We will spend the last days in Cuba in Havana. Havana is an old port, formerly known as the Paris of the Caribbean. It is as big as 2 Pragues and looks like a 60-year-old virgin who doesn’t care about everything that happens around her.
Havana is greasy, dirty, doesn’t take care of herself and takes whatever she wants. He does not think about what will happen and the consequences of his carelessness. She doesn’t squeeze tourists as much as possible, she didn’t invite them to visit her.
Casa particular is easier to find here than in Varadero already on the 3rd attempt. The house is big and there are several rooms for rent. They don’t force breakfast or dinner here. We are in the Old Havana district. Havana is huge, so for the first time in our lives we try a double-decker bus for tourists, which gives us a ride criss-crossing the whole of Havana. Who knows if there is a New Havana, as seen from the bus, Old Havana is quite young compared to other districts.
I don’t have any story connected to Havana, although this city would certainly offer some juicy event in time. But what it offered from the very first moment was the atmosphere of the streets, which breathes exactly the Cuba you know from movies and TV. It breathes on you with the smell of curds, which on the one hand is unpleasant for you, but in a few moments you can’t help but want to eat those curds too, and a good portion. Havana is exactly the kind of city that you won’t get tired of, every walk, even if it’s the same street, brought unique feelings. Only the boulevard in Old Havana is full of tourists in a way that is uncomfortably tiring.
The visit to Jesus is worth it… Havana, as a port, has its own bay, the other side of which can only be reached by taxi. However, the view of the whole of Havana under the shadow of the 20-meter-tall Jesus easily balances the investment in a taxi.
We return back to the center of the ships in a few shots and head out to hunt for sustenance. The food in the restaurants is already richer, and dinner is usually accompanied by live music with loud Latin tones.
Getting breakfast here is a task worthy of the boys from the Quick Arrows gang. When you find a place where they have coffee (because not every cafe has coffee), the waiter will tell you the opening time from 9:00 with a taut index finger pointing at the wall clock. Péťa and I both look at the wall clock and tilt our heads from side to side like two village turkeys… after about 10 seconds of thinking, exactly at 9:35, we look at each other, silently shrug our shoulders and continue looking for another breakfast place.< /p>
We finally find breakfast heaven. For a classy restaurant, they have reasonable prices within Cuba. Continental breakfast with coffee and juice for 4$ USD. Exclusive continental breakfast for 6$ USD. Here we go! I choose exclusive, Péťa doesn’t want salami or eggs, so he chooses jam in the continental version. While two bull’s eyes and 1 slice of classic imitation ham are looking at me from the plate, nothing is looking out from Péti’s plate. That is, he doesn’t even have a plate. So we wait… we wait… we wait… I call the waiter that we are missing the second breakfast… the waiter points to the not-so-fresh bread on the table. We ask where the jam is, what is written on the menu. The waiter leaves and brings a plate of that great ham. We say no, that we want the jam and point to Jam (jam in Czech) in the English section of the menu. “Yes, here it is… Jamon” proudly replies the waiter, pointing to the ham.
Jamon [read Chamon ] – ham in Spanish
They don’t have jam and we simply expected more for the money. We refuse to pay for one breakfast, the waiter doesn’t even try to raise an eyebrow of surprise, and only one breakfast appears on the bill. Even so, we leave the place as pissed off as the Americans from Vietnam… It’s a shitty breakfast, but… Cuba is full of such small incidents with an unpleasant touch, and over time it starts to boil inside you. Old bread and butter for a hundred sealed it.
But there are also nice moments. The next day, we have coffee in a beautiful cafe with a historical atmosphere, a beautiful interior completely made of dark quality wood. They grind the coffee here right in front of you in bulk, and the local people come to pick it up and buy it home. We also enjoy the local Cuban sandwich here. Goodness.
Did I say nice moments? I didn’t just want to sound like a jerk, at every good start, Cuba will serve you some kind of taffeta in the final. It’s such a little tug on the ear. It doesn’t hurt that much, you’d just like to kick the NeKnuba that’s pulling you. Instead, you fake a smile as if you’re funny and complain about everything behind your back.
Why I don’t like Cuba
You have to pay to use the toilet in this lovely cafe. It’s actually not unusual. The so-called “Propinas” – honey, they want you almost everywhere. When you board the long-distance bus, you will find a container near the driver with the inscription “Propinas”. When you drop your bags off at the bus station, somewhere they charge you to collect your bags and then they look at you and wink at the container on the table that says “Propinas”. You go to visit a monument, pay the entrance fee and you can also use the handy “Propinas” container. And like a good tourist, you have the tourist currency CUC, where the classic coin is 1 or two CUC. And even here I am not afraid to remind the salary of a Cuban teacher, which is 25 CUC per month. So one CUC for a Cuban teacher could be 40$ USD for a Czech teacher. And now throw a thousand in the “Propinas” cup to the fool … for you it’s 1$ USD, but you know it’s a fortune for her. And do you think he’ll smile? He gives you two greased slices of fennel, and when asked where I can wash my hands, he points to a half-empty water basin that 1,000 other users of two fennel slices have groped in front of you. That’s just the way she is… She could take care of you luxuriously, but she’s taking care of you from above. Viva la Cuba!
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