What Am I doing Here? What am I doing here when I could be home? I mean, I know things can be hard back there, but God, not like this! My life is nonexistent.
I feel like I am on auto pilot, going through the same routine everyday. I wake up early in the morning; dress the kids and myself; commute two hours to work and back; pick up the kids from afterschool; feed them dinner; put them to bed; get myself ready for bed, then watch tv till I fall asleep.
It’s not that I want to sleep. I cannot stay up because I am tired. Even if I wanted to go out, a potential babysitter would be just as tired as I am or still working. Sometimes I want to let my hair down and party island stylee, but I have to plan my outings around my family’s schedule.
My spouse will not be caught dead babysitting while I party with my friends: he want to party too! It’s not a matter of just partying. That is the only way I know how to release stress. In Dominica, you do feel pressure and strain, but the atmosphere and vibe is different.
Everyone cares about each other, you help each other. In this place, do you know your neighbor, who lives in the same building, on the same floor? Most importantly, do you even care? Life here is initially a culture shock, but in time, you conform.
Life will be even harder if you don’t. The first thing that goes is the DA accent. It is hard to understand the accent, plus people do not have time to interpret our “language”. As soon as you land here, you must move faster. If you don’t, you will definitely be left behind.
The hardest way to learn this lesson is to miss the city bus by 1 second in 10 degree weather. That bus driver will close the door in your face, and will not open it even if you jog alongside the bus. The winter season is always a shock to my system.
During this time I intentionally do not have a life. I hate going to work; hate the long, gloomy, dark days; hate the mist that comes out of my mouth and nose when I talk and breathe. I just hate winter.
A tropical coconut like myself does not do winter. During winter I hibernate and have no problem doing that.
It seems like the weather determines how people behave here. During the winter everything is calm, like its too cold to go looking for trouble. In spring, life forms appear again and the streets start bustling.
The closer it gets to summer, the more people misbehave. Others want to go looking for trouble, while we, Dominicans, just want to meet up with friends to fete because we have to catch up with 6 months of staying home.
Don’t get me wrong, we will cuss you out if you cut us off on the highway, or if you do something stupid on the road.
On the subject of road, the road to success is not an easy one. Everyone is so pretentious that it is a task just to get deal with your boss or co workers; Smiling with each other one second, and bad talking each other the next.
A true Dominican will hold their head up high and conquer. I’m here to fulfill my dreams. I’m here to dream big and live big. I want to prove to myself that I can conquer my fears and achieve my goals. I am making progress, great progress. But I got a little way to go. That’s why I’m here.