Thursday, November 15, 2012

More Dominoes in Havana

One of my quests during my second and third trips to Cuba was to try and figure out how this place operated. As I found out rather quickly, it will take a lot more than three and a half weeks to get any kind of handle on the day-to-day struggles the average Cuban faces. Once I realized I would get no closer to understanding much of anything, I at least wanted to see Cubans doing daily life kinds of things. Getting access to the inside of peoples' homes is not easy. Would you want a tourist with a camera in your living room? Although I got into the home above, I wasn't comfortable being there, even escorted by another Cuban man. They also wanted money to take pictures; a double-whammy of ethical dilemmas. The bottom photo was easier, taken in the foyer of a crumbling mansion that houses many families. The staircase leads to the famous paladar, La Guarida, and we were waiting to go upstairs for dinner when I saw this group playing dominoes under the staircase. They were even friendly. That sounds very condescending. Almost every single person we met in Cuba over three trips was wonderful; curious about the USA and hopeful we can get the stupid embargo lifted.

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