10.20.2009

cuba

i am sooo excited to go to Cuba this december and tonight i think i'll force myself to put down the fiction and pick up our guidebooks instead.  i'm just not a guidebook reader but we have a lot to learn since we'll be puttering around by bicycle.



no, not a motorcycle!  a bicycle!  but it was this lovely set of photographs that cemented my longing to visit Cuba someday.  i've had this page bookmarked for a while and i revisit it from time to time while playing this Buena Vista Social Club classic over and over, further romanticizing the already rose-coloured picture of Cuba i have in my head. 

i'm still not sure if i'll bring both of my SLRs (digital and non-digital) or just one and a point-and-shoot.  or will there be room for the Holga as well?  one pannier for cameras, one for everything else.  mostly underwear. 

4 comments:

marcia said...

what is with you and underwear?

jocelyn said...

you can never have enough underwear.

frandroid said...

Focus on your Spanish. Havana is FULL of people trying to swindle you everywhere. Tourist money has made many people greedy and/or corrupt. You can get swindled at government offices as well, every tourist is a ripe target. Everyone is asking you where you come from, so as to gauge how much money they can get out of you. East Asians get asked "hapon?" all the time, with great hopes.

I hear it's gotten worse since we went, especially now that the Cuban government has loosened up restrictions on Cubans using tourist resorts that used to be reserved for foreigners.

Cuba is full of over-educated, under-used people. We had a teacher working as cleaning lady in a hotel because it paid more. Her mother was an economist who ended up managing a hotel. Speaking Spanish will make you more respectable and will open up more doors to you, if only to chat with super smart Cubans who have an opinion on everything.

As for the film SLR, bring all the film you need because it was prohibitively expense back then, and probably even more now that it's not as much in demand. They didn't have big brands either and some of our pics turned out like crap.

I have a bunch of digital pics as well from the point n shoot, I can post them if you're interested.

Anyway, Havana was amazing, and the couple tours we went on were pretty cool as well. But really, the more you can talk to people, the better it gets. There's a lot of restrictions on Cubans talking to tourists now though, so it helps to have an official excuse.

jocelyn said...

good advice! we'll be spending most of our time in rural areas so hopefully we'll have a mostly positive experience. :)

i'm trying to learn spanish via rosetta stone right now. i know a bit from when i travelled in Peru but only the food words stuck. doh.