I was sitting on a terrace, reading a book and I had the best opening for this post. I wouldn’t get (probably) Pulizer prize for it but still it was a good one. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a pen or anything to write on and the need to finish a beer was too strong to fight with it. I’ve decided to finish it (beer of course) and then go downstairs and write it all down.
I am sitting in my friends’ kitchen now, 3 weeks later, wondering how I wanted to continue this post and nothing comes into my mind. I know that it’s not the best start of a post but I got lazy over this few months. At this moment, I just decided to use the opportunity that I got back my power (most of it) and I am feeling much more better than in the last few days. I blame rum, Cuban pizzas, rum, and sandwiches for that. Did I mention rum? I had more pizzas during 3 weeks of my stay there that in the entire years and I believe that I can apply for appearance in Guinness records.
Cuba was an abstract country. It still is in my head. There were moments where I regretted my decision to stay almost 3 weeks. Then, there were places that I really loved and I’ve meet people I really enjoyed. Lack of easy Internet access didn’t bother me that much. Actually, it was really refreshing and we had to rely more on people, more on locals than on google. Then again, many people we asked for information or advice didn’t know how to help us (but still tried to and in many cases we were sent to totally other place) or decided that it will be easier to call us a taxi. Explaining them that “no, thank you, we want to walk” was greeted with a funny look on their faces and sentence “so far, no, taxi”. 2 km isn’t that far but hey, what do we know? We are from Europe, we are rich, we can spend $10 for a ride.
I’ve met a few people in Cuba and now in Mexico, travelling alone, that in a way they were also disappointed in Cuba. It wasn’t what we expected. Views were nice, people were smiley, music was everywhere but there was something weird about the place. Maybe cause tourists were, somehow, separated from locals? I mean there was still interaction and I managed to travel by local bus and truck but still there was something wrong. Whenever we asked about a local place or how to find a truck station there were trying to point us in direction of a fancy restaurant (or better, take us there) or a taxi driver that will take us for only $30 for a distance that would normally cost $3 (for Cubans).
At the beginning I thought that it’s because of my limited knowledge of Spanish but I met a few Spanish speakers travelling around and they had similar problems.
No, I do not regret going to Cuba. It was still great experience (though wrecking a bit my budget) with some great people around.
The thing that I will for sure not forget was an earthquake. It was such an incredible and scary experience and till now I am not able to describe the feeling I had in that moment. I woke up at around 4 a.m., in Santiago de Cuba. I was travelling with an Italian girl, we were sleeping in the same room. Ground floor. I woke up (but still unconscious as you can be at that time) and felt that everything’s shaking. At first, I thought that there is a super big truck passing next to our window. Slowly, gaining my consciousness, I remembered that the street was too narrow for a truck. Realizing that, I suddenly sat on my bed and felt/saw that the whole room’s shaking. It took me another few second to understand what was happening. What should I do?
While it was all happening, I could hear two men talking with each other just outside our window. There was no alert in their voices and they just continued talking when everything stopped shaking. It calmed me down, kind of. Just the thought that there is someone, probably local, thinking that there is nothing weird in the situation. Eventually, I fall asleep. Only in the morning we were told that there were 5 quakes that nigh. And that it happens often.
Yes, nothing special after all.