Monday, March 30, 2009

it's hard to plot a revolution when your gchat is acting slow

The internets are super-bad and expensive here so the bloggoretti with sauce has been on hold for a while - sorry, champs. Suffice it to say that Cuba is psyched about Barry, even though he's what the French call a "dirty poseur" (not to be confused with Sanchez), and I just want to know why people are so quick to get their rocks off with him JUST BECAUSE HE'S BLACK. This makes no sense to me. I mean, hooray for black people getting to be president and all, but WHAT ABOUT THE CHANGE AND HOPE? I mean, change AND hope, right? The United States is really impossible. I wrote a poem about the United States; here is the first part:

The US and A
hip hip hooray
we've fucked up the world
but we're not done for the day.

We hate skin that's not white
we like to use our weapons to fight
those who espouse real democracy and freedom
they should just go fly a kite.

There's your foreign policy in a nutsack.

The edits are forthcoming, sticklers. Don't worry - I actually do know how to count a rhyme scheme.

Wilson and I need to go practice Chan Chan for the open mic nite at Fresa y Chocolate.

Monday, March 23, 2009

He gets his sesame seeds over the table

I called Uncle Billy's friend who lives in Miramar, and I found out, among other things, that he is an underground baker, and we're planning a trip out there to clean him out of oat bran surprise and any other whole grains he may have. His wife is a psychologist for intersex patients and also women with problems related to menopause. I guess psychotherapy is taking off here; maybe it's a sign that people can worry about things other than subsistence. And now that Cuba's out of the Baseball Classic, there's really not a whole lot else to pay attention to.

One more tomato-onion sandwich for the road

One reason I didn't give my sister my driver's license before I left was because I had a feeling I'd need it at some point. Cuba is pretty lax about drinking laws - apparently people are supposed to be 16 to buy alcohol, but beer vending machines probably do little to dissuade underage consumption - but apparently they tighten up about car rentals. It came to pass that only UNC Juan and I were qualified to take out the tin-can Hyundais that we needed for our go-west-young-man trip, but I have never in my life driven a stick shift and so I had to put up a good game face while Caitlin nearly had a conniption in the passenger seat next to me ("Okay ease into the clutch...not the gas! Not the gas! Okay, go into first gear. First gear! It's over and up! ") - well, that's almost a lie; she was very patient and we didn't stall at all, at least until we had to switch places again to return the car on Sunday, and maybe that was a little more precarious because sometimes the Ministry of Transportation doesn't do a good job of labeling cross-walks, and certain drivers who don't actually know how to drive the cars they're in may not see said cross-walks, and let's just leave it there, noting that no, nobody got hurt and yes, we did get our deposit back.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

things you can buy in cuba to determine what is valuable in society

a price list:

pesos = moneda nacional (what Cubans get paid in)
CUC = pesos convertibles (what tourists get in exchange for other currency. Supposedly tourists can spend only CUC legally, but it is easy to exchange CUC for moneda nacional.)

1 CUC = 25 pesos = 1.35 USD (approx.; including the 30% fee for exchanging USD into Cuban currency)
1 peso = 4 cents CUC (approx)

glass of guava juice.....2 pesos
mango juicebox w/ straw....95 cents, CUC
rum and pinapple juicebox w/ straw.....90 cents, CUC
personal pizza pie.....10 pesos
tortica (sugar cookie)...1 peso
movie ticket, student...2 pesos
ticket to see the Venezuelan National Symphonic Orchestra.....5 pesos
photocopy of La Historia Me Absolverá...25 pesos
same photocopy of La Historia Me Absolverá, offered later in the week....my phone number
bunch of sunflowers.....15 pesos
bus fare.....40 cents, moneda nacional
use of University bathroom.....20 cents, moneda nacional
entrance admission at the Afro-Cuban religion museum in Guanabacoa.....2 pesos
price to take photos at the Afro-Cuban religion museum in Guanabacoa.....2 CUC
lunchbox with rice, beans, tomato, boiled yucca, and pork.....25 pesos
lunchbox without the pork...15 pesos
packet of Lucky Strike Silver 2cigarettes.....2.45 CUC
two hours of internet access.....12 CUC