Cuba blog April 10, 2019

Submitted by eagle on Sun, 05/19/2019 - 15:53

Another gray day.


The wifi (or lack thereof) is frustrating.


The banking (or lack thereof) is frustrating.


Cubans have a funny way of lining up. Let's say you want to get into building, and there's a lineup (which is likely). Instead of a single line-up, there are often people standing around in two lines, plus a group of people milling about the entrance. To get in line, you walk up to around where you think there's a lineup, and ask "ultimo?" ("last?"). Someone should say that they're the last person, so you stand behind that person. Sometimes you ask who the last person is behind, so that you can go there if the last person leaves. On occasion someone walks right by the line and into the building, maybe just to ask a question. The line moves slowly, with people paying attention to make sure that they don't lose their spot. I think I've seen people jumping ahead in the line, but I'm not sure.


Today was another big day of happy disappointments, the Cuban way.


After taking care of some chores in the morning, went out to buy some antihistamines for sleep. I've had a hard time sleeping lately, not sure exactly which mix of stress, travel, different diet, or what is causing it. Previously I've asked at pharmacies if they sold anything for sleep, to which of course they replied "no." I thought I'd get clever, ask them for antihistamines, which often contain the same ingredients to make one drowsy as sleep aids do. I asked them if they had any. "No." I had difficulty explaining antihistamines, allergies, etc., in Spanish, so maybe there was some communication issue, but they adamantly refused to sell me anything.


Later, I went for a walk. Thought of buying a bicycle. I want to see more of Cuba, it's a relatively large island, so a bike seems practical. I was just about ready to buy one, but on further thought, decided to hold off. With the limited amount of cash I have, my American bank card not functional, I'm not sure whether it makes more sense to walk or bike around Cuba. Biking would be faster, more fun. However, it would cost a significant fraction of my on-hand cash, reducing the number of days I can stay here at present rates. Walking would give me more of a chance to think, while saving some money. Also, a bike involves other costs like replacing punctured tubes, buying a lock, etc. I still want to bike, but I'm not yet sure whether it makes the most sense…


In the evening, the places where I thought of eating weren't open or had other issues. So I wound up going back to a vegetable stand to which I'd previously been. I often prefer to go to new places, esp. while traveling.


Anyways, had a chance to see more of this beautiful city!


For the first time that I can remember, my feet didn't hurt too much while walking, or even running!


feet pix


Still some pain, but I feel much better.


Sandals broke again, of course! :)


After the communist revolution, most middle- & upper-class Cubans went to Miami. That explains much about Cuba.


By the way, what a noisy country. With people yelling, loud motors, dogs barking, etc. At 8:30 PM, some jackhammer or motor is blasting right next to my bedroom.


Cuba does not meet my notion of an ideal society.