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Caught in Havana

March 11, 2012

The internet here is very slow, so please forgive mistyping.

The plane from JFK was full of students from Columbia University. Next to us, a distinguished Cuban gentleman wore a white suite and shoes, with three black hats. The pilots were Venezuelan and American. The Cuban flight attendants were jokers, like on Southwest.

As the plane approached Havana, I could see rolling green hills, very beautiful, with less beautiful city blocks. Twisting my neck to the north, a dark green coastline.  Florida. From the air, yes, it looks that close.

On the tarmac, lots of young workers, including women in dark miniskirts with fishnet stockings. We filled out our customs forms, checking boxes “Si” or “No” for choices including “Armas,” “Pornagraphia,” “Electronico.” As I went through customs, I looked straight into a Logitech webcam.  Clic.  Our bags all went through X-ray — to leave the airport.

Everyone else went through, but an attractive young agent asked to take my passport. I saw him disappear with the passport through a door, for what seemed a very long time. He came out with an older agent who said, “Remove from the suitcase your communications equipment.”

This is not good.

So I opened the suitcase and removed the only internet-capable device there, a Playstation requested by my friend for his son.  The agent relaxed with a grin, twiddled his thumbs and said “Ti-ti-ti.”

At the hotel, our friends two doctors met us and told us how Cuban health care manages to get MRI and linezolid despite ban from USA.

The weather is wonderful Caribbean breeze. I wish Michael could be here.

One Comment
  1. March 11, 2012 9:41 pm

    Sound like a romantic adventure (except, as you say, for the absence of your mate) what a waste. Still, it leaves you free to absorb your surroundings, exotic or otherwise–I wonder if we’ll ever reclaim each other as neighboring countries, instead of this cold-war hold-out of the ancient and meaningless division. Well, make sure you have a Cuba Libre for me–always wished I could have one of those in its native setting!

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