1. You aren’t phased when a power outages messes with your ability to get caught up on ‘El Chapulin Colorado.’
Oh well, ‘Se fue la luz,’ you’ll just go ahead and get your homework finished and watch whenever the lights come back.
2. A ‘Publico’ gets you around town.
You know that’s a 7-seat van but you also know 25 people can totally ride in it.
3. You know that any good neighborhood chat session should be accompanied by a Presidente.
Most restaurants and cafés serve this beer so cold it should really pour out in a frozen mess but, somehow, it’s always got just a few perfect ice crystals in it.
4. Your snack pantry is stocked from goods sold by street vendors at the stop lights around town.
Let’s be honest. Your kitten or puppy may have come from there, also.
5. Motorcycles are the new minivan.
Driving on Dominican highways, I have seen families of 3 and 4 ride to the next town carrying their luggage on their heads and smiles on their faces.
6. Getting dressed up to go to the grocery store is completely normal.
It took several months and soft coaxing from my American mother for me to finally feel comfortable enough to wear flip-flops to the store.
7. You have a soft spot in your heart for Panaderia Nitin.
If you grew up in Santo Domingo in the 80s, every birthday cake came from this place.
8. You started drinking coffee before you were even tall enough to reach the kitchen cupboards.
Dominican grandmas are known to start the grandkids on Café con Leche young.
9. You’ve called down for a delivery from a colmado.
Many of your neighbors’ homes have converted their carports into a convenience store, or colmado, which become your go-to place for coffee, plantains, cigarettes, avocado and cold beer and soda.
10. You know if there’s a palm tree, there’s someone ready to get coconuts for you.
You know that young man running up to you with a smile and a machete is only looking forward to your cash and is completely ready to climb that palm tree and get a couple coconuts for you.
11. Siestas happen at about 1pm.