More from Havana

We rode the Hop on Hop off bus for 10cuc all day on Tuesday. An excellent value to see so many sites!

Plaza de la Revolucion:

Capitolio Nacional:

Necropolis Cristobal Colon:

More views from the bus:

Wouldn’t want to be in this building during a hurricane…

Our Wednesday and Thursday evenings filled with music and dance. On Wednesday evening at 5pm we went to a rumba show at Union de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba. The music was excellent, and the Cubans were very, very drunk. We had a hilarious time meeting, dancing with, and fending off Cuban musicians, artists, and Dr. Linda Starbatty, a nutty but sweet German expat and artist who has lived in Cuba for 17 years. We also met a teeny tiny kitten!

On Thursday we had our salsa lessons with Wolt. Wolt hurt his knee so another teacher, Daymara, taught us and Wolt coached from the sidelines. Our class was held in Daymara’s house in Centro Habana and cost 25cuc each for 2 hours. It was very fun and a great workout. By the end everyone had the basic steps down and we were drenched in sweat from the heat. Did I mention it’s hot in Cuba? It’s hot.

On our way home from our salsa lesson we happened upon conga dancing in the square near our house. They do it from 5:30-7:30 on Thursday and Friday. We watched for a while, and then a Cuban youth made us join in. We were the only gringas which seemed to amuse the other dancers. When it was over everyone was very hot so we gave the dancers all our water.

We brought items to give to the Cuban people, especially kids. We gave some to Wolt for his family, left some with the Sistema de Atencion a la Familia, and gave the rest to people in need on the street.

Cat calling is a part of Cuban life. If you are a youngish woman expect to be catcalled 3 times per blocks when you’re walking down the street. It doesn’t bother me, I usually just say gracias or ignore it without breaking my stride. The most entertaining cat calling we experienced was a car with a horn that made the catcall whistle sound. That’s commitment! This is probably why all the Cuban men we met over 40 had been married 6 or 7 times. Yeah they might be saying sweet things to their wife, but they’re also saying them to every other lady too. There is also lots of PDA in Cuba. This is because Cubans live in a house with a ton of their relatives, and usually share a bedroom with several people, so if you want to makeout with your girlfriend, you’re going to get out of the house to do it. Out in public is where you get privacy away from your family, hence the PDA.

We went to Santa Maria del Mar in Playas del Este outside Havana to help clean up the coast 🙂

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We learned a lot about Cuban life from our favorite cab driver Alex. Cubans get free healthcare and education, both of which they are very proud of. Our cab driver had a heart surgery that cost him nothing. Many Cubans have two jobs, one given to them by the government that pays next to nothing but gets them their government benefits, and a second job, like cab driving, that makes them their real money. Each Cuban gets an allotment of cooking oil, rice, flour, and beans at the beginning of the month, but this isn’t quite enough so they buy more from the little street shops when they run out. It’s very hard to find food to buy here. We couldn’t find meat, eggs, dairy, or vegetables to purchase. We had a kitchen but didn’t cook because of this. The majority of food like this goes to the tourist industry, which means many Cubans go without. We did see plenty of coffee, fresh bread, fruit, candy, and alcohol in little shops and carts. When we finally saw milk on the menu in a restaurant we ordered it and smuggled it out in an empty soda can to use in our morning coffee at the house.


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My favorite part of Cuba was the Cuban people. They are so friendly and love to chat. I enjoyed practicing my Spanish and getting to know the Cuban culture. Until next time!

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