Viva Fidel!

Trip Start Apr 02, 2006
Trip End Sep 18, 2006

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Flag of Cuba  ,
Sunday, April 2, 2006

Virgin is such a good airline, watched the Chronicles of Narnia and was well fed and watered throughout.

Got my passport stamped in Havana even though the customs guy really didnt think it was a good idea. Had to be done though.

Took us about 20mins to be ripped off, we agreed a price of 20CUC to our accomodation for a cab, then watched the cab meter tick all the way up to 9.50CUC. Actually i think there was only one other time we got ripped off, when we went lookin for beer and got charged 1CUC when we shouldve been charged 6pesos (theres 24pesos in 1CUC) as it was the state produced 'beer' (it doesnt taste like beer). so all in all i dont think we did too badly.

Everyone is so friendly, partly because they have no money (and want some of yours) and partly because they have nothing better to do, but it's also so safe, you can walk around any time of day or night and even though there are always people hanging round everywhere (noone seems to have a job) wanting to show you something or giving you advice they'd never lay a finger on you. Someone told us this is because tourists are like Fidel's children and there's no way anyone will mess with Fidel...

The food in Cuba is awful, they have chicken pork and rice on the whole, and when we ordered chicken and chips one day (come on, it was cheap), the last thing we expected was a huge piece of fried chciken and some CRISPS!!!

Cubans can really dance, salsa and reaggaetron mainly (reggaetron 'dancing' is a lot of fun) and there's music and dancing everywhere. Such a cool place and a real eye opener.The only dark side is that prostitution is rife, and tehre's such an obvious sex tourist trade here. Apparently most of the women (who are all so gorgeous) are for sale, we were in a bar on the first night till 4am and watched a girls dad pimp her out. apparently thats just how people get by here and if you do judge it by British standards then it really looks bad, but things are different here. you do feel sorry for them though.

The embargo by America on Cuba means there is nothing here, only the very most basic necessities are available, but peopel still seeem happy, as their socialist regime means there is no homlessness, no need to beg, and the literacy rate is pretty much 100%. There's no business though, so no advertising, and no chain stores. all luxuries, like a can of lemonade for instance, are only availabloe i the tourist currency, CUC, whereas pesos will get you fruit, bread etc. There's no milk here either. What i wouldnt give for a bowl of cereal...
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