Things you don’t see in Cuba
Of the things you don’t see, half might be there but out of sight.
A friend of mine told me that you should never believe what you hear in Cuba and only believe half of what you see.
Walking through town, you will see a lot of kids. They don’t whine! Yes, sometimes they cry if they fall hard or are in pain, but they don’t whine. And if you see a whining kid, it is probably at least half ‘owned’ by a Yuma (foreigner). Somehow the way Cubans treat their children makes them responsible, small adults.
Boats on the sea
From the Malecon in Havana, but everywhere else too, you will see the only Caribbean sea without any ships. Once a week a cruise ship will sail into the Havana harbour and sometimes a freighter, but there just aren’t any other ships or boats to be seen.
It is awe-inspiring at night; you are staring into a black void! Enjoy
Nips and tucks
There is no plastic enhancement in Cuba. Everything you will see is real! (Some Italians smuggled implants for their girlfriends, and they paid top CUCs to get them implanted (illegally), but you will not see them, they live in expensive discotheques).
Snow and advertising
Neither Snow nor advertising is legal in tropical socialism. No billboards exist except the ones shouting out political statements. Snow is such a nightmare for Cubans that although it has not snowed since Columbus, Cuba bought four snow shovels a few years ago. Better safe than sorry!
Gum on the streets
If a Cuban buys gum (or gets it some other way) he will chew it all day, put it on his nightstand and chew on the next day. The average gum lasts for a week or so.
This does not mean you don’t have to watch your step. There is dog shit everywhere. Dogs roam free and have no masters running after them with a plastic poop bag.
Supermarkets that cater to all of your needs
The concept of a supermarket is almost non-existent in Cuba. Almost because there is one supermarket that caters to foreigners and rich Cubans: Palco in Miramar, a rich suburb in Havana. Nor wil you find outlet stores, shopping malls or fastfood chains.
In Cuba you either buy the deodorant or not. There are only two brands: available or not available. So if you need a deodorant I would recommend the first brand.
Tourists that are not being ripped off.
You will find that out for yourself when you get there… Here are some tips and tricks.
Just not enough cars to make Jam…
Old American cars at the gass station.
The almendrons run on water! You will never see them fill up their tank in a gass station… The truth is that all the old cars that serve as a fixed route taxi have a modern diesel engine. They buy their diesel on the black market and not a gass station. See Taxi wars in Havana
People that know these secrets (click)
What you do see are jineteros. Here’s how to handle those street hustlers.