About ¼ mile away, in front of the hotel, past the several
roads and driveways, and behind a huge open field stand a row of apartment building
after apartment building painted bright beckoning colors making it almost
impossible to distinguish from a hotel.
I decide to walk over there & find out what’s going on.
It turns out these are the houses that the government builds before building
the hotel – houses for the constructions workers, and later the hotel workers.
Not just apartments but schools as well, and infirmaries.
It’s really incredible this way of life. I talk with several people and am
invited into homes, but I don’t go this time – it’s getting late and I want to
get online tonite, if I can. As I stroll through the complex, I hear a group of
people loudly drumming on substitute drums. I can’t see exactly what they are
using but it seems like buckets, metal, rocks, all rhythmically projecting a
blend of appealing jaunty sounds that propel me dancing down the sidewalk.
There are signs from the revolution all over the complex.
(I'll post pics when I can) and a modern sculpture next to the playground. I wonder if there’s going
to be an election as I read these slabs of rock painted (pics).
At the far end of the village there’s a small group of
closed shacks lined up together forming a square that appear to be places to
buy food. When I ask the young man who is inside the fence if these are shops,
he brusquely tells me no. I should have used the word for restaurant instead. I
decide to come back during the day and explore for myself. I’d LOVE to find a
place that sells tamales!
I wish the tourist industry would do it differently here in
Cuba. I suppose some things are different, as the dollar being worth 2/3 of a
Cuban dollar. But the plastic cups, bottles, and straws are scattered on the
beach along with too many cigarette butts. I wish the hotel would give out
glasses and ban the use of straws, not to mention smoking but I think banning
straws would be simple compared to banning smoking.
It seems as many womyn are smoking here as men, although I
can’t tell if they’re european or Canadians; there are many, many, many
Spanish-speaking tourists here – I will ask the waitresses if they are Cubanos
o Spaniards, or maybe from other Central or South American countries or Mexico.
But the hotel hands out one beach towel and you have to keep
your receipt in order to get and return the towel; they could do the same for
glasses and water bottles to cut down on the basura en la playa.
I also wonder about the abundance of food in the hotels, of
course. How can people be so okay eating so much when most of the people in
Cuba have so little to eat? The government makes sure everyone has a
subsistence level of food which every single person in Cuba is entitled to – no
lengthy filling out papers process, or intense government scrutiny to determine
if you deserve food or not, or shame connected to ‘handouts’ – but the gap
between how much food is in the hotels and how much is in the homes of most
Cubans is shameful.
Maybe the leftover food goes to feed those who are hungry, I
don’t know. I think I will ask. At the very least, the seeds should be saved
from the delicious fruit and vegetables as I’ve heard from some farmers that
seed is scarce. I’m shocked, how can it be with sooooooo much food here at the
hotel and how easy it is to save seeds, especially the calabasa, papaya,
watermelon – they all have an abundance of seed and grow easily from seed.
I will ask about that also.