CUBA #1 : Por La Izquierda
In my life I have never been so confused. Everyone is a mesmerizing hue of chocolate with glowing tiger eyes. People strut. They walk down the street like their private parts are made of the freshest ripest, juiciest ingredients. This is not just sexy young women, this is big beautiful round women in bright pink spandex their body resembling a horn of plenty spilling over with fruit. Short, stocky men peacock around like their dick was made of gold and dance so well you could literally end up pregnant. Older women have grace and poise and could drink fuck and dance you under a table.
The cost of things seems to be entirely negotiable and varies so wildly that there literally is no point ever where you are not being fucked sideways by 7 different people and all their cousins. For me, this is really frustrating because I pride myself on the art of negotiation but since there are two currencies either way your gringo ass, is getting fucked, in the ass, with no coconut oil.
YOU CAN DRINK ALL DAY!! There's only two drinks. Rum, and beer. They are both delicious, and make you better at speaking Spanish AND salsa. This is probably just in my mind but winner writes the history so i'm basically a fluent ball room dancer there.
The problem is for someone like me, its impossible to get Cubans to really talk about their sadness, their dreams, their wants and their needs because it feels like Fidel is still alive, and he is watching your every move, his eternal motto "Patria o Muerte (Motherland or Death) runs thick through peoples veins. But everyone is so full of rhythm and music that it's quite frankly quite difficult to stop moving long enough to have a real conversation about what growing up there was like. BUT I TRIED. And I tried.
Here's what I DO know.....It is a delicious, sensual, colorful, vibrant, wonderland that has the kind of magic only a country that has been preserved in the past could have. Technology simply isn't there. We had to buy the internet like we were buying a crack rock in a street ally. A little man runs out to your car and sells you wifi! Everyone you meet looks right in your eyes. Everywhere you go spontaneous dance erupts like techtonic plates crashing into one another.
Hordes of uniformed teenagers dominate the streets laughing and flirting and lost in a kind of cell phone free adolescence that I miss and loved so much about growing upEvery single person has access to free health care, free education (up to masters levels) women if they get pregnant get a mandatory full year paid leave, their husbands 6 months!!! People are SUPREMELY educated. The problem is there aren't enough jobs, and the jobs pay 11 dollars and month.
There is very little racism that I encountered and people for the most part see one another as equals.
While it is a community that is ready for change, i'm not sure their ready for the kind of disconnection connection brings. I haven't had a vacation like this in years. Totally random, using fate as my guide, random chance as my destiny, no GPS, just maps and stars and wishes to get places. You have to be on time, because you can't call anyone!! Remember when people were on time not just texting you a sundry of preposterous excuses. I DO. You didn't show up late, because then your friends ditched you. #consequnces.
Bubble gum pink, mint green and cherry red convertibles rumble by, the sounds of their exhaust clogging up your ears and confusing your lungs, it's the BEST. Glorious archetuture is disintigrating in front of your eyes and everywhere you look you can see the blinding beauty still left decaying and rotting around you.
Sinful dance moves everywhere (we're talking 7th grade style hump-fests once my mother turned to me wide awed whispering, "how do they not have orgasm's in their pants when they dance?" There is a complete grasp of the present that I don't think Americans could ever understand. It's like stepping into a actual time machine, and it was for me, the complete detox i wanted.
YOU NEED TO GO AND GO NOW. Cuba will always be Cuba. It's not going to change overnight, but trying to describe the spirit of it's people is like trying to bottle lightning. JUST GO.