¡Viva Cuba Libre!




Day 9: Santiago de Cuba

1. Around 8 pm, the power went out for the whole block due to the construction going on in the area. When it was happening, we were finishing our dinner and eating our dessert – a flan from a can. The waiter took the can out of a fridge, poured it out in a cocktail glass and used his finger to push the flan into the glass. He looked over at our table to see if we noticed him using his finger and saw Alex had been watching the whole time. Aw, embarrassing…😰😰 Once the lights went out the restaurant was pitch black. We used our phones’ flashlights, as did the customers at two other tables. Other customers laughed at us while Alex was making a shadow puppet animal of a wolf🐺 on the ceiling, and while Bobby was trying to make a bunny🐰 but failed. We used our phones while walking on the totally blacked-out street until we came across the construction crew fixing the power line. We videotaped the effort, but the power went back on less than one minute after we stopped filming and began walking away. When they finished people began clapping and making some happy noises👏👏. Aw, we missed the best part!😫😫

Flan in Santiago de Cuba
The “contaminated” flan


Dining in Santiago de Cuba
Before the power went out: in the restaurant


Darkness in Santiago de Cuba
After the power went out: fixing the power line


Business street in Santiago de Cuba
After the power went back on: José Antonio Saco



2. Can somebody be too white❓ While we were wandering the streets of Santiago de Cuba, a slightly tanned man with his dark tan son were walking towards us. The man pointed at Bobby’s arm excitedly and rubbed his arm exclaiming “Que blanco!” Ok😯, we didn’t know somebody could be identified as too white. Haha😂😅



3. We went to visit the mourning hall of Fidel Castro, which was the municipal building of the city. There were thousands of kids (let out from school for this purpose) lined up during the day☀️ and many adults were there lining up with us at night🌙. We waited for a long time just to find that there was only one room with a single picture of Fidel, a one sentence quote of his, and many flowers💐💐. That’s it, no other photos, no other quotes, it seemed a little too shabby for a leader of a country, not to mention the long wait😒. The flowers smelled very good by the way💐💐.

The students in Santiago de Cuba
The students lining up outside


the municipal building in Santiago de Cuba
The mourning hall – the municipal building


The municipal building in Santiago de Cuba
Lining up outside the mourning hall


Fidel Castro Santiago de Cuba
The mourning hall



4. Two shopping assistants said Alex and Bobby are “Muy amorodo”💕💕. Of course!😝😝 They were two very lovely women. Woman A really liked the tights Alex was wearing the prior day (we were frequent customers) so she insisted on buying the tights Alex had on. She even offered to trade with her tights. Although Alex apologized and said No several times, she still insisted and said she liked it so much that she didn’t mind it was worn and she asked Alex to bring her one the next time she comes to Cuba. Haha😂. Ok, we will remember to do that😉! Woman B was flirting with an Australian male customer and kept saying he was so charming and good looking that she wanted his number and to go for a date with him😂. The customer had a little blush and got away🏃 from the offer pretending he didn’t really understand Spanish, which actually he did very well. Haha. So funny😂😂.

Jose Antonio Saco in Santiago de Cuba
The tights



5. So many middle school and high school kids kept calling Alex “Niña”. Alex was really speechless because she was born a century ahead of all of them!😠😡

The students in Santiago de Cuba
Middle school students



6. When we were taking pictures with a statue of Camilo (one of the main comrades with Fidel during the revolution who died in the early stages), an old man approached us and told us about the history of the revolution and story of Camilo. We were not sure if he wanted something from us or just wanted to talk. Turned out he was just friendly, and maybe lonely, and wanted to let foreigners know his country better. We felt so bad that we simply quickly assumed he was after something…😔😔 We hope there will be more kindness and caring, and less hate and skepticism among people😊😊.

Peso cubano
The portrait of Camilo on Peso Cubano


Camilo in Santiago de Cuba
The bust of Camilo



7. We saw an convoy of construction vehicles, including a flatbed carrying the huge stone to be used at Fidel’s tomb. A worker was standing on that flatbed without being strapped in by anything. When the truck began slowing down to stop, the guy fell off. He tumbled a little but continued walking next to the truck, acting as if he meant to get off. Aw, poor guy, but it seemed he was fine.

Check here for the video:

Fidel tomb
The tombstone we saw



Day 10: Santiago de Cuba

1. It turns out that even bicycle taxis have their own industry rules! We accidently asked an “outsider” for a ride from Santiago cemetery (where Fidel was buried) back to downtown. Apparently the cemetery wasn’t this taxi’s turf though. Seeing us doing that, the bicycle taxi guy who was actually in charge of this area rushed to us and intimated the “outsider” to back off because it was his area😱. Oh well, we were sorry to cause trouble for both of them since we were the real “outsiders” of this industry😅. We ended up taking the “correct” taxi after that.



2. OOOk, here is what happened that made Alex mad for the first time in Cuba😡. There were a man and a woman selling sweets from a cart. Without even asking us if we wanted one, the man saw us coming over and started chatting with us asking where we came from etc. He then took out a pastry and handed it over to Alex🍪. Alex asked how much. He didn’t answer but smiled and said “beautiful, beautiful” while staring at Alex. Alex was a little mad and asked how much again😠, he put it into Alex’s hand and now urged Alex to have a bite🍪. Alex refused, he kept smiling at us and tried to put the pastry into Alex’s mouth. Fine, whatever, Alex took a bite. Finally, he asked for 1 CUC instead of the normal price 1 CUP for this not even tasty pastry😠😡. Oh well, we knew what was going to happen so we ended up paying 25 time more😤😤.



Day 11: Santiago – Holguin

1. Although we planned to do snorkeling at the second most beautiful beach in Cuba🏊, it was very cloudy☁️, windy🌊 and rainy☔️ that day. We had a 4-hour gap of time since we asked our driver to come and pick us up 4 hours later, when we assumed we’d be done. We had nothing too exciting to do so we went swimming in the heavy rain☔️☔️. Oh well, you won’t care too much about the rain if you know you will get wet anyway. Haha😂😂

Playa Guardalavaca
Rainy Playa Guardalavaca



2. We went to this Italian restaurant and surprisingly found out that they had tomato salad🍅🍅! Since we hadn’t had any good salad with many vegetables for the last two weeks, we ordered this “fancy” tomato salad and waited excitedly. However, it turns out tomato salad is just tomato slices!!! Please check the photo below for reference😂😂.

Tomato salad in Holguin
Behold for the great tomato salad!!



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