Day Fifty-Five – Husbandry in Habana

I’ll admit travelling is wearing a bit thin at the moment, so skip this entry if listening to me be a bit whiny is low on your list for fun.

I’m here! In mind as well as body. (Took my mind 11hrs of sleep to catch up). I woke up at 07h00: skin oily, mouth and eyes dry > interesting paradox of sleeping at 25C, 85% humidity with the fan on. Theoretically my room has aircon, but it doesn’t work (quelle surpris!) and thank goodness since their idea of “providing linens” is a sheet. I woke up cold (if you can believe it) at three, turned off the fan and woke up hot at seven.

There IS hot water AND water pressure in the shower, though none in the sink. And my room is impressively quiet, given the cacophony that is Habana at night. My bed… well, they went out of their way to find the softest, most flexible slab of concrete available, and for that I am grateful. No joke, my back half is bruised from sleeping eleven hours on that mattress.

Still for all my whinging, it is a relief to get out of Africa. To walk down the street and not worry about my safety is lovely. Although it IS Latin America > there are of course the constant offers of “company” etc.

It is 11h00 and I’ve already walked 10K steps looking for breakfast and somewhere to buy a wifi card. Deeply frustrated.

Breakfast: unsuccessful because I want it too early (no one seems to function before 8h30 or later) and because all my signals for whether a place is hygienic and hopefully tasty are irrelevant here. Everywhere looks like a derelict homeless hovel. Fine, I have some experience with that problem. But my solution is usually to go where the crowds are, which doesn’t work here because no one is eating when I want to eat. Whether that be breakfast (they don’t eat till 10) or supper (not till 20h) The next solution, cook for myself. A) I haven’t been able to find a store, only random stalls, which all seem to only sell tomatoes and onions. And the occasional pineapple. B) Even if I did find somewhere to buy eggs or bread or cheese or ANYTHING, it doesn’t matter because this hostel doesn’t allow us in the kitchen.

WiFi: is a shit show here. It is so deeply different than how any other country runs it, you’ll just have to google the situation. And then understand that there are maybe five places to buy wifi cards in all of Havana, unless you’re happy paying double or triple their actual cost.

It is 16h00 now. I’ve been to an Art Museum and the Museum of the Revolution, acquired no wifi card (although I know WHERE one of the ETECSA shops is, and will go for 8h30 tomorrow morning before the giant queue has formed), acquired no groceries (minimal leads on that front), and also haven’t eaten since the paltry breakfast my hostel provides for 2.5CUCs. I am resting my poor little feet as I HAVE covered 15.5km, and then will head out and go to a proper sit down restaurant and likely be robbed blind. But I’ll be fed. So good.

Art Museum: I did the Cubano one and not the International one. Worth going to, in my opinion. Air conditioned which is nice.

Museo de la Revolution: *rolls eyes* propaganda at a premium. Go if you’re super knowledgeable about the Revolution and want a day by day exposé. It also boasts ultra-hyped descriptions of all the amazing things the government has done since the revolution and how hard it’s been for them because of all the other countries. It outlines how every single bad thing that has happened in Cuba since the Revolution has been because of espionage by the CIA. One neat thing was the bullet holes left in the marble from the take over. Summary: I didn’t enjoy it.

Plan for tomorrow: get up and be at the ETECSA for 8h30, then get some Moneda National changed at the bank by the ETECSA. If I don’t see somewhere to eat then come back to the hostel and eat at Tommy’s around the corner. After that, see how it goes.

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