Sketchy Food

SANTIAGO, D.R.–There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.

Click-Click-Click . . .

Nothing’s happening, dude.

Last night, after returning from Venezuela’s upset win over Aguilas, I went to the hotel restaurant to get something to eat. As I walked in, a rat–not like a New York City subway rat, but nice-sized; let’s call it ‘pleasantly plump’–stood up on its hind legs and looked at me for a second before scampering back into the kitchen.

Seconds later, the cook started making cat sounds. "Meeeeowwww! Meeeeowwww! Meeeeowwww!"

It was a bizarre situation to be in–like a scene from ‘Ratatouille,’ but without the animation. The waiter came over and handed me a menu. I told him, in completely broken Spanish, that I thought I was hungry but decided I was more tired than anything else.

All I could think of was the fact that I ate breakfast there every day this week. Think I’ll be passing on that from here on out. So far, the best options I’ve found are Dominos pizza and Pringles. Both those options come at the ballpark, where the menu is either Dominos or the ‘Food Court’ that sits sort of next to the press box. I haven’t ventured up into that little corner of this world just yet.

Speaking of food, I passed by this little stand outside someone’s house again today where three men sit on chairs next to about a seven-foot high rack with slabs of slaughtered parts of cows hang, gently blowing in the breeze. My question is, were they the same slabs of cows I saw yesterday or the day before or do they get new parts to hang up and try to sell?

Here’s another question: Why aren’t the 15-year-olds and 16-year-olds I’ve seen at workouts over the last several days in school?

And now for some random facts:

1) The price of gas in the Dominican, in U.S. dollars is $4.84 per gallon. This might explain why every cab I’ve taken has a minimal amount of gas in their tanks. It’s either that or, given the fact that they’re all late 1970s and 1980s Toyotas, the gas gauge is just broken.

2) The average monthly household income in the Dominican is just over $2000 pesos. There are 33 pesos for ever U.S. dollar. With the price of gas being what it is, that means a lot of Mopeds. And a lot of walking.

3) Edward Salcedo still hasn’t signed, but apparently Cleveland is closing in on him. Salcedo worked out at the Arizona complex here in the Dominican two weeks ago. According to several sources, the Giants offered Salcedo $2.5 million and he turned it down.

4) Nelson Figueroa will be a hero in the Dominican for a long time.

5) Matt Tupman might be too.