We had a few hours before we had to turn in the rental car so we went shopping in Puerto Plata.  At a big department store I was able to get 2 pairs of very nice jeans for Tessa, a pair of shoes for Tessa, and a pair of sandals for Tristan, all for under $30.00 US dollars.  Tessa’s brand of jeans I know sell for over $30.00 each in the US.  Really nice jeans are cheap here, usually about $10.00.  The problem is that Dominican women are very, very skinny.  Also, they are not very tall.  I consider myself average height, but I feel like an Amazon woman around them sometimes!!  I did get a very cute shirt for 350 pesos, a little more than $10.00.

I needed to put gas in the car before we returned it.  Since the gas station was on the opposite side of the road, divided by a concrete barrier, I had to do a U turn at the stoplight.  I am not sure U turns are entirely legal,  but you hardly ever see policeman here.  So I started my U turn, but had to turn wide then cut back in because of a bus parked there.  As I looked back over my shoulder I was extremely surprised to see a policeman on a motorcycle behind me.  He was thinking I was going straight and nearly ran into the back of me and was struggling to keep his bike upright.  He was not happy.  Through the car windows are eyes met.  My eyes widening in surprise, his narrowing in anger.  I took full advantage of the fact that he was struggling with his motorcycle and kept going, praying that he wasn’t going to follow me.  Tristan put me at ease.  “Don’t worry Mom.  He won’t come after you.  He already has someone on the back of his bike.”  Thank goodness for that!

I made it to the gas station, then decided to stop at the grocery store to pick up some milk.  When we parked, a little boy came up to the car saying he was hungry.  I told him to wait until after I got out of the store.  When we came out he was still there.  Dan reminded me that you can’t give money to kids under the age of 10.  It’s illegal.  He looked so pitiful.  I started to hand him a handful of coins but he looked up and then ran off.  A man came up to the car, very unhappy with me.  He was lecturing me in Spanish.  On one side I have him lecturing me in spanish, and what he is saying I don’t have a clue, and Dan on the other side lecturing me in English saying “I told you.  You can’t give kids money.”  Very helpful Dan!

I had no idea what the guy was saying to me but when he made the motion of hands in handcuffs, I got the picture.  All I could say was “Gracias” and wait for him to stop.  Visions of a third world prison were running through my head.  Finally, he was done.  I nodded my head, said “Gracias” again, and headed off.  My second brush with third world justice in under an hour!!  It was time to go home.