I live in the second story apartment above a colmado. It is normal for the people’s voices and street noise to travel though my back window. One night recently I was laying in bed, trying to ignore the passing motochonchos I hear a man singing. Just as I was starting to dismiss the man’s song I noticed it was getting closer. He was not on the street but under my window. I have heard of other volunteers complain about men, usually drunk, serenade them at odd hours in the night, but never did I think it would happen to me. The men that frequent the two colomados around my house are watchful of me and never step over the line. Which is why I was surprised on this particular night. It made me smile though. I knew I didn’t need to acknowledge his presence under my window because that would only provoke him. As I listened closer I noticed and extra stream like sound that did not match the creek that runs parallel to my house. Indeed, the man was only singing while he peed from the side of my house into the creek. When I realized he was relieving himself I remembered that his was not the first time that this particular spot was used as a men’s urinal. Oh! The people here in the DR just use the bathroom whenever they feel like it.
In most towns here in the DR, there are select corners or alleys that are makeshift bathrooms, not only men but the women too are guilty of peeing where they please. While my parents were here in September we spent the last few days in Santo Domingo. There is one pedestrian/ tourist trap in the Zona Colonial called El Conde. We were walking along this street looking for dominos that had the flag of the DR or something, but when we couldn’t find any we headed back to our hotel. Taking a turn just off the street I saw a woman squatting between two parked cars. In the middle of the day, maybe even mid morning, there she was taking not only number one but also number two! I immediately slowed down so as not to have my parents see her in the act. Unfortunately my mother asked why I suddenly changed my pace. I could only then explain as the woman stood up to pull up her pants that she was using the bathroom and I didn’t want to disturb her. She had zero shame, looked me straight in the eye as if it were a normal thing to shit right there. I’ll give her the benefit of being high on crack or H or whatever Dominican’s shoot up here. But seriously nothing is worse than walking on the street and noticing that you just walked through the public and I mean very public bathroom. Oh the things we see.
Two years ago today
3 years ago