The Honeymooners: One Full Day
The next day started innocently enough. Shower. Try to do something with my unruly hair. Get dressed. Head to breakfast. Eat a mediocre meal. Stephen suggests we try this weird tea that sort of smells like like a porta-potty when you put the bag in hot water so I don’t drink it.
Unbeknownst to us, the bracelets we were wearing in order to gain access to the many all-inclusive benefits available to us at this fabulous resort were given to us with a secret purpose. Ours were gold colored, making us clearly identifiable as non-members of the timeshare, RCI. So RCI hires guys to just sort of wander around the resort, near the cafeteria and the bar areas, waiting to snag non-members such as ourselves in order to lure them away to a meeting with an RCI agent. They offer promises of a “free gift” and “tour”.
We were surprised when one stuck himself directly in our way as we left the cafeteria that morning, shoved his hand out in the typical American handshake greeting (which is very unnatural for Dominicans), and said “Hello!!” far too enthusiastically.
Us: Uhh, hi… (we both shake his hand)
Him: My name is something something and where are you from???
Stephen: We’re from Colorado. (I’m sceptical. I’m not saying anything.)
Him: something… work for RCI… something?
Him: I’m a guy who works for RCI… something come to a meeting this morning? Something free gift for you. Invitation something in your welcome packet.
(We exchange puzzled glances)
Stephen: I don’t think we got a welcome packet. Anyway, we just finished eating, so…
Him: Well maybe you just come round this way tomorrow around 9, yes?
Stephen: Sure, we’ll be here all week. We’ll stop by. (Lies)
Really the conversation was longer than that but I was so confused by a) his accent, b) his affected enthusiasm, c) the fact that Stephen kept talking to him even after it became obvious that he was just hustling us, and I don’t remember it word for word. The thing is, when Stephen was in the D.R. the first time, he was just hanging out with regular people who were genuine and nice and honest, so every time we talked to one of these guys, he was waiting for a sparkle of honesty somewhere in their fakey insincere demeanor, but it never happened.
After that we decided to chill on the beach and read. We put sunscreen on, changed into swimsuits and headed out. At the bar another RCI guy spotted us. He told us we wanted a Puerto Plata tour (which we would get if we went to the meeting, I guess). Stephen said “No, we don’t.” The guy said, “I think you do, you want a tour…” I decided to crush this man’s efforts once and for all by interjecting, “We don’t want a tour. We’re on our honeymoon. We’re getting drinks and towels and going to the beach. Goodbye.” I took Stephen by the hand and left the guy mumbling after us.
We had a great afternoon at the beach, while it lasted. I drank a little more than I should have considering the heat and the fact that I hadn’t eaten or drank much water. We played in the ocean for a while but we both hurt our feet and got out (Stephen tripped and cut his foot, I stepped on something and got a splinter thing in the ball of my foot). We went back to the hotel room and took a nap. Honestly the rest of the afternoon and evening is a complete blur to me because I came down with food poisoning. I think I told Stephen I was dizzy and I think he helped me walk with him to the cafeteria hoping I just needed to eat. I took a pile of lettuce and some rice and ate 2 or 3 of the pieces of lettuce. The smell of all that food made me feel even more queasy and Stephen must have decided I needed to go back to the room. I felt a little better after throwing up in the bushes but Stephen made me take Pepto Bismol when I started to feel sick again.
By this time I had an impressive sunburn revealing itself on my back, shoulders, chest, stomach, thighs, and scalp, despite the fact that I had sunscreen on. So I’m dizzy, too burned to move, can’t walk on one foot (reference my injury diagram, above), and can’t walk at all on the slippery hotel room floor. Stephen went to buy some aloe vera but returned fuming when he discovered the outrageous prices. I think that’s when he decided he wanted to go home. I decided when I was retching in the bushes. Enough is enough!