A Matter Of Language

On a normal day, in my normal life, I get out of bed and moan internally and sometimes externally as  I get my body into motion. I have too many small nagging pains that will be aggravated if I were to bound out of bed and meet the day at the high speed that I did when I was younger. One wrong move first thing in the morning could cause me a day of discomfort. The morning ritual now includes an enormous amount of stretching. I guess if I had done that when I was younger I might have avoided some of the distress I have caused my body throughout my life. Oh well live and learn.


That’s my normal life. Right now though I am living on a beach and life is anything but normal. Oh sure I still get up slowly, testing my body to identify which part will be objecting to being used and I still stretch out as many muscles as I can but I know that all I need do today is make it to my cabana deck and enjoy the rest of the day. There is no need to check a weather forecast to determine how many layers of clothing I will require to don in order to survive the harshness of winter as I struggle to earn a living. I have no urgency in my life short of getting a morning cup of joe.


I would best discribe life in the Dominican Republic as being leisurely. Not just my life, but that of the citizens of this fine nation. Yes, my life currently is a little more leisurely than the local inhabitants but generly their lives appear to be far less manic than I see in North America. I know they have the same pressures that I have in life, the need to provide for family isn’t exclusive to only my part of the world. They just seem to approach it with less intensity. I am truly envious.


I think that by visiting the same beach as frequently as I have I have come to understand more of the culture than I ever did going to large resorts. The employees at the resorts were always pleasant and cordial but language and familarity prohibited me from obtaining any real knowledge of the life of the average Dominican. This has changed somewhat by returning regularily to the Playa Magante and encountering the same inhabitants repeatly. I have met their children and Ginger has given me background on many of them and more than a little gossip. With this information I am starting to develop a more intimate understanding of these people’s lives and the drama’s within.


Language still poses a problem and I have decided that upon our return home this year I will invest in a language program, Rosetta Stone or Babbel, and dedicate the next year learning to speak Spanish. I can no longer flap my arms, make a face like I’m trying to poop and cluck like a chicken and hope I get eggs for breakfast anymore. I can no longer depend on Ginger or Rock to be by my side to translate my desires and I cannot and should not expect the Dominicans to speak English. I will learn the language.


That declaration does not change my current circumstance though, I don’t understand them and they don’t play charades. So I find myself almost always looking stupid and I may have eaten chicken ass on more than one occasion. I’m sure learning a new language at my age will prove to be more difficult than it would have been when I could bound out of bed but I am older and understand the challenge at least. The first step like anything that you do is to take a first step, it has reached the time to walk the talk.


As the calender that Honey gave me counts down the days to my retirement the hope is to spend extended periods of time living on this island and to that end I will need the ability of language. If I don’t make the effort now, than I might as well move to Phoenix and buy knee high socks and a bunch of loud shirts. That of course would not work, because Trumpville is nowhere on my radar even though I do already speak the language, because I understand the people of the Divided States less than I do the Dominicans.



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