I created this when we lived in the Dominican Republic
Sept 9, 2002
To better prepare you for your visit, we have prepared the following
simple quiz. Please send us your answers and we will let you know if you are mentally prepared to come. Take your time. This is an open notes quiz.
1. You know you are in a third world country when:
A. the light emitted from your laptop screen is the brightest thing
in a three mile radius of your house
B. you feel no guilt about tearing the tag off your pillow and or
C. you are glad to have a pillow and or mattress.
D. if you tear the tag off your pillow and or mattress, the ants will gladly carry it off for you (the pillow and/or mattress, that is; the tag you have to take outside and burn with all the rest of your trash - preferably on the side of the street in front of your neighbors house under a large tree. Make sure you also burn lots of styrafoam plates at the same time and be certain a breeze is blowing. Do not burn all trash on one day, rather scatter the burning throughout the week so that any foreigners living nearby will have heart attacks daily when they think something electrical in their homes is on fire).
E. all of the above
2. Cold showers:
A. are a nice refreshing break after a hot day's work
B. are easy to get into without screaming
C. are cold and not nice in any way other than you no longer stink
after making yourself take one
D. are even more fun when the city water stops after you have soaped up
3. Which of the following would be considered rude behavior in by
A. honking your horn outside someone's home to get their attention.
B. playing your music at ear splitting decibels late at night and
during all other times when electricity is available and often by battery power as well.
C. attempting to play your different music louder than that of your
D. giving someone something without putting it in a bag or envelope first
E. cutting in line
F. driving through a neighborhood late at night with music blaring
out of your car
G. driving without a tailpipe on your motorcycle
4. Which of the following is not illegal:
A. driving a motorcycle without a helmet
B. riding in the front seat of a car without a seatbelt
C. carrying four passengers on a motorcycle, all passengers without helmets
5. Why should you carry a copy of your driver's license rather than
the real thing:
A. In case you lose the original
B. To keep the police from taking your original and demanding money for it's return
C. It takes up less weight in your wallet that way
6. If you are caught driving your scooter or motorcycle without a
the penalty is that:
A. the police take your scooter or motorcycle
B. the police take your license
C. you must pay a fine
D. All of the above
7. When you are walking down the street and you hear a sound like air hissing out of tires:
A. the bike next to you just got a flat
B. someone wants your attention (likely a guy who hisses at every
woman who walks by, but more insistently at white American women)
C. an American woman (ie. Jenn) is playing a joke on her Dominican male friends by hissing at women and then ducking behind a wall.
D. B often and C seldom, but known to happen
8. Turkeys, cows, horses, goats, cats, chickens and dogs all share
which of the following:
A. the road
B. the trash piled on the side of the road
C. both A and B
9. It is unusual to see which thing when walking to work in the
A. 5 people riding one scooter
B. a man carrying un-pasteurized milk on his head in a metal
container to sell it
C. the ice cream man on a bicycle with a cooler and a bell
D. cows in the road
E. a white American
F. someone riding a horse and pulling a foal alongside
G. a new, diesel SUV
I. hoards of mosquitoes
J. men gathered for the day under a tree to play dominoes on
cardboard on their laps
K. someone selling orange juice made with green oranges
L. a child bathing in a puddle
M. a goat tethered to a bush
N. men building houses
O. women throwing water on the street outside their houses to keep street dust down
True or False (Si o No)
10. It is more important to have power than water.
11. You will choose to go to a good friend's house for dinner on a
night when you happen to have both power and water, rather than stay home and do laundry.
12. Spanish is easy to learn.
13. Your spoken English is easy for English speaking Dominicans to
14. Cows eat bananas.
15. Most spiders in your house are over 3" in diameter.
16. Rats live outside, only.
17. All cats instinctively know how to use a litter box.
18. Gas is almost twice the price of diesel.
19. Gas is over $3 per gallon.
20. Electric bills and other bills may never reach you because there
are no house numbers and few street signs. The preferred method of bill delivery is throwing them over fences and hoping neighbors give them to whomever they belong.
21. No one has a mail box.
22. You will constantly hear the following contradiction, "people
are nice, but don't trust them."
23. Frogs are loud creatures that can easily grow larger than
24. Pretend your husband has invited people over for dinner Saturday night. Pretend you were supposed to work most of the day Saturday, so you opted for something easy: steak, green beans, baked potatoes and a salad. For part A of this quiz question, you must determine the approximate the amount of time necessary for each step to make the SALAD. Part B is to total the amount of time spent in salad preparation, then guess the remaining amount of time necessary to make the steak, potatoes and the green beans and determine three things. First, the total time needed to prepare the meal. Second, whether the meal will the ready by 6pm on Saturday. Third, the amount of work outside of meal preparation accomplished by the meal preparer during the day on Saturday.
Step One: Run to store and pick up produce.
lock up house (shut windows on street side to try and keep down dust)
walk to farmer's market (swim through puddles in streets, ignore
multiple motorcycle ride offers, including those from reputable concho drivers, as repeated 10 peso rides add up)
join other ladies in picking up and examining every piece of produce on table
pretend you can determine which dirt covered item is good
select lettuce or cabbage depending on availability as base for salad
repeatedly try and get sellers attention
utilize all seven words you know of Spanish to try and get seller's
play charades to try and determine price of item
notice that price of items changes depending on purchaser and whether farmer or son is quoting price
get in line
be glad you are second in line
fight off little old ladies who jump in front of you (minimum 12, all
wait 20 minutes for old lady who only had one bag in her hand to
weigh her 50 other, previously hidden purchases
grab scale and shove other people out of the way
pull out all your money
give it to farmer and hope to get change
give some pesos to begging Haitian woman with small child in arms
marvel at the amount of produce that can be shoved in one bag
marvel at the lack of concern farmer's son has about putting a
cabbage on top of tomatoes
Walk home carrying bag of produce
juggle produce while attempting to reach through gate door to unlock it
struggle to open gate
unlock remaining locks to get into house
open windows to breathe
take produce to kitchen
Step Two: Wash produce
Take out teapot and some bowls
blow ants off tea pot and bowls
put teapot under faucet to fill with water
determine that water is off in house
walk through mud to check to see if water is on at faucet in yard
that is nearer to water main (it is)
fill shallow plastic tub that fits under yard faucet with water
go back into house while waiting for tub to fill (mental note: must now mop porch)
take off shoes
pull outside leaves off lettuce or cabbage
put on shoes
go outside to get water in shallow tub
pick up juaga fruit that fell on ground near tub to give to friend
who knows what the heck to do with them (3 day preparation for some tea that is supposedly very tasty)
take off shoes
try and fill teapot from tub (blow ants off again first)
try to strike moist match to light stove
try to strike tenth moist match to light stove
light another match because last one went out when wind blew through
Boil water for five minutes minimum
cool water in bowl
try to cool water faster in fridge
pray that power will come on
add capful of clorox to cooled water in bowl
scrub veggies with rough sponge thing
rinse off veggies with another tub of water from yard
soak veggies for two hours in bowl of cooled water containing clorox
drain water and shake excess off veggies
fill a second bowl with drinking water
soak veggies in drinking water
Step Three: Prepare salad
look for clean bowl
wish water was on so you could wash dishes
wish power was on so you could see ants clearly before they bite you
drag hose into house from faucet near street (first wipe mud off hose so as not to have to re-scrub floors since that takes forever with string mop that is difficult for foreigners to use and requires use of bucket full of water)
realize water from yard doesn't have enough pressure to go up hill
two feet remove hose from house (cut it into small pieces with machete while cussing out loud)
bring in buckets of water from kids pool to rinse off other dishes to
help discourage hoards of biting ants
take off shoes
pick ants off produce
rip or cut produce
place salad creation in dark fridge in preparation for eating
wish you had salad tongs
be exceedingly thankful you bought salad dressing that keeps okay in heat last time you got to go shopping in a neighboring city.
Step Four: Serve salad
spill one drop of salad dressing on corner of table
wait 22 seconds
marvel at ants defying law of physics that states: no two things can
occupy the same
space at the same time.
wish you had more salad . . .
apologize to boss for only getting 1/4 of interior of shed painted as that was your work for the day.
25. You know you are in a Caribbean Country when the which of the following are not so:
A. Everyone you meet has a story about the last time they had
B. Sawdust on your floor means it's time to buy termite poison
C. All activities begin 1-2 hours after the designated time
D. You see multitudes of palm trees 3 hours from the ocean, in the
driest, most humid and desolate city on the island (La Vega, of course)
E. You can buy tea cups at the local hardware store
F. You are sexually desirable for more reasons than the fact that
you have a United States passport
(this last question contributed by my friend Jenn)