April 24, 2014

Cuba Photo Diary Pt 1



 Tobacco leaves
 Vinales

Photos from Cuba. After visiting Cuba for the first time I have to say that Cuba is one of the most underrated places to go. The local food (not resort food, it was horrible) is delicious and super cheap. Old Havana is completely nostalgic while Havana itself is filled with old fashioned cars and it is a giant X-rated Disneyland. Like a baby learning to speak, the first sentences I learned in Spanish was "How much is this?" followed by "Too expensive!".

Cuba is actually really safe compare to other southern destinations. For one, out of the 13 million people living in Cuba 1 million of them are cops. There are cops on every other corner in Havana though that doesn't stop hustlers asking if you would like a hooker at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon. The first few days I was hustled and got scammed a few bucks, but by the 3rd day I was a pro at dealing with a hustler. My strategy was me screaming "no no no no!" then running the opposite direction after a guy asked me where I was from. Sure, I could learn a more polite rejection line in Spanish but 'no' is straight forward and universal. Like dumping someone, even if you dump them politely you still dumped them and they still hate you regardless.

One of the guys I was with decided to wear a fanny pack in which I swear turns hustlers' and hookers' eyes into dollar signs and gravitate them towards us. Why didn't we tell him to stop wearing a fanny pack? Because those who wear fanny packs have already decided to give up their dignity for a fanny pack, and how do you reason with someone like that?

And then there is reggaeton. I used to think that all spanish music sound the same, the cheesy carnival music that I can't tell a beginning of one song and the end of another song. But then I discovered reggaeton in which grew on me every time after a few drinks. "Would it be weird if I listen to reggaeton in my car from now on?" I asked. I wanted the answer to be no but of course it was yes, reggaeton would be my fanny pack. That's a fanny pack I'd wear for my future husband Enrique Iglesias though. Baliando!!