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    10 Things Dominicans Realize When They Move Abroad

    A falta de casabe, pan.

    1. You've become a private investigator in the search for plantains.

    Ashley Almonte

    Then realizing that your country is the only one that refers to the plantain family as “viveres”, and when you do find plantains, you hesitate buying them because eso ta’ muy caro por un plátano.

    2. You hang out with Dominicans you never saw back home because “to’ somo’ familia.”

    Ashley Almonte

    We all become one big happy family because DR is "un patio."

    3. You now have to get used to checking the weather EVERY TIME you leave the house.

    Ashley Almonte

    Then not wearing enough layers because “el dominicano e’ fuerte y no coge esa” or wearing too many layers porque "ese frio ta’ que pica."

    4. You know more Bachatas, Merengues and Perico Ripiaos than you thought you did and now you jam to them at the club or karaoke.

    Ashley Almonte

    Screaming in the club when they play anything in Spanish... even "La Macarena."

    5. Nobody in your house is going to constantly interrogate you anymore (AND BY NOBODY I MEAN YOU, MOM!).

    Ashley Almonte

    ¿Y tu no crees que es muy tarde? ¿Con quien vas? ¿Tu viste con quién anda la hija de la vecina? ¿De dónde tu conoces a esa gente? ¿Que hacen sus padres? ¿Quien te trae?

    6. Living without “Merengue” soda is very hard.

    Ashley Almonte

    Then going through the following stages:

    -Having to explain that Orange Fanta is not Merengue.

    -Not even knowing how to explain what Merengue taste like.

    -Going home thinking, what do these people drink at kids’ birthday parties?

    7. You constantly have to explain that Punta Cana is NOT a country.

    Ashley Almonte

    It is so hard to hold back your reaction when people say “ooh Punta Cana?” when you start to explain where you are from, or having to control yourself when someone refers to the DR as “The Dominican,” its DR or the whole thing!

    8. You search Google for, "Dominican Hair Salons near me" a LOT.

    Ashley Almonte

    Trying to wrap your mind around the idea of having to spend roughly $30 dollars will only get your nails done, instead of a full head do, nails, eyebrows, and probably a hair treatment.

    9. You miss the “cocinao.”

    Telesistema

    The local Dominican restaurant (if you are lucky enough to have one in your city) will never compare to your grandma’s cooking, and don’t even get me started on trying to remake one of your mom’s recipes.

    10. You’re the only ones allowed to complain about your country. Juan Pablo Duarte nos queda chiquito when someone else dares to have a say on how things work in the Dominican Republic.

    Matthias Lindner / Getty Images

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