I arrived in Havana straight from Mexico on the last day of July and was really looking forward to visiting this place, which was the main goal of my Carribean journey.
The thing with Cuba is, you (can't be just me, right) expect it be a vintage experience, some old cars passing by sometimes and Buena Vista Social Club music casually soaking from every bar. But when you already get there, you might want to rearrange your expectations - and trust me, it is absolutely not a bad thing.
It's not like getting around with some old school vibe in certain moment. It's traveling in time. Literally.
Speaking as a European citizen that at the time was living in the US, it doesn't resemble anything I've ever seen. You thought there was going to be a really cool '50s cadillac bouncing around the corner? Great. But 95% of cars would definitely not pass any safety test in most of the countries in the world. Hell, during my two weeks I found myslef in the vehicle with belts like, once.
And I was in a car multiple times almost every day.
So on my touchdown day of the Cuba journey I arrived in the capital city, La Habana, expecting to maybe stroll around a while and then go to sleep (especially considering my travel partner arrived one day before me on a transfer flight from Poland, so there goes the asshole called jetlag), but I was pleasantly surprised with a cadillac (yeah, you got me there, tourist time) PURPLE CADILLAC OK ride around the city. Apart from how different the island may seem from previous visions about it, it does feel like being in a movie 24/7.
It's not the set you'd like live in, but it's good to play a starring role there for a while.
It's easier to get it if you speak Spanish. It's actually easier to breathe there if you speak Spanish.
Really, it was not even the ace up my sleeve. It was survival 101.
Also, the food in Cuba which just striked my as "ohmygodthisistoomuch" on the first day turned out to be a different full chapter of the trip. But as this is only a small part of the diary from this travel, I'll get back to it; for now, the code word is green beans. Plus they have the best fruit.
I'm blaming my mango addiction on them. No regrets though.
pics by moi