at 10 am. He said he would be here at noon. I called him at at 2 pm, he said his wife was sick and would be there in 30 minutes. I called him at 5 pm, he said he had no car.  I called him at 8 pm and he said he was operating.  He arrived at 10 pm, in his car. He said he would be back at 10 am the next day. There were a raft of new excuses during the day and he arrived at 10 pm at night. Why not just tell me that he would be there at night? Would that have been so difficult?
 People are coming for dinner, and are due at 7 pm. At 8 pm you ring and ask where they are. They say they are 'llegando' which means arriving. Arriving where? Certainly not at my house, as the chances are they are sitting in their house watching the TV but would no more think of telling you that than flying to the moon! They eventually arrive at 10 pm.

You ask the boss for a pay rise.  He says of course, as he knows that is what you want to hear. Surprise surprise no pay rise. You ask the plumber if he can come that day to fix a broken pipe. He will say 'pienso que si" which means 'I think so'. I have worked out that that is code for 'you must be joking, no way will I be there today'. Why not just say 'no' and give an accurate idea of when he can come. I ask the man in the colmado if he will have pork chops tomorrow and he says  'claro' which means 'of course'.  That is another code word which means 'I have no idea when I will have pork chops'. Once you know the code words then life becomes a little easier, but it takes a long time to realise that you will never be told the truth!

And all  I want is to be told the truth. Not what people think I want to hear, as their mind reading skills are appalling!


  1. This was a very good piece for me. I can not tell you how many times I have been really angry because my girlfriend lies to me all the time. I have tried leading by example and asking her if it brings her peace of mind knowing what I say is true. Of, course she says yes. I explain that is the same thing I want. Now, I realize it is more a cultural thing and not her just being deceitful. Of Course, I am still going to keep working on getting her to be truthful more often...I just will not take it so persal.

  2. This must be frustrating for sure! You can never rely on people then, it would drive me nuts!

  3. zzbull, you need to know there are two types of Dominican lies! There are black lies (apparently, which are proper lies and the white lies are the ones which will stop them getting into trouble or telling you what they think you want to hear! Try and eradicate the black lies but you will just have to live with the others - just learn to recognise them.

    Sami yes it does drive you nuts lol

  4. Some of this rings true in Portugal! The Portuguese tradesmen hate to tell you bad news...if they say they will be with you at 10 oclock that could well mean 10o'clock anyday in the next year!

    Nice post :)

  5. Soooo true but the colmado saying claro voy a tener chuleta mañana es porque el que vende chuleta le dijo que mañana va a entregarla jaja!!! I should know my man and I sold and delivered chuleta y costillas ahumadas each day and often told our colmado clients that it was coming because we were told same thing by our supplier!!! Those things drove me nuts!!! Because it really feels like they are lying in your face after the 3rd and 4th excuse...

  6. you are right cyntella. It is like a chain of lies lol. And I wonder who tells the chuleta supplier - probably the pig!

  7. so true! specially the "estoy llegando" part. My dad does this all the time, even when he is not out of his job, he says he is almost home to pick the kids up hahaha