Finally, about 20 minutes later we arrive in the city of Cabarete. I breathe a sigh of relief. Cabarete is lit up like South Beach; there are people in the streets and on the sidewalks. Loud music pours out of the many bars, lounges and clubs that line the sidewalks. Our driver, Marcos, takes us to a tiny bar/lounge.
Marcos seems to know all of the people working there. Him and his friend bring us to a table, pull up some chairs and ask us if we want to order some drinks. I ginger ale'd it because I wasn't too comfortable having a drink just yet. I don't think the rest of my travel buddies ordered alcohol either. The guys had beers.
We didn't stay at this location long. We left, and walked to the next location. As we were walking down the streets (crowded with loud and drunken party goers), I remember seeing a police pick-up truck filled with cops sitting in the open cargo area. The cops were dressed in camouflage gear and armed with assault rifles. "Interesting", I remember thinking; this was different. I had seen cops with rifles in Jamaica, but to see them in a military-style pick-up as if ready for war was a little unsettling to say the least.
We walk a few blocks down and settle in at this open-air bar/lounge. Marcos and his friend (again) find us a table in what looks to be a makeshift VIP area in the back. Similar to the last place, they ask if we want drinks. By this time we felt a little more comfortable in our surroundings. We order our drinks from the bar and go back to our fake VIP section. My friends are laughing and dancing, though I noticed Marcos and his sidekick are now trying to see which of the girls they can hook up with. "Wrong crowd," I remember thinking and laughing to myself.
Mind you, we haven't paid for any of our drinks. Keep that tidbit in mind.
So the night continues on and I start to notice a few things. I saw a young woman walk up to a man and rub his back, whisper in his ear. He shakes his head "no". I see another woman leaned in close and talking with her hand on another man's lap.
I see what's going on here and I bring it to my friends attention. Once my eyes were open, it was literally all around us. Women (old and young) were selling themselves.
We moved from our "VIP" area up to the front, closer to the street. The seats by the area that overlooked the street had a clear view of the club across the road. "Club 59 Classic" was the name of it. There were women of all types in scantily clad clothing approaching random men passing by or entering the club. One woman, resembling a 2000-esque J-Lo walked up to a guy a kissed him full on the mouth.
I couldn't believe what my eyes were seeing.
To be continued!