12 October 2014
Quiet day today, mostly stayed in and watched baseball on TV. Hit Vedado for a second -- the Hotel Nacional has computers for $2.50 for 15 minutes. Not the best price, but when you know other hotels have one- or two-hour minimums, at $10 an hour ...
And wouldn't you know it? The connection is worlds better than I expected.
(The power cuts out as I'm writing in my journal.)
That was a tough 15 minutes without a fan ... the amount of rain we've had tonight has pushed the relative humidity up around 450 percent.
Helped a nice German? Dutch? couple figure out Café Brown tonight. I was having spaghetti con jamon (suspiciously more like Spam-on, but for $1 I won't complain), which was really quite good even if the sauce was a touch sweet.
They wanted to make sure the prices were in moneda nacional, the "funny money" that goes 24 pesos to 1 convertible peso, the hard currency that tourists mostly use. When you see prices like "spaghetti - $35" you obviously
want to make sure it's in the 24-to-one money.
And you can't blame the Dutch, really.
So many places that look as though they ought to be charging in MN are asking $10 or more for a plate while others, like Café Brown or even the Casa del Habano restaurant have solid mains for $1 or the aforementioned $3 for shrimp pasta!
Try this: Walk down a dark, narrow street anywhere else in the world and come across four or five guys sitting on a curb, one of whom is sharpening a knife, and don't shit yourself.
A black guy today asked me if people like him (pointing to his skin) were common in Montana. I said it was a bit rare, but we didn't have a problem with African-Americans like in days past. He thought we still had racial problems to the point that a black man and a white man couldn't walk down the street together.
A bicitaxi driver was the first to comment on my beard today (Oct 12). He also said he knew it was my first time in Cuba because my forehead was bright red.