Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Report of what it's like to live there - 02/11/08

Personal Experiences from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 02/11/08

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No - I've lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Manilla, Philippines, Damascus, Syria, Santiago de Chile, Chile, and New York, New York

View All Answers


2. How long have you lived here?

Almost four years.

View All Answers


3. Travel time and best routes to this city from Europe or the US:

I usually take Iberia from Amsterdam. The Madrid airport is so much better than Charles de Gauille in Paris. And Air France is below par.

View All Answers


4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

I am affiliated with the Government, working for the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

View All Answers


Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Apartments are preferred due to security and maintenance issues. Owners of houses promise to do all the work but after a short while it's a nightmare

View All Answers


2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Higher than in Europe and the U.S.

View All Answers


3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Valium.

View All Answers


4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

All the typical American fast food joints. There are some good restaurants that are more expensive than Europe (no Indian restaurants but excellent Chinese).

View All Answers


Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

Diplomatic mail. Goods from example Amazon through Buisness Mail.

View All Answers


2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Cheap but the quality is questionable.

View All Answers


3. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

No problem in general, just a void using them in restaurants.

View All Answers


4. What English-language religious services are available locally?

View All Answers


5. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?

Yes, it is pretty reasonable. Cable is about US$25.

View All Answers


6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Spanish is an absolute must.

View All Answers


7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Many. A person without a disabilies almost breaks his leggs daily.

View All Answers


Transportation:

1. Do you drive on the right hand side of the road or the left?

Right-hand, at least you are supposed to.

View All Answers


2. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Yes, taxis are fine. The others I would not recommend.

View All Answers


3. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

SUV for your own safety.

View All Answers


Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes. I pay for broadband about US$80.

View All Answers


2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

View All Answers


3. What is the best way to make phone calls back home?

Skype.

View All Answers


Pets:

1. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?

Good.

View All Answers


Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

No.

View All Answers


2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Formal.

View All Answers


Health & Safety:

1. Pollution index (Good, Moderate, Unhealthy, or Very Unhealthy)?

Unhealthy. Buses and generators emit an enormous amount of black smoke.

View All Answers


2. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

View All Answers


3. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

No not really. There are very good dentists and doctors here.

View All Answers


4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Good. Fantastic climate most of the year.

View All Answers


Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

Carol Morgen - my son had a great time there and had no problem going to University in the Netherlands.

View All Answers


2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

View All Answers


3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

View All Answers


Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Small.

View All Answers


2. Morale among expats:

Bad. Everything is irritating. Traffic is a nightmare and getting anything repaired is impossible.

View All Answers


3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Minimum.

View All Answers


4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

View All Answers


5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

From what I have heard, yes.

View All Answers


6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

View All Answers


7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

If you like gold and the beach - this is the place. Otherwise it's quite boring.

View All Answers


8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Rum.

View All Answers


9. Can you save money?

Yes.

View All Answers


Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Never. I'm glad I'll be posted to Rio this summer.

View All Answers


2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Your sense of humour.

View All Answers


3. But don't forget your:

Good spirits - you'll need it.

View All Answers


4. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

View All Answers


5. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

View All Answers


6. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

View All Answers


7. Do you have any other comments?

If you're posted to Santo Domingo I wish you all the best.

View All Answers


Subscribe to our newsletter


New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More