February 24, 2013

Getting around in Santo Domingo

Now, it might be a little confusing but I wasn't done with my posts about the Dominican Republic. Today, I'd like to blog about transportation within Santo Domingo.

There's a very neat subway system, the Metro. It's clean, air-conditioned, and safe. The first line opened in 2009. Since it's fairly new, there are only two lines but there are supposed to be 6 lines in total, when everything is done. You can find further information in Spanish on the official homepage << click >>.

 

You can buy a plastic card for recharging purposes or buy one-way paper tickets, which look like this. One ride costs 20 Pesos, which are like 0.40€.

 

As I said, it's very safe. On each ride that we went, there were police officers with us.

 

Line 1 goes from north (Villa Mella) to south (Centro de Los Heroes). The stations are:

  • Mamá Tingó
  • Gregorio Urbano Gilbert
  • Gregorio Luperón
  • José Francisco Peña Gómez
  • Hermanas Mirabal
  • Máximo Gómez
  • Los Taínos
  • Pedro Livio Cedeño
  • Peña Batlle
  • Centro Olímpico Juan Pablo Duarte
  • Juan Bosch
  • Casandra Damirón
  • Joaquín Balaguer
  • Amín Abel
  • Francisco Alberto Caamaño
  • Centro de los Héroes

 

Line 2 goes from Ave. Luperon to Puente de la 17. I think, it's from west to the center. The second half of line 2 will continue to the east of santo Domingo. The stations for line 2 are:

  • María Montez
  • Pedro F. Bonó
  • Francisco G. Billini
  • Ulises F. Espaillat
  • Pedro Mir
  • Freddy Beras Goico
  • Juan U. García F.
  • Centro Olímpico Juan Pablo Duarte
  • Cnel. Rafael T Fernandez D.
  • Mauricio Báez
  • Ramón Cáceres
  • Horacio Vásquez
  • Manuel de Jesus Galván
  • Eduardo Brit

 

There are also other possibilities to travel around the city. Of course you can take a taxi. If you take a taxi from a company and don't travel too far, it's 150 Pesos, which are 3€. That's still very affordable. It doesn't matter if the cab has air-conditioning, it's the same prize.

Then, you can be a bit more adventurous. You can take a collective taxi, which can be recognized by the sign on the car that also tells you its route. They normally transport 6 people, 4 in the back and 2 next to the driver.

 

If you're lucky, your collective cab might look like a normal car. Otherwise, you might be traveling in something like this...

 

Sometimes I'm surprised, how the cars are still able to drive... You think, it'll pass the German TÜV? ;-)

Because of these seats, I always wear leggings or jeans so that my skin doesn't touch anything... I don't wanna know about all the bacteria.

Anyway, one ride costs 25 Pesos (0.50€). These cars run everywhere and very frequently. They have certain routes and they stop whenever you tell them. If someone is fat or wants a bit more comfort, they pay for the amount of seats, they need.

 

February 14, 2013

Thank you!

Thank you for your condolescences because of my grandma. I feel really bad for not reading your comments for that long! I'm very sorry. Especially because I've started writing blog posts again but since I write them with Blogsy, I don't see what's going on...

Anyway, thank you!

Besides, Happy Valentine's Day! Mine will be full of work... I still have stuff to do at the lab.

February 13, 2013

Baila Conmigo

Yesterday we had a little Salsa performance at the dance school which I'd like to show you... I've danced salsa for about 3.5 years, while my boyfriend is absolutely amazing at it. He also teaches it as he's professional. We started to do salsa shows about last year. Before, I only helped out doing some new figures and stuff like that. Hope you like it...

 

 

I also wanted to try out my Japanese lashes. In Asia people are crazy about false eyelashes, while in the Dominican Republic everybody already has amazing lashes. I'm so jealous. Some are so long, they touch the owner's eye brows...

 

I absolutely love the result. My only problem with them is, they aren't very comfortable because of the plastic band and my eyelash curler is slightly too small for these lashes...

But anyway, I will still wear them next time.

 

February 12, 2013

Taiwanese funeral

My grandmother became 97 and hasn't been sick or anything. Look, she even wore flip flops a couple years ago. Wasn't she cute and adorable? Well, but she was also very strong - a true matriarch. I thought we would still celebrate her 100th birthday but unfortunately, she died one day...

She got five children, four boys and one girl, three living abroad in Germany and Brazil, 11 grandchildren in total. Everybody gathered within 48 hours after her death. I even met cousins I didn't even know I had. A sad reason to gather but mostly nice to see everyone.

She used to live in Germany for a year or two. I don't remember because I was too small.

 

The funeral was not as I expected. It drove me nuts that I didn't know about the customs and what to wear. My Chinese friends told me white. The Internet blue for family, light blue for grandchildren. My dad wasn't of big help either. He just told me, whatever will be fine, just no red... My aunt told me, also no pink, not even the slightest hint of rosé. So I ended up packing way to many things into my suitcase just to be surprised with a black gown which my relatives gave me for the funeral...

 

All close family members get a black gown with a beige bow on the right shoulder, while further family members either get a red towel or a pink towel depending on the father's or mother's side. The priest wore some purple gown. He threw it on and off all the time probably because it wasn't too comfortable.

Saying goodbye in Taiwan takes a long time. My grandma has been in some kind of fridge for a week so that people could moan and look at her. Since there are no mortuaries, the corpse are preserved in these special fridges... Also for preservation and against the smell... I didn't take pictures from the fridge, as I thought it's disrespectful.

The funeral itself was loud and colorful. There was a large colorful pavilion.

Big colorful flowers, food, drinks, and money for my grandmother. Everybody burnt incense for her. A band played some music... It was horrible, btw.

The money was burnt for my grandmother's afterlife. Taiwan also has a holiday for all the spirits, when money has to be burnt for all the dead family members and also so that the devil spirits stay away... It's in summer, I think...

 

February 9, 2013

Happy New Snake Year!

Happy Chinese New Year, my lovely fellow bloggers! I wish you all the best in the world for the new snake year! It's supposed to be a year of many changes. That's true for me at least.

Anyway, I'm back in Germany again. Everything had been so busy in Taiwan. We've visited so many relatives and friends that I've had absolutely no time for blogging while I was gone...

 

Tonight we went to a great Chinese restaurant in Heidelberg: the Hot Pot House.

 

They serve authentic Chinese cuisine. It's quite rare as many China restaurants tend to serve western style Chinese food... If you're at least six people, it's worth ordering hot pot. All you can eat for 15€. There are six different broths to chose from: cabbage, seafood, mushroom, curry, spicy, and non-spicy bone marrow soup. There are several dips and several plates of meat, seafood, vegetables, noodles, etc. Very delicious and filling... The soups are excellent. We've tried bone marrow and curry soup so far...