Ginnie Bedggood, author of the excellent Quisqueya: Mad Mad Dogs and English Couple, sadly passed away on 3 June 2010. Here’s Kay’s personal tribute to her.
Dave reviews Quisqueya, Ginnie Bedggood’s account – at turns funny, candid and hard-hitting – of her first eight years as an expat in the Dominican Republic. Compulsory reading for any expat planning to move to a developing country!
“Photos of the worthy aspirants were included because not everyone can read. Even then not all could see: one elderly lady held her voting paper up close to her eyes and remonstrated with her daughter, ‘Hey! You didn’t tell me I voted for Baldy.'” Ginnie Bedggood looks at the often chaotic count in the 2006 Dominican Republic elections.
“Candidates do not canvass door to door here. Instead they have ‘caravans’ – motorcades with the candidate sitting on the roof of an SUV via the sun roof, surrounded by supporters in a procession of vehicles. Plus the ubiquitous mobile ghetto-blaster, of course.” Ginnie Bedggood takes a wry look at election campaigning DR style!
“Most decent expats are far too busy to spend hours daily propping up an expat watering hole. So if you “accidentally” come across bar-room wisdom from someone who seems to have all the answers, contacts, friends in high places etc. to make your transition to your new life really easy… find out from the bar staff how often they frequent the place and then ask yourself why they do not appear to do anything else.” More salutary advice from Ginnie Bedggood on how to prepare for that move to the DR.
“Do not base a decision to relocate to the Dominican Republic on a two-week holiday at an all-inclusive resort here. Real life is very different. Well, of course, it must be, silly woman, what sort of advice is this? I can hear the seeds of scepticism slowly bursting into bud in your cerebral cortex. But… it happens!” Author Ginnie Bedggood, a long-term resident of the DR, warns prospective migrants to take off their rose-tinted specs before committing themselves.