I went to Cuba last week. I know it's not the biggest deal in the world but (apart from a burn and turn to Bangor a few months ago during which I was out of New Brunswick for maybe six hours total), it's the first time I've left the country in fifteen years, the first time I've left the Maritimes in two years, and the first time I've left the province in a year. Fuck, it's hard to get me to leave Gagetown for anything less than midnight burgers or new shoes.
Furthermore, the only other time I've been out of Canada was a trip to Berlin as a child so this marked the first time I'd ever been anywhere warm. Needless to say, it was a bit of a shock. And being me I had to compile a rough list of things I learned about the country, about resorts and about myself while I was down there.
- It is very hot in Cuba. The temperature was in the forties with the humidity at least once while we were there.
- Due to the heat, it is almost impossible to rush anything. You can wait twenty minutes for the waiter to even acknowledge you in a restaurant. It's also to hot to care.
- It's so hot the birds, I shit you not, are too lazy and nonchalant to fly.
- The only things in a hurry in Cuba are the cab drivers for some reason, and the rain. The rain was in a big hurry. According to the hotel staff it only rains, like, once every two weeks. We caught it the last day we were there. It was one of the coolest fuckin things I have ever seen.
- Caribbean sun and Mediterranean skin do not mix well.
- Furthermore, SPF-60 sunscreen don't do shit.
- After roasting in the sun all day, a cold shower is not your friend.
- It is very, very cold in Canada. I didn't appreciate quite how cold it is here until I got back. It took me two days to get warm.
- All-inclusive is great. The inability to pace oneself. My prime objective was to drink enough liqour to equal the cost of the trip. This did not happen. I went a little too crazy on the first couple of days and had to slack off towards the end of the week. That being said, I did better than the sixty high school students who were staying at the same resort the same week. Damn punks don't know how to drink.
- Cuban rum is pretty foul, particularly the white rum. I watched one of the guys pour 3/4 of a bottle on the beach in front of a bunch of east coasters. This is impossible to do at home without violence erupting.
- Beware the free-pour. Gin and juice seems like a good idea until you see how little juice they put in it.
- Shoes are optional. I started walking barefoot after a couple days, although the walking paths were paved and got really hot. I'm sure I probably got athlete's foot or something but whatever, at least my feet were comfy.
- Don't go to the beach alone at night. I went with a crew of people but it was still kinda sketchy.
- The beach is, however, the place to bang at night. Apparently. I did not do any banging.
- You can do pretty much everything there is to do on the resort in about two days. Excluding the gym and the tennis court. Fuck that healthy shit.
- The only beer available on the resort was Cristal which is, apparently, the 'girl beer'. We did regular excursions to get Bucanero, the tasty, manly beer.
- The food on the resort was mediocre. I wound up snagging raw ingredients from the buffet and constructing sandwiches in my room.
- Todo en Uno in Varadero has the best fried chicken ever. I tried to find the actual address of this place with little success, but it's like a mall with a bar and pool tables and a rollercoaster and this wicked chicken place. My god that chicken was fuckin good.
- I love naps.
- Pelicans are fucking huge. One of my secondary objectives for the week was to see a pelican scoop up a small child. That didn't happen either.
- A lot of people want to get married in Cuba. I watched one wedding and met a whole lot of people that were there for other weddings. As beautiful as the country is and unlikely as I am to wed, I wouldn't get married there. It seems like a lot of hassle.
- I only saw one clock on the resort. It was stuck at 12:15, mocking my preoccupation with knowing what time it is.
- I left my phone at home so I wouldn't get a whole bunch of charges. I'm surprised at how little I missed it.
- I met so many people from the east coast. The whole place had a real east coast jive to it. Everybody says howdy.
- Pickles on a beef kabob are truly amazing.
- Also amazing was the coffee. One of the first things I did when I got back to Canada was grab a Robin's. It tastes like dirty bean water in comparison.
- You can smoke anywhere on the resort, including (but not limited to) the restaurants, the rooms, and the pool and nobody says anything.
- You could get a deck of smokes for .60 pesos on the resort. It was 2 pesos for a lighter.
- Just because the smokes cost sixty cents does not necessarily mean one should buy or smoke them. I usually got my smokes from the machine in the lobby. I didn't recognize any of the brands so I just punched a different button every time. One day I got 'Monterrey's, which were unfiltered and stronger than hell. My lungs just about jumped up and ran out of my body but I smoked 'em.
- Blue is my new favourite colour. I must have seen a hundred different kinds of blue.
- Water slides effectively combine my fear of heights, fear of drowning, and claustrophobia. I did it anyway, twice. I'm still kinda proud of that one.
- As near as I could tell, they only had three songs on the resort which they would play over and over again, all day, every day. These songs were "Gangnam Style", "Set Fire to the Rain", and something by Pitbull (I can't tell his songs apart). If I go the rest of my life without ever hearing these songs again, I will be happy. I realize that the likelihood of that happening is low.
- Playing "My Heart will Go On" on a boat as it's leaving the dock is a terrible idea. Yelling "boat gonna' sink!" while they're playing "My Heart will Go On" on a boat isn't a very good idea either and will get you dirty looks from strangers.
- Going through the airport in Varadero on the way home was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I get pretty anxious at times and I was just about vibrating when I got to security.
- A change of scenery, even for a week, kinda makes you rethink your life.
But did you really "learn" anything? lolReplyDelete
Nah, I never learn anything.Delete