Day 53 & 54 – Airborne

Fifty-three:

I am so tired my eyes are burning. I arrived in São Paulo half an hour or so ago, ready to start my 8hr layover ending at 02h30 local time, 06h30 South African time and 23h30 Havana time. No matter what clock you’re using I will not have slept in a very, very long time if I don’t find a place to sleep soon.

Watched four movies on the plane: Crazy Rich Asians (some funny bits, classic romance, cried a bit); Inception (awesome); Life of the Party (McCarthy vehicle, some funny bits, mostly terrible); The Heat (McCarthy vehicle, some clever bits, mostly terrible). LATAM food is delicious.

I’m going to die.

Fifty-Four:

LATAM food is hit or miss. It was really good, good enough, and bad on different flights.

I didn’t die, although I assume I might still, given all the time I spent in airplanes and in airports.

Arriving in Cuba was interesting. “Interesting”. I go to the ATM-Cadeca, (getting CUCs is a situation, in fact the whole Cuban parallel economy is a situation, google will tell you all about it), and it won’t let me use my VISA because my PIN is too long. Okay. AND my MasterCard is coming back as denied. Oh, also, debit cards aren’t a thing here. And either way my debit card’s PIN would also be too long. Also foreign SIM cards simply don’t work here (ie even if I WANTED to pay through the nose and make an international call while roaming, my phone will not SEE the cell signal). Also their landlines don’t call internationally. And no one at the airport was remotely interested in helping me. As in, using the airport’s computers to access the internet *laughs* I’ll never be able to explain how fucked you are if anything goes wrong in Cuba. And HOW uninterested anyone is in helping you. It’s sorted now. I converted some of my last USD and shared a cab to Old Havana. Walked 2km to my hostel, got advice, went to the only bank that was open at this point (2km each way), and they were able to use my VISA by just swiping it instead of using the chip. So far as the MasterCard? I have no idea what it’s problem is. I kind of wonder if it is somehow routed through the States.

Anyway, a few comments: I don’t actually know that I’ll bother coming back here. It’s too much of a pain for too little reward. There are equatorial third world countries everywhere who don’t make it so fucking complicated to get cash, get wifi, get FOOD etc etc.

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