Turn on TeleRebelde (the sports channel of state TV) tonight and it looks like the NLCS is on somehow via a pirated Fox signal. On closer inspection of my not-at-all HD broadcast, I realize it's Washington and San Francisco, so the NLDS on quite a delay. Spoiler alert, Cuba!
A big positive of the delay is that there are no commercial breaks of any kind. The biggest positive of the delay is that there is no Joe Buck.
Made it over to Casa del Habano in Miramar. Had shrimp pasta in red sauce for $3. Good luck with that elsewhere. Had a Robaina churchill after dinner. I spent a little more on it than I wanted to but so it goes.
The cigar wasn't my favorite, possibly because the dueño of the place sat next to me and kept me focused on his machine-gun Spanish complete with Cuban accent. He was obviously pretty drunk or at least well on his way to it.
Every motherfucker here is hustlin' something. He offered Behikes (top of the line cigars) under the table, some whiskey (Wee-kee? he asked. Wee-kee pedia? I replied, confused.) which was a legit nice offer, and prostitutes. $14, $15, up to $100!
$100 would get me a very smart woman (doctor, lawyer) for a weekend, who is "muy cubana!"
What's that mean? I asked.
CHINGA MUCHO JAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJA
He also told me if I came tomorrow, he'd be taking his first day off in 10 years. He'd be celebrating at a bordello called Shangrila. Sigh.
Communismo obviously hasn't done much to tamp down the excessive lifestyles of some.
The whole place dripped luxury. It was nice as hell. It made me wonder how Cubans can go. And not just in the sense of literally how can they afford it; how can you bask in opulence like that while your fellow countrymen suffer?
And yesssssssss I'm aware that by going I'm part of the problem and I'm perpetuating the haves and have-not cycle, etc. etc. I'm tryin to help as much as possible. I brought a few bottles of medicine when I came, and I wish I had suitcases FULL of medicine and condoms and bras and red meat and whatever else.
And really, I'd like to pack a magic wand I could just wave to end the embargo, because that's the biggest problem. It's not Communism in a vacuum that caused the poverty and difficulties in getting supples.
Walking around, hanging out, meeting other foreign visitors ... it's hard not to feel like you're here at an exciting time. Raul is making changes often, even the latest guidebooks are already outdated.
People will be coming and having dick-waving contests.
Oh, were you here before they lifted the travel ban? No? Pffft. Lame.
And really, there are changes coming, that much is clear. I'll NEVER predict the end of Communism or the Castros or anything like that, lest I wind up like the now-hilarious books like "THE END OF CASTRO" published in 1992 that you see at used bookstores, but just read the news.
Looking ahead, Raul and Fidel do face certain biological inevitablities and that means big changes are (or are not) coming.