#4.2EN ❥ Cuba

January 30, 2018

 


What makes Cuba a special country?

🤷🏽‍♀️ The main dishes: small bread with ham and cheese, in my case it was with avocado, spaghetti with tomato sauce and rice with beans.
🤷🏽‍♀️ There are few vegetables: cucumber, little onion and avocado (fantastic! big! for just 0,5$)
🤷🏽‍♀️ It is almost impossible to buy water, but rum is everywhere.
🤷🏽‍♀️ Everywhere on the streets people are selling cups of coffee with sugar and cigars.
🤷🏽‍♀️ Many men have plucked eyebrows, have perfect hairstyles and shaved hands, legs and breasts (often grew back until 0,5 cm)
🤷🏽‍♀️ Internet there is only in very few places with WI-FI, cost 1-2$ per hour of using (even for locals)
🤷🏽‍♀️ They produce everything in the country, It reminds me of Soviet Union time a lot. Every month government giving food and products for hygiene to locals, So they selling it sometimes.
🤷🏽‍♀️ Most of the people are not working, because medicine food and Education are for free.
🤷🏽‍♀️ The normal salary is about $20 per month.
🤷🏽‍♀️ From The Revolution time here almost nothing had changed, buildings and cars are very old. It looks sad but making a special atmosphere.
🤷🏽‍♀️ Banners on the roads are saying: “Education, work and gun!"
🤷🏽‍♀️ In the country there are two currency: CUC for tourists and CUB for local people. 1CUC = $1 = 24 CUB. the bus which is for locals 2 CUB ($0,2) for tourists would cost 2 CUC ($2). And other things are the same scheme. But tourists also can use CUB, they just don't know about it 🙃
🤷🏽‍♀️ Couchsurfing is illegal there. Local people cannot host foreigners, only if they pay taxes which is $5 per guest. They can do it as a secret, but it's risky, but they may go to jail for it.
🤷🏽‍♀️ There is almost no crime in the country. And people are still surprised when they see tourists or tent.

 

 

  


Lifehacks:

☝️ Always check which cash the locals giving you: CUC or CUB. They are trying to deceive ALWAYS!
☝️ Better exchange CUC to CUB, when you have a chance (locals can help you with it, but find a good person), then you can pay everywhere as locals.
☝️ Buses are very cheap. First ask locals how much a ride costs, and when you entering the bus just give to driver money, don’t ask anything and go to your place.
☝️ Hitchhiking is working! Few times even taxi drivers were giving us free rides. But don’t forget to make sure the driver understand you are hitchhiker (there are cool people everywhere!), very often they would ask for money after ride.
☝️ If you don’t have money at all, but you are hungry, go there: … Its very very cheap food (rice with beans and avocado)

 


Few stories:

In airport of Cuba one local guy tried to bring with him one router Wi-Fi. Officers found it very fast and took him to police.​

We arrived to Havana at 5 am. “Our” guys took all bags and took a taxi. Taxi driver invited us as well for friendly price $4, we decided to go. It took less then 30 min to get from airport to city (the driver told us much more farther). He gave us change 5 CUB, not 5 CUC, we didn’t expected it and didn’t check. So finally he gave us $0,5 instead of $5. Welcome!
 

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We were going to stop in couchsurfing place (in La Habana there is one hostel, there couch surfer Uriy is hosting travellers for free first night), but we came too early. Uriy of course was sleeping and didn’t open the door so early. We sat down on the street when Matiel came – the local drunk guy. He gave us rum, at 7 am was open a street cafe of his mother, so he offered us breakfast (bread with avocado). He went a few times to hostel, tried to wake up the owner, but without any result. He invited us to stay at his place, we were so tired that decided to do it. His apartment (kitchen and 2 little rooms without doors) on the 2nd floor of the house, in bathroom there is no door, in shower there is no water. But there was a big bad in the room. Finally he asked Juan to pay $5 per person, he wanted to go continue drinking, his girlfriend left him, so, that was a reason (so he didn’t paid any taxes, just got more drunk).

 


After some hours of sleeping we went out with Manuel. He didn’t sleep at all and was very drunk, he wanted to spend time with us. In bus the driver asked us to pay tickets, or friend said: NO NO NO! It turned out that you can pay as much us you want 😄 But regular price is 1 CUB. The walk was difficult, our friend was very drunk and on revolution mood. He told us how people are happy there and how they love the government. We came back. It turned out that Matiel has old conflict with our host from couchsurfing. Awkwardly turned out.

 


We came to Varadero beach. We prepared for camp: put hammock, tent. Little cat came to us and slept all night near 😌 I love animals so much, so I was just happy. Mosquitos attacked me too much, so I went to sleep in tent, Juan slept in hummock all night. I woke up because of somebody from outside was shaking my tent. it was local guys, they never seen travellers before. They took a look inside of tent as well and went to check what is in hammock. They laughed a bit and left.

 


On the next day we were hitchhiking in touristic zone, we needed to make just 10 km. One taxi-driver stopped, said $20. We told him we are hitchhikers, he answer: “Die”, and left.

However right after him another taxi gave as free happy ride!

 


Another time driver was so sweet, stopped to pick us up and his car finished to work (because of hot). So we pushed it, hi fixed something inside and it finally worked! He gave as very nice ride.

“Moskvich” is very popular care in Cuba.

 

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I like so much the Museum of National Art (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes) and modern loft-museum (Fábrica de Arte Cubano) in LA Habana. Cool!

 

 

I wanted to say that Cuban people have wonderful unusual deep green-golden eyes. People there looks very pretty.

In the last day one bus driver gave us a ride to airport, it coasted $2. There we realised, we need to go to another terminal, which is 2 km away. There is no buses between terminals, only taxis, but we already didn’t have any money. We went by walk. The taxi driver stopped, we told him "we don’t have money, thanks!” He said to sit. While he was driving to another terminal he only said a little sad but proudly: “Not everything in this country is for money". 

 

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© 2014 Anastasiya Smolina |  Graphic design & Illustration & Travel
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