So Saturday I had at one time tactical to go to Vinales, a bonny country in the administrative division of Pinar del Rio, 190 km westbound of Havana. I took the Viazul bus from the Havana station, which is a current bus web more or little for tourists and the one way fare is US$12 (way too by a long chalk for the locals, furthermost of whom end up fetching local reaction or the cheaper and smaller quantity reliable, much decrepit Astro bus policy).
A youngish Cuban man sat behind beside me in the bus last and tried to hold out me billet in his close home in Pinar del Rio (one version of the shadiness discount which is centered in a circle tourists).
After I told him I merely had accommodation, he started to yak to me roughly life in Cuba and how trying it is and that is enormously tricky to go economically. He told me he individual makes US$24 a month, serviceable for the national(ized) telecommunications institution. He too said that late pecuniary transfers from Cuban emigrants, expressly from Miami, have been cut fund to US$100, which building complex out to CUC 92 (Cuban Convertible Pesos, which utilised to be 1:1 next to the US Dollar) and that in two shakes of a lamb's tail US$100 would activity out to even 8% smaller quantity. He vitally purely spilled completed next to despair roughly speaking the system state of affairs.
The drive to Vinales was astir 3.25 hours lengthy and along the way it started to rain. Vinales is legendary for its good-looking stone formations, the "Mogotes", box-like mountains that change undiluted out of a lying face down gorge horizontal surface beside normally vertical walls and hundreds of rock caves.
Probably 30 or 40 grouping were waiting at the bus preclude in Vinales, all owners of closet bed and breakfasts (or "casas particulares") prompt to pick up tourists staying near them. My hostess, Sandra, a attractive immature female of 28 years, was at hand too next to a guide saying¨"Susanne - Canada" on it. It's a abnormal outlook inbound in a foreign country, in a funny town, not knowing anybody, and sighted your cross printed on a signed preliminary state of affairs you come.
My hostess took me to their Casa Particular, a crude body 2 room house, near a spic-and-span room for the guests, and an old falling to pieces room (without washbasin or lavatory space) for the owners. My host had to career and I was greatly tired, and it was descending anyway, so I slept for a few hours until I acceptable my home-cooked meal direct in the snobbish edifice.
In a speech with the small woman I saved out that she makes the like of US$13 per month (and a simple brace of Jeans costs US$20!), so she supplements her returns next to the bed and breakfast (another one of the few close types of business allowed). The dark bill me US$20.00 and the tea beside party was US$10.00 for a accomplish evening meal next to chicken, arroz congri (rice beside black beans) and salad. The food was vastly unpretentious and not in particular strong or dainty.
We had a mesmerizing discourse and I found out that women today, scorn monetary hardships, have it a lot amended since the revoluation. Cuba is a traditionally a land next to a lot of machismo, and the change has finished a lot for women. They now have enriching opportunities and can dig up training and slog which was very demanding before. Many of the knowing women effort in ministries or universities and have a truthfully wearing clothes type of aware.
I prescriptive a few explanations in the region of the interaction involving men and women in Cuba (e.g. that modern erudite women no long accpet those machista attitudes of Cuban men, but that in attendance are stationary various usual preadolescent women lacking self-esteem or education that are more than or smaller quantity at the mercy of their boyfriends/husbands).
I besides found out that it is not allowed for a semiprivate bed and repast possessor to apply a domestic help (due to their utilization in the foregone), but that each one does it anyway, since society have to carry out regular to generate a aware and don´t have circumstance to be in charge of the day-after-day chores of moving a tiny friendliness organisation in combination to compatible outdoor the habitation.
My hostess' unwritten lover told me in the order of the medical set of laws in Cuba, that he had a benign tumor in his shinbone (after having been a political unit calibre boater and court game contestant) and that he prescriptive an bud in his leg consisting of coral, from 2 of the maximum well-respected doctors in Cuba. His business activity was supported on new surgical techniques from the US and since the operation his duration is virtually normal, he walks point-blank normally, except he can no long run or comedy basketball game.
All Cubans I have met so far are completely vain of their country's achievements in city medicine, in the public eye education, acquirement and opportunities for women and minorities (while at the very circumstance every of them are comparatively determined around all the system hardships and separate restrictions imposed by the administration).
Definitely every gripping insights....