0157. A Dominican Colony in Pennsylvania (USA 084—new)
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Few Americans know that about a hundred years ago we occupied the Dominican Republic (something that Dominicans are painfully aware of). Even fewer Americans know that the Dominican Republic has set up a Colony right in the middle of Pennsylvania. This colony is called "Leyendo" (formerly known as "Reading", Pennsylvania)
The city architecture is still distinctly Pennsylvanian as are the forested hills in the background (there's a pagoda on top of a nearby hill--now that's even more confusing! where am I?!). But as you walk the streets, you quickly notice something’s different--all the shops and little restaurants are Dominican, all you hear is merengue wherever you go, all the people are Dominican--folks ambling about, relaxing, chatting in the laid back Dominican style... and on this hot humid day, all the ladies are abiding by Dominican dress code (no complaints about that!)...
And then I go past the county courthouse and... what do I see? All the sheriffs are crowded onto to benches out in front... smoking bigazz Dominican cigars!
I should have asked them to scoot over so I could pull out my guitar and provide some entertainment...
Just to be absolutely sure if my suspicions were correct--I go into a little shop and asked, in my faux Caribbean accent "Cuanto cuestan las empanadas?"
"Un peso" the guy answered.
I knew it! I knew it! They call dollars "pesos" here! What more proof do you need? I’m absolutely tickled by this most unexpected discovery here in the Pennsylvania heartland. And that ends my 5th Episode of this semester. We’ll see if next we I manage to sneak away again.