For the record, while traveling in the Dominican, we have never made it through the capital of Santo Domingo without getting lost. Back at the end of March, we made another pass at trying to get through Santo Domingo LOCO - this time following the signs to the international airport with stellar precision (because we were traveling to Bayahibe - which is past the airport. Bayahibe with be another post soon - incredible place!) Anyhoo, when we ended up under an overpass at a place that looked like this
Jon was scratchin' his head and I was snapping away (OF COURSE). We somehow ended up in the middle of a street market with mounds of clothes, shoes, blankets on one side of the road and fresh produce on the other side. I was salivating at the colors and chaos and juicy rawness of it all!
So glad for this gloriously cultural detour.
Is it still considered bumper to bumper traffic if the bumpers are missing? YES! This is a very accurate and honest depiction of traffic in the capital. So here's the low down on how this works: the van (a.k.a. guagua) is LOADED full of people, and there is a guy hangin' out the OPEN guagua with his hand raised motioning to people on the street that there is still plenty of room (which you should know no matter how many people, chickens or children are in there, there is ALWAYS room for more!) in the vehicle for whoever is going in a particular direction.
The coaster (big bus) is also FULL of people, and it's back end is clearly sticking out in the way. So the guy hangin' out the guagua door hops out, and gives the coaster a pat on the rump, and the coaster pulls forward for the guagua to pass with .10 centimeter to spare. For REAL!
And away they go! The vehicles are super close to one another and we have a STRICT "no limbs or heads out the window" policy for this reason!
In comparison, this little intersection a few blocks away makes this little cart of plantains (platanos - like bananas, but different :) look so peaceful, doesn't it?
And I was window shopping with my telephoto lens . . . . I'll take the hot pink ones, please. And you know I WILL!
And all I can think about here is pineapple upside down cake. I can't help it - that's how I roll.
The truth is, we still don't know how to make it through the capital in a direct manner, but that's okay because the joy is in the journey, and if we had gone direct, we would have missed all this.