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Day 10 in Havana!

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 04/09/2019 - 13:01

The artisanal fruit wines are delicious, although they do kind of taste the same to me. Maybe the process of wine-making removes some of the fruit flavors.

I'm still unsure what to write this book about, besides travel. Now thinking maybe something like Latin & Caribbean culture. That's part of travel, though. Does it need anything more?

Not sure how general or accurate this is… Seems like Cubans start the around 8 AM (some earlier, some later), have a relaxed day with some work & some eating & drinking, dine around 7 PM, socialize etc. until 11 PM (some earlier, some later). I think it's spread out more throughout the day than in North America… The latter seems to work harder during the day (esp. 9-5), then shut down earlier. In part perhaps because of the weather, in part perhaps because of the culture (which depends at least to some extent on the weather).

It's so noisy in Havana… Every street, every corner… It's full of people… Different noises than in the US… In the US, there are large trucks, sports cars, dogs barking, yelling… Here, there are old cars, dogs barking, people yelling… Maybe I'm just extra-sensitive…

I want my capitalism back…

Another night in La Havana. Tomorrow I'm supposed to go to the next place, if I rented it correctly…

Travel is hard, things generally don't go according to plan, especially in Cuba. You have to think on your feet, handle your emotions, etc. Also, figure out which activities to do, while navigating a foreign culture, language, streets, etc.

It's fun, but it's hard. But it's hard (for me anyways) to fit in back in one place. I get bored so easily. For me, travel gives me a chance for constant novelty.

In one place, getting bored quickly is a huge disadvantage, as it means that you run out of places to go. While traveling, getting bored quickly can be a huge advantage, as it keeps you going. Gives you motivation. Instead of just getting tired, giving in… you get tired, go on…

Travel is about one thing: going on.

A human is a remarkable device. Able to survive much. Able to move through much.

Came across a street where almost every building seemed to be a bike shop… Prices were somewhat higher than I'd hoped, ranging from around $100-500 US. One vendor said he'd get me a bike for $60. The bikes looked decent. I said I'd think about it, maybe come back to the street.

I think that Cuban people, like at least some other Latin people, have an aptitude for mechanical work. Even far away from the city center, the buildings are beautiful. I'm not sure whether Havana just has had a few talented architects, but I think that maybe it's part of the culture. Other Latin areas also seem to have beautiful architecture.

The city has some noticeable altitude, producing gorgeous views:

Maybe it takes a crazy kind of person to write. It's like thinking or talking about what you've done, but instead of just thinking or saying it, you write it down so that other people (or least yourself later) can read it. That seems like kind of a crazy thing to do.

This weekend I hope to get to the beach if there's a chance. I still haven't been to the beach yet in Cuba. I've been by the water, where there are buildings. I've seen beach pix. But I want to go.

The communism does seem to keep the population somewhat more cohesive. However, it also slows down development. I think that soon the revolution will become distant enough history.

There are tons of cafeterias (cafes). Instead of an expensive commercial establishment, as in the US, they're basically just front entrances from people's houses. There are a few different types, most have five cent (US) coffee, under a dollar ham & cheese sandwiches, & a few other items. Some don't have coffee, just juice. Some serve rum & cigars.

People often walk through the streets eating & drinking. I didn't realize that there are societies where it's considered acceptable to drink alcohol at any time of day.

Maybe being on an island is like being on a ship.

In addition to the cars, people drive around in motorcycles, many w/ sidecars, as well as three-wheel vehicles. There are a number of bikes on the streets.

The state organizes the economy, but there are also tons of independent vendors.

Cuba is quite large, for an island. It's around a thousand miles from Havana to the eastern side…

Walking is different than biking, it's slow enough that you don't speed by, while sometimes getting frustrated not going faster. I thought the same about biking before, compared to cars. Walking's about as slow as you can go, especially if you're hobbling around…

I've been throwing in some running, despite my feet, also some exercises, to keep in shape.

Cuba likes things sweet. My teeth have been feeling gross during the day, after eating so much sugar.

Finally managed to finish a quick load of laundry, rush out the door…

Cubans often speak & make loud noises… I guess because so many people are in the streets… It's common for people to call out to each other by name, or by making whistles or other sounds. I'm not sure that I've figured out exactly what all the sounds mean, but sometimes I hear a sound & realize that a person's calling me. Also, I've noticed that people sometimes send items up or down from the street to a second story apartment, using a rope & bucket system.

Generally I like being in Cuba, it's a cool country despite its setbacks, but it can be stressful. Not sure how much of the stress is adapting to being here, dealing w/ travel challenges, & other personal stresses, versus stresses particular to Havana…

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