Dominican Moment: A Story of Dirty Food

This is great!  I’m working on an island, speaking a different language (sometimes two), and I’m surrounded by international expats, locals and palm trees.  And tonight, dinner, drinks, and hanging out with friends at the local bar.  What more could you want?

Chris & Mady’s is a big (for the area) size open air restaurant near the end of the road that dead ends at Ocean World.  The house where I lived was just up the street, the Pink House.  It was literally a three minute walk to the restaurant where I was meeting some of my co-workers for dinner and beer.  The ceiling fans were circulating the cool ocean breeze, reminding us that the beach and ocean were close enough to trip over, again literally.

The menu is pretty extensive for the closet size kitchen, but waiting for your food is never an issue, because you will always wait a long time.  It’s just the way it is.  I ordered the shrimp and rice, and nursed my Presidente beer while sharing laughs and stories with my fellow work buddies.  The park had not opened yet, so there was still experimentation with animal interactions, progressive training, and less than progressive construction occupying our daytime hours.

We all got our food at different times.  When it was ready it was brought out.  Feeding eight people at our table alone along with the scattering of a few others was a big hassle for the two people in the closet.  My shrimp and rice finally arrived along with another Presidente, and I ate with gusto after the eternal wait.  The food is cheap in the DR, so going out was more of a routine than a special occasion.

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The food quantity was huge so I didn’t finish it, and didn’t even finish the second beer. Presidente is a hearty beer that’s more of a meal by itself.  An hour or maybe two later I wasn’t feeling all that great.  I went home, and felt worse.  I moved into the bathroom for most of the night.

The next day was still not a safe day.  I told my Mexican roommate, Monica, that I think I had a bad dish of shrimp.

“You’re just not used to the food.  You Americans are so clean with your food.  We are used to street food with the pollution and car exhaust.  Our food is dirty.  We have stronger stomachs.”

So I’m just another American wimp who expects ultra-sanitary conditions when my food is prepared.  Silly me!

A week later, Monica invited me out with the gang to Chris & Mady’s.  I said “I’ll go, but I’m not eating the food.  Just beer.”

The next morning as I was getting ready for work, Monica was hogging the bathroom a lot longer than usual.

“Oh, Teeffony, I am seek.  Bad food at Chris & Mady’s.”

I guess an “I told you so” would be extremely rude at this point.

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Post Author: Tiffany

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