Dancing crabs, lizards, foliage unreal,
Mind numbing heat, so that sweat is all you feel,
Water and wind lending brief relief to steal,
Workers smiling wide; on the side they cut a deal,
Trying to improve their own situation,
Hunting for a peso, or any contribution,
From the many tourists soaked,
In rum-drenched absolution,
Is this the vision Ché sought,
When he fought The Revolution?

11 thoughts on “CUBAN MUSINGS

  1. Love this one! Especially the rum-drenched absolution part. Sounds like visiting Cuba is like visiting Tortuga, bar fights and all…

  2. I was really struck by the obvious Cuban pride over The Revolution, with the Marxist ideologies that were inherent in that, juxtaposed with the fact that every worker in the place was hustling to make an extra buck on the side. There are pictures of Castro and Ché everywhere, and I of course bought a Ché shirt, which is really only cool if you buy it IN Cuba. At the same time, as well as tipping like mad, because despite it being all-inclusive it was really the only way to get good service sometimes, a large number of the workers were selling handmade crafts and/or cigars on the side to make extra money. You couldn’t go from the mainbuilding to the hotel room without being approached a couple of times.
    It took us a while to figure out the conflicting advice about whether or not to bring other items to tip the cleaning staff with, i.e. toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, soap, clothing, etc.
    It appears both things we heard are true. The government officially frowns on it, because it upsets the statusquo, goes against their governing philosophy, etc. However the workers themselves clearly loved it. Every morning we left some array of goodies on the pillow of the bed and they were very thankful. That is the unwritten code apparently. They would never take anything else in the room obviously, but things left on the pillow are intended for them.

    • Fascinating and ironic how free-enterprise thrives through the proletariat of such an ideologically Marxist environment. It was very good of you to leave the cleaning staff those items. Naturally the government doesn’t like it because it’s supposed to provide for all the needs of the workers, but obviously it doesn’t. To admit otherwise would be to admit that the system doesn’t work.

Words, words, glorious words! Give me all of your words!

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