Photo by Paul CulverLast night a major catastrophe happened. My monitor for my computer had a blow up. For a computer junkie, this was monumental. It was 9:30pm last night, so I ran to Plaza Llama, the local Walmart type store, thinking I could pick something up cheaply. Besides overpriced flat-screens, they were offering USED monitors for $200 (U.S.) and up. As one who surfs the Internet religiously, I knew that this was a ridiculous price. Luckily, I called Mario Sessions, who is coming tomorrow, and he is bringing me a flat-screen.
In the meantime, I have borrowed a monitor from a Dominican friend from around the corner.
It is Christmas-time, and everyone is trying to get their money together for presents. For the last couple of weeks I noticed the police in the airport parking lot. I thought, that's nice. That was until a group came over to inquire how we were doing. I gave them my best "don't even THINK I'm going to give you any money look." I was cordial, shook their hands, and proceeded to get in the car and lock the door. I hear they are getting really aggressive now. Bottom line, unless you are in a generous mood, DON'T give the police any money. It sets a bad precedent.
One other pet peeve that has been on my mind lately. People have been taking cabs from hotels (Jaragua, Hilton, InterContinental, etc.) to the Colonial Zone, and have been charged OUTRAGEOUS amounts. FYI, it does NOT cost RD$300 pesos to go from the Malecon to the Colonial Zone. It should cost no more than RD$120-$150 pesos. If you need a cab, tell the front desk to call you a cab. They will tell you, "you can pick up a taxi out front." BULLSHIT. Just tell them they overcharge tourists, and would prefer a taxi company. A good one I use is Aero Taxi (809.686.1212). They are efficient, come in about 3 minutes, and in 5 years of using them I have only been overcharged once (and I complained about it).
Lastly, please don't change money at the airport. The airport used to give the best exchange rate. Not anymore. The exchange rate is about RD$33.20 per $1 (U.S.), and they are offering RD$30 pesos per $1 (U.S.). That is highway robbery.
Okay, lesson over.
The Monaga Blogger