DAY 3Feb 19 2019
The morning started again with breakfast en casa (in my Airbnb). While my breakfast was being made, I bonded with my host’s cat. I thought we had something good. Then it bit me. Asshole. I miss Chief and Oskee.
Anyway, part of the American government’s requirements to come to Cuba under the Supporting the Cuban People travel classification is that you have an itinerary laying out what you’ll do each day to prove that you’re there actually supporting the Cuban people and not laying on the beach drinking rum. Lame.
If you know me, you know I’m Type A. You also know I HATE traveling with an itinerary. If there’s an itinerary, it must be followed. Otherwise the Type A in me gets cranky. I’m proud of myself for being so calm about changing up my itinerary. Seeing things as I see them, cutting things out and adding things in. So today instead of traipsing across the city in the sun on foot to the Plaza de la Revolution and the big cemetery, I’ll head back to Old Havana, put my map away, and get wonderfully lost in this beautiful city.
After wandering for a while I found a WiFi card, bought an hour of time (okay two hours but only because the store didn’t have enough change for me to only get one hour. I doubt I’ll use the second), and set off to find a park with WiFi.
I also had my first entirely Spanish speaking interaction this morning! I realize asking how much a bottle of water is and then paying and thanking the vendor isn’t much but I’m (barely) speaking Spanish in Cuba! Might need another mojito to celebrate...
I doubt I’ll log into internet again until Thursday so plans for today: lunch and then a daiquiri at La Floridita, and then taking the ferry over to the other side of Havana to see the old fort and experience the cannon firing at 9PM. Hasta Luego mi amigos 💕
Edited: I can’t figure out how to log into the WiFi. Will you read this before I get home? Will I log in to the internet to see what time I’ll be picked up for my excursion to Vinales tomorrow? Time will tell.
Yet another update: while trying and failing two more times to use my WiFi card, I was getting quite frustrated. I finally found my voice and asked the guy next to me for help in Spanish. He kindly showed me that I’m an idiot who didn’t scratch the layer over the WiFi password off on the card. I’d been typing in the phrase telling me to scratch it off into the password button...
Third times the charm?
On the ferry a man (probably in his 60s) sat down next to me and struck up a conversation in English. He asked me where I was from and when I said America he started telling me of all the places he’d lived in the United States over the last 28 years. Of his girlfriend and his children in Las Vegas. Of how the Trump administration wouldn’t let him go back to his life after he returned to Cuba six months ago to tend to his sick mother. He has six more months before he can apply to go back to the United States. The process is extremely difficult for Cubans because the American embassy isn’t open to non-Americans here. They have to fly to Colombia, Mexico, or other countries with US Embassies to apply and interview. And then, after all that time and money they can be denied.
I hope for good things in that mans future. I hope he sees his family again. He asked about how I found my cheap flight so he could fly his family here to see him. Again, I feel blessed to be an American, to be able to hop on a plane to so many incredible countries with no questions asked.
After returning to Old Havana I tried to squeeze in at the bar of El Floridita for a Hemingway daiquiri but it was so busy I couldn’t squeeze in. I ended up at Cafe Paris sipping my third rum drink of the day. This morning a mojito, at lunch a pina colada, and now a daiquiri. I think the daiquiri is my favorite which surprised me. AND tonight is the first night since arriving that I won’t be eating a granola bar for dinner. I’m proud of me. After dinner I’ll get back onto WiFi to confirm my pickup for tomorrow’s trip to Vinales and then head to the Malecon to watch the firing of the cannon from the castle.
Sad news internet followers. All three of you (shout out to the fam). I had my heart set on a churro after dinner. But then my sandwich order was forgotten by the waiter. Too much flirting and not enough order taking dear sir. Your patron gets hangry. Anyway, moral of the rant, my sandwich took over an hour and now the churro guy is closed. I know you’re sad for me. I’m sad for me too.
Total Mileage: 13.4