Santo Domingo Stories and Tips

One Trip to Forget--Still, I Would Go Back!

I want to start by saying that this is the first time anything like this has happen to me, and no matter happened on this trip, I'll be going back to visit really soon.

The main purpose was to start/finish filming my little project I been cooking up for the last 2 years, my film. This is all true, and even though I like to add some spice to my stories, this time I didn't have to.

On Thursday December 8th, I was at Newark Airport, getting ready to board my flight to the Dominican Republic. It was cold as hell here and I couldn't wait to leave. The forecast called for snow, but that was much later in the afternoon, so I was in the clear. As I was checking in, I noticed that the clerk was not paying attention to what she was doing and put my claim ticket on someone else's bag. I quickly corrected her--little did I know that this was the beginning of a crazy trip. The actual flight to DR was pretty good, nothing out of the ordinary. One thing I did notice was that they were taking out bags out of the plane at Newark. Hey, I wasn’t worried, I was lucky enough to be flying first-class. Anyways, the planes lands in DR--people are clapping and everyone is excited. Now we are all walking down the aisle toward immigration and locals are handing you drinks of rum to welcome you to the motherland. Anywho, immigration is a breeze. I pass through the doors and hell is unleashed!!! People are running around like chickens without heads, children crying, etc. I make my way to the baggage belt with the Newark inbound sign. People are going nuts and never have I seen so many bags before--I knew I should have packed light. Anyways, 30 minutes passed and I didn’t see my bag. I wasn’t worried--I traveled first-class! If anything, my bag should be coming out any minute now--1 hour has passed and bags are STILL coming out. When a airline rep comes out and says NO MORE BAGS ARE COMING OUT, I am pissed. It turns out that my bags were part of those they left behind because the plane was overweight. Just great!!! Her are I am in DR without swimming shorts to just go to the beach!!! Great. Now I’m in the airline office finding out what to do next. They tell me that they’ll give me $50 the first day the bag's missing and $25 every day after that. Hey, what can I do, so I left to pick up my car rental.

At this point nothing surprise me, so I’m at the rental office picking up my car when the l rep tells me the they gave my car away because I was suppose to pick up the vehicle 2 hours ago. I thought I was going to flip, but no, instead I said, “You can either fabricate a car right now or call the central office in the city and have them send another car right now, the exact same car.” So they did the call the office and a car was on its way. While waiting, they offered me coffee and cookies. About 35 minutes later, the car arrives and everything is in order. I jump in my car and head to the city. I arrive at my aunt's house and all is good. I told her what happened and she suggests a visit to the local mall and get some clothes. I did manage to get some swimming shorts, underwear, and socks. Sunday, 2 days later, my bag arrives. The lock is still there and there is no visual damage--great! I take my bag up stairs, open it up--WHAT THE HELL!!! It looks as if someone went through my stuff, so I quickly go thought through my bag, and sure enough, some electronic equipment is missing, as are some perfumes, etc. Again, not a surprise. Now I have to go back to the airport to claim the items that are missing. So I did. The next 3 days are not eventful, but on Thursday the fun starts again.

A buddy of mine sent some stuff for his girl, a purse, video camera, and some perfumes. Well, the perfumes where gone, but the camera and purse did make it. I drop the purse of at her house but forgot the video camera, which I placed under the driver seat, since I was making a couple of stops and didn’t want anyone breaking a window for a crappy camera, so I decided to go back to her house. As I’m driving back, a light falls. I think that people forget how to drive when it starts raining, and as I was nearing her house, a crazy cab cuts me off to pick up a passenger to his right. I hit the breaks and look through the rear-view mirror to see this HUGE truck coming towards me. It turns out that he hits the brakes about 20 yards back, but his tires where so worn out that he was just sliding, at this point I just brace my self for impact--CRASH! The bastard takes out the left rear tail light, along with some of the trunk. I check myself--I’m good and get out to check the car. The hit wasn’t as bad as it sounded. He did pop both of my headlights out, not sure how, but he did. Luckily a traffic cop was there to SEE it all. We head down to the police station do a report. At this point I’m wondering what else can go wrong, what have I done to deserve all this fun. Well, I go to the car rental and they give me a new car--I was covered. I figure I have 4 more days to go, better keep it low-key, maybe a beach day here and there, but that’s it.

Well, Monday rolls around--I made it! I made it to the end of the trip. I drop off the car at the airport and go to check in--FLIGHT 754 DELAYED 3 hours. Keep in mind that it’s 11am and the flight was suppose to leave at 2pm, so now the flight is leaving at 5pm (maybe), so what is Kris to do? Sleep, why not? Believe it or not, I slept a good 2 hours. Anyway, I was lucky enough to get a first-class seat. We are now cruising at 32,000 feet when the captain comes on the PA and announces that we won’t be able to watch the film because one power generators wasn’t working. He later follows with the classic, “There is no need to worry. We have two backup generators and they are working fine.” Regardless, we still had no movie for 3 hours, and all the lights on the plane are off. It’s about 8pm and pitch-black out--only the lights on the floor are on. I did what I would have done any other time-- go to sleep.

It looks like the plane just keeps going around in circles at Newark. I can see the runway below and flashing lights. Again, nothing at this point would surprise me. When the planes lands, there is a line of emergency vehicles and police cars lined up on the runway. I figure that's not for us--wrong again. The cars start to follow the plane to the gate. Just before we get to the gate the plane stops. They open the door and grab some dude. No struggle, he just goes with them. It turn out that he was a fugitive who they let board in DR to catch him here. At this point I had had just about enough. As soon as the doors open, I just grab my bag and do the mad dash to immigration. It’s like a 10-minute walk from the plane. I’m the first one there--YES! As I start searching for my papers, guess what I left back in the plane in the pocket in front of me!!!! ARGGGGG!!! I just started to laugh like a crazy person. A lady was just informed that my papers where found. Ahhh, what a relief. She told me that I could go meet the person halfway if I wanted to. I said sure, so I started to walk back. Before I knew it, I was back at the gate where the plane was. I push the door and an alarm rang. I figure I might as well just keep walking. NOW I’m all the way in the plane AGAIN, the cleaning crew is there and as shocked as I was. Anyways, I walked over to my seat and sure enough my papers were gone, so I figure I might as well go back. Only one little problem--all those doors I walked through were one-way unless you had the code to open them, so now I’m stuck in between the plane and the gate, with no way out except the runway. Now I’m stuck for 45 minutes. And the cleaning crew is gone--my only option is walk down to the runway and get someone's attention or get arrested.  Just as I’m about to walk out to the runway, one of those one-way doors pops open. It’s the lady who found my papers. She asks me what was I doing there and I said looking for her. She says that if I would have walked down to the runway, I would have committed a federal offense. I tell her that nothing surprises me anymore. The fact that I was able to go all the way back to the plane kinda worries me. I saw about 15 to 20 cameras on my way back, and you mean to tell me NO ONE saw me walking back and hanging around the plane?

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