La Dominicana

I ventured to the Dominican Republic a little over 3 weeks ago. It’s kind of an annual tradition for me and other friends that have birthdays around the same time and whoever out of our general group of friends and acquaintances wants to tag along. We have done it for several years now. It’s usually been around 10 to 12 people, with a mix of couples and singles, but this year, due to engagements and weddings and all that jazz, there were only 4 of us – myself, Carly, our friend Chico, and his girlfriend.

As previously touched on, due to my witching hour date with Adam I ended up not sleeping at all the Friday night before and thus by the time he dropped me off at the airport in the wee hours of Saturday morning for my 6:30 a.m. flight (the first of 2), I had been awake for almost 24 hours. So I was pretty exhausted, but the commencement of “vacation drinking” with Carly on the journey gave me an extra boost of energy and resolve. We had a brief layover in Florida but otherwise the flights were pretty painless.

We landed in the Dominican shortly after 1 p.m. to be shuttled off to our resort. Chico and the girlfriend were on a separate flight but we were all due to end up at the resort around the same time. We ended up connecting for a late afternoon lunch once everyone had gotten settled in. We had some tentative intentions on trying to get out that night but everyone had established that they were tired from traveling so it wasn’t looking too promising.

Carly and I went down for naps right after lunch and ended up not waking up until almost 10 p.m. By that time  we didn’t feel like freshening up or leaving the room. Nor did Chico or his girl. It was raining anyway so that made it feel like not too much of a waste. Carly and I opted to sip on some beers from the fridge and order room service.

The waiter who brought our food was a suave looking Dominican gentleman whom Carly took a liking to. Somehow, although he didn’t speak much English, some flirting between them went on that culminated in him coming back to our room for a late night visit to see her when he was done with work. My memory is fuzzy because I was tired and tipsy, but I don’t think much went on that night between them. At least not in my presence.

When we ordered room service again the next night – I think just for wine – it ended up being him again. And yet again somehow – I think they were using Google Translate – this resulted in yet another late night visit. But this time he brought an amigo for me. A person who appeared to be one of the cooks, as denoted by his uniform and accompanying hat. I was not into him whatsoever but I played the good wing woman inside while Carly and waiter guy (we never knew his name) went out on the balcony. This consisted of us sitting awkwardly beside each other passing my phone back and forth to speak through Google Translate, as he also did not speak English. While my basic Spanish isn’t too bad, conversational Spanish with a fluent speaker is not really my forte. It didn’t matter, as I was not feeling him at all, but I at least wanted to be polite. He did end up trying to solicit besos (kisses) from me but that definitely wasn’t happening. I was glad when they left.

The majority of the trip entailed our normal modus operandi: pool/sun/drinking with bouts of eating activities sprinkled in during the day, a resting period in the late afternoon, then getting dressed for the night and venturing out to one of the resort restaurants for dinner and the nightclub thereafter.

beach
Fun in the sun

For a lot of the time I had seen few people on the resort who piqued my interest in terms of being attractive while also not appearing to be in attendance with a significant other. However, it was at the nightclub on Wednesday night, while we were all kind of huddled around each other just drinking and primarily watching the dance floor, when I spotted a tall, blonde guy who looked particularly yummy. He was standing slightly behind us with a male friend. No females in sight.

There was an instance where I mistakenly backed into him (an actual accident…not to be confused with “mistakenly” where I might do it on purpose to get someone’s attention). I turned and apologized and that garnered a smile in response but not anything else. Drats. I kept my eye on him on the low and noted that he didn’t appear to be there with any women so I felt like that was a good sign and started trying to work up the courage to initiate a conversation.

It was around this time that Carly started being semi-annoying, as she was a little drunker than I was. She seemed to be halfway entertaining some Canadian guy but then would turn her attention back to me to babble and distract me while I was trying to scope out blonde guy. She eventually insisted I come outside with her while she smokes. This entailed exiting the club, walking through an open-air court area, and out into the open. I resisted at first, trying to hint to her that I was scoping out someone and didn’t want to lose sight of him, but she kept bugging me about it so I acquiesced. The club was only one way in, one way out, so I figured I’d at least know if he left.

We walked out and I kept her company while she smoked and talked about this Canadian guy that she claimed she couldn’t stand and wasn’t interested in but kept talking about so as to make it obvious that she was interested in him. Standard Carly.  Finally the cigarette was down to the filter and put out. Okay good…back to the club and blonde guy. But then one of the resort workers was riding by and apparently took a fancy to us because he slammed on his brakes and started conversing with us. We spoke back for 5 minutes or so to be nice and then scurried back inside.

I went in and did a scan. And of course as luck would have it, no blonde guy. REALLY?! I took a couple of trips around the perimeter just to make sure, and yep…gone. He sneaked past me somehow. I was blown and lamented to Carly how her high priority smoke break had cost me the only decent guy I had seen on the resort so far. Oh well, back to drinking.

Not long after, we decided the club wasn’t really hitting the spot so we decided to take a break from the deafening music and retreat to the bar outside in the court area. There were seats for people at the bar as well as tables a little ways off closer to the open entrance/exit. It was just me and Carly at this point – Chico and girlfriend had left to rest for an early-morning excursion.

We sauntered out to the court bar and who do I spy with my little eye sitting with a group of people at one of the tables off yonder? Blonde guy! He hadn’t gone after all, I just hadn’t noticed him on my way back into the club even though I had walked right past him. But now it was he and the male friend and several other people of mixed sex sitting around the table. There was a girl or two around his age, so my hopes were instantly shattered in thinking that perhaps one of them was his significant other. However, further observation kind of dispelled that hypothesis as he didn’t seem to be sitting particularly closely with anyone and there were no obvious signs of intimacy. It was hard to call it either way, but even if just family or friends, there was no way I was going to go hit on a guy within a group of people.

Carly had other drunken ideas though and kept intermittently looking over to try to make eye contact with him even though I implored her to forget about it. I wasn’t sure exactly what her plan was, but after turning way for a matter of seconds I turned back to find that just that quickly something had taken place. And it appeared to have failed miserably as she was suddenly motioning toward the club doorway for us to go back inside and exclaiming in a slightly amused, but slightly sheepish tone, “We have to go back in, NOW.” My eyes widened in surprise as I had no idea what had taken place in literally the 3 seconds I had my back turned, but the implication was that it had been something embarrassing, so I followed her back in the club at once.

When we were safely inside she explained that just as my back was turned, he looked over toward us and she made a welcoming arm motion to implore him to come over and join us. He only looked at her with a look that, by all description and imitation, seemed to be something like this:

nah

Yikes! Poor girl. But she took that hit for me…awwww! The things you do for friends. And yet, even as we were standing there talking about it, and just as I was making a mental note to chalk that one up under the “Definitely Not Interested” column, lo and behold, blonde guy walks into the club. Even before I could signal to Carly that he’s back inside so we could make a hasty escape out of his path and tuck our tails between our legs elsewhere, he spots us. And makes a beeline right over.

He comes up and smiles. I smile back and speak and Carly speaks as well but then takes right off and leaves me to it. And there I am, staring dreamily up into the blue eyes of blonde guy, who apparently turned out to be interested after all.

It turned out that he was German and spoke very little English. Thus his seeming distaste at Carly’s grand invitation earlier was apparently not that at all but maybe just genuine confusion and surprise. Maybe he didn’t know how to interpret it or whatever. In any case,  a limited bout of small talk ensued, sponsored by Google Translate. He was named Franck, 31, and from Thuringia, Germany. And he thought I was a “very nice girl.” We had a drink together and “talked” the best we could; eventually he asked if I wanted to come back to his room with him, which he was staying in alone. Sure…why not?

As we walk out through the court I see Carly sitting at a table with her Canadian beau du jour and one of his friends; I notify her that I’m going with Franck and tell her to have fun.

We got to his room and started making out pretty heavily, yet since no one had a condom handy, the possibility of intercourse fell off the table. We fooled around for a little while longer in light of that fact but then I realized I was tired and figured that since this wasn’t going any further for now, it’d be best for me to get back to my room. As I got up to start gathering my things together, he motioned for my phone to type. When he handed it back, the translation read: Will you stay with me?

Aw. I thought that was kind of sweet. Okay…fine. However, so as not to have any misunderstandings, I clarified that it was just for SLEEP. As in slumber. He concurred. And thus I settled back into bed with him and rolled into his arms. His hands roamed around a little bit but he didn’t protest when I eventually guided them back up to PG territory and we settled into slumber together.

I set my phone alarm for 6 a.m. so I could wake up and skedaddle back to my room before the resort started waking up and my walk of shame became too obvious. When it went off and I got up to get dressed, he got up too. He told me he wanted to walk me back to my room. Aw, again. What a gentleman.

I must say though, it’s maybe a little awkward to walk with someone for 15 minutes with no ability to make casual conversation. It would’ve been too cumbersome to try passing a phone back and forth while walking coupled with me simultaneously trying to remember how to get back to my room (he was staying in a different tier of the resort). But mostly it was peaceful. And trading smiles and glances back and forth said enough, I guess. We even both caught the humor in crossing paths with an extremely loud stray cat. That thing was mewing loud enough to wake the dead.

I lost my bearings a bit trying to find my way back from his side of the resort, but eventually some landmarks started looking familiar and I knew I was close. Thank goodness. I was yearning for a little more sleep and then some breakfast. When we got to my building he walked me up the stairs to our second-level door and then we kissed goodbye. He managed to reiterate the word “pool” in English to remind me of his previous mention of being there around 11 a.m. I told him I’d see him there and then went in.

But alas, I never saw him again that day. I kind of forgot the fact that his pool was different from mine and I wasn’t going to make the trouble of going over to his to find him. Then for that night Chico and his girlfriend were pressed to go to the Hard Rock Punta Cana, so we ventured off the resort by cab and got a one-night pass there. It was underwhelming. From the way they were so pressed to go, I thought it would have 24K gold floors and actual angels from Heaven as bartenders. But no…just pretty much a normal Americanized nightclub with a glitzy atmosphere whose patrons maybe had a little more money, as it costs an arm and a leg to stay there, but weren’t anything special otherwise. We were there for under 2 hours before we decided we wanted to go back to our resort. To which we went back and walked in to a completely dead nightclub. Like, we walked in and there was literally NO ONE in there but the workers. It was only around 1 a.m.

But there were still some scattered people at the court bar so we hung out there for a little bit. Two Argentinian guys starting talking to us and we ended up walking over to the late-night buffet with them to get food where I fended off the advances of one of them. He proclaimed that we were destined for a love as great as that of “La Diairo de Una Pasion.” That would be the Spanish title of “The Notebook.”  No thanks. He was cute but kind of corny and I was in no way interested in “making love” as he had suggested at some point (maybe playfully, maybe not). I was all too happy to have eventually convinced Carly that we should get back to our room for our “Big Last Day” before she found it in herself to hook up with the other one and thus invited them back to the room or something so that I had to entertain that fool any longer. I was NOT going to have another awkward chef incident.

kitty
My stray kitty friend

I never did see Franck again.On Friday it rained from sunrise until the mid-afternoon. A hard, steady, monsoon-like rain that precluded any breakfast or pool activities for that period. I was up around 8 o’clock doing some light packing in preparation for leaving the next day when there was knock at the door. I froze, thinking perhaps it was room service guy for Carly. We kind of made it a joke that we wanted to avoid him; he had called the room at certain points for Carly but she didn’t want to hang out with him again. Thinking it might be him, I didn’t move. When the knock came a second time, I said, What the hell and decided I’d just answer and tell him straight up. I was to the door within maybe 10 seconds of the second knock, but when I opened it there was no one there. I stepped outside and scanned to see if anyone was walking away or anything like that but I didn’t see anyone whatsoever, which was mildly unsettling. It was a pretty open area…not sure where someone would’ve gotten off to that quick.

When I thought about it later, it occurred to me that waiter guy had never come during the day, only at night. So then I got to wondering if it could’ve been Franck looking for me. That night I got dressed and to out with Carly for a little bit even though I was beat at that point and looking forward to getting back home. At dinner, which was an open-air buffet situation, I ran across the same cat that me and Franck had seen together. He or she was running among the tables obviously looking for food. I ended up calling it over and feeding it some scraps for a little while. It ate right out of my hand – my own ignorant cat doesn’t even do that.

I tapped out after an hour or two and left Carly on her on so I could go back to the room and rest. Chico and girlfriend didn’t come out at all. I had asked Carly to let me know if she saw Franck at the nightclub. She messaged me close to 1 a.m. telling me he was there. I kind of did want to go out to see him one last time just to say goodbye, but ultimately I was just not at all able to muster up the energy to do so. I wish I had gotten his last name or Facebook ID or something at least. He was a nice guy. And a tiny part of me feels bad thinking that maybe he thinks I ditched him purposely or something and maybe it really was him on Friday coming to see where I was.

Oh well.

 

 

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