So what are Cuban people like today? After a week’s tour I’m not in a position to make sweeping generalizations. I can at least offer a few experiences.
Our previous blog, Cuba classic cars and the Havana Hustle, reflected our first encounters with Cubans on the streets of Havana. We’re tourists in a country where even professionals have to scrimp and hustle to survive. By virtue of being here, we are rich by local standards.
As tourists, we get hustled and hit up for money here — yes indeed. But I can’t forget that the last time I bought groceries back home in Las Vegas, a woman hot-footed it across the parking lot and asked me for money. And every time I drive in Las Vegas I see disheveled panhandlers on the corners or approaching cars at the stop lights. It’s not just Cuban people; it can happen anywhere.
Our tour is tightly scripted; we don’t have time to spend days wandering Havana’s streets — that’s what I’d need to do to really see the city and meet its people. But even given our short time here, we come away with memories of many more fond encounters than irritating ones.
In this blog, we’ll share some of those encounters with you.