I have previously written about the perils of relationships with someone in a poorer countries and how it seems to center, in the end, around the issue of money. Well, during a trip to Santo Domingo, I made a casual acquaintance with a young man from Belgium who was establishing his roots in that city. He was a person full of dreams and all happy to carry out his fantasy in an exotic country. It is with sadness that I read on a website that he committed suicide. Why? Nobody knows, but from anecdotal comments, there are the usual reasons – ran out of money trying to build his dream (in his case, a hotel).
There are a lot of reasons why someone abandons his home country and re-starts life in another one. In the good old days of this country, people kept moving west, hoping to establish a new identity or hoping to find newer avenues to wealth. In my parents’ case, it was the sheer poverty of China that made them move to the southern part of this hemisphere.
Unlike my parents, I suspect that this young man did not arrive in Santo Domingo because he was escaping poverty. Instead, he sought adventure and a way to fulfill his fantasies. Sometimes, these fantasies are so real that they cloud our ability to see clearly. As I mentioned before, he was trying to build a hotel in the middle of Santo Domingo. I don’t really know the details of his project, but it seems that he just bit more than he could chew. It is tough making friends in a foreign land when everyone seems to see you as a walking ATM, no matter how hard you try to be part of that society.
To Bart Callebaut, wherever you are now, I hope you have been able to find what you were seeking. It was fun meeting you in this exotic planet of ours.