More of Cuba

Some photo memories of Cuba:

A new convert of the Santeria religion.  New converts wear all white and carry all white accessories.

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Che Guevara’s official house in Havana where he met political visitors.

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The vehicle that Castro used during the revolution.  See the bullet holes?

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There are a lot of stray cats in Havana.

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Interesting form of public transport in Viñales Valley

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Mountains (mogotes) in Vinales Valley, a UNESCO heritage site.  We were informed that they are some of the oldest mountains in the world along with those in China and a few other places

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Mural de la Prehistoria in Viñales Valley

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I have no idea what this woman was doing on this rooster sans clothes

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A  man on a donkey (horse?) which seems to be talking

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Public phones are still used quite a bit in Cuba

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I am sure I recognize that village gossip on the right

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Cristo de La Habana in Casablanca, Havana.  It is opposite Che’s house

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Malecón – it is usually busy in evenings with people strolling, families relaxing, couples loving each other and me gawking at everything and everyone around

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Jose Marti memorial

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Cuba, exciting, Cuba!

First three one letter expressions of what I thought of Cuba are:

  • Great!
  • Music!
  • Safety!

I had a Great time in Cuba and would visit again in a heartbeat.  One of the reasons for this were the classic cars which we see on TV, or as Cubans call them, American cars.  I had always wanted to visit Cuba to see these cars before the country was too developed to have brand new cars.  There are two types of American cars: the ones for tourists and the ones for personal use by locals.  The tourist ones are spic and span, while the local ones look like they need quite a bit of TLC.

Tourist cars

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Local cars

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I also go to see the old buildings which were built to last fourteen millennia in mind, I thought.  These are really strong buildings because they are still standing even with minimal or no maintenance.

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Oh, they have their own Capitol Building as well, though it was under renovation.

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I love live Music and could not believe how much there was everywhere, not only in Havana but elsewhere.  Most of the tourists I met concluded that all Cubans have musical talents in their genes.  I believe it!

An almost all-female band in Vinales, a town outside Havana who are very good musicians.  The highlight for me was the young lady playing the trumpet.

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I treated myself to a dinner concert by Buena Vista Social Club, a group that consists of people who are in their eighties down to those in their twenties.  I particularly liked one elderly man, in the photo below, who seemed to be in his eighties.  I wondered why they brought him on since he looked fragile, until I heard him sing and saw his energy when performing.  True, he was not sturdy, but his energy was electric – he has been performing since the fifties after all.

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Havana is very Safe, whether you be male or female.  You can walk alone any time of day or night.  Nobody bothers you.  Instead Cubans are very helpful and will offer to walk you somewhere if they think you are lost, with no exchange of money.  A tour guide summed it up well when she said “We have to be friendly and helpful to tourists because they are our livelihood.”  You don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

Of course, not all is rosy in Cuba but for this and the next post I have decided to just focus on the positive.  I concluded that the positives more than outweigh the negatives.

Welcome to Zambia – Devil’s Pool

https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/whats-hot/this-video-of-people-swimming-to-the-edge-of-a-338-foot-waterfall-in-zambia-is-going-viral/ar-BBEHaRg?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartanntp

This video has gone viral about my country.  No, I have never swam at the Devil’s Pool and no, I don’t intend to do now :).  I have seen daredevils enjoying themselves there, and most of them were westerners – Zambians are too courageous to do that.  Yeah, right!

I hope some of you will consider visiting and enjoy the unspoiled beauty of “Zambia, the Real Africa”.

 

 

Mexico City Visit

I treated myself to a vacation I have wanted to take for several years – Mexico City and Havana!  I will tackle Mexico City first, where I had a great time. I was amazed at the beauty, cleanliness and safety of the City.

I was put off going there ten years ago when reports about drugs and violence started being broadcast a lot.  I made a hotel reservation down a few months ago but after checking with a local, changed to the Hyatt which is in a ‘safe’ place.  I requested for a hotel driver to take me around the City for added security, only for him to sit in the car and tell me to walk downtown alone.  Of course, I ‘fired’ him within the first hour as I felt very safe, what with police everywhere and people who did not bother me.  They were only curious about my look (I was wearing African clothes).  I even rode the Metro and had no issues.  I do realize that one can be unlucky and mugged, but that can happen anywhere in the world.

A healer? shaman? shooing away evil spirits – there were many people who partook.  I almost thought of standing in line 🙂

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Mexico City is quite clean compared to other places I have been to, even at roadside restaurants and shops!

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I went on a tour of the Teotihuacan Pyramids about 40 kilometers from the City.  I managed to climb the Sun Pyramid but had had vertigo as steps in one part are very steep and so I did not even attempt to go up the Moon one, which is even steeper.

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I tried researching what this cat/cayote found downtown is, but could not find anything on it.

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I spent one night in a hotel downtown at the end on my way from Havana.  I can’t say much about it as I spent the whole day in my room.  I just needed to get away from crowds for a while….

 

Gatecrasher – WW2 Memorial

Some friends and I went on a walk on the National Mall yesterday.  We walked at the World War 2 memorial and some military/navy (not sure which wing) marched in.  One guy decided to live out his fantasy of being a US military man and joined the line. He seemed very happy about it – I guess I would be too if I lived out my dream for a minute.

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Too poor to sit?

As far back as I can remember, my mother had a negative view of squatting.  As a child when I squatted instead of sitting down or kneeling, my mother would always ask me “Are you too poor to sit or kneel?”  I still don’t understood why she thought so, but I started thinking like her.  I believe squatting makes someone looks poor.  This is not true, I know, but well if you hear an opinion countless times from childhood, you start believing it.  As a result, I stopped squatting after hearing this a few times and you still wouldn’t catch me squatting.

Isn’t it tiring to have endless opinions about everything, including squatting?!!!  I think I am just missing my mother, hence this post.  🙂

Have a great weekend, all (mine has started).

Let’s do coffee

“Let’s do coffee some time.”

“Let’s do lunch some time.”

“I will call you soon.”

I can’t count how many times I have been told this and nothing ever came out of it.  At first when I just moved to the States, I used to believe it and would wait for the people to call since they said they would.  On other occasions, I would get in touch with them only to get excuses.  Without realizing it, I also started saying we should ‘do’ lunch or coffee ‘some time’ because I had come to learn that this was code for “I want to seem like I want to see you again, but actually I don’t care”.  I stopped saying this to people as soon as I noticed what I was doing.

I just wonder why we continue saying this even though everyone knows what it means or doesn’t.  I find it quite irritating to tell the truth. I would rather someone doesn’t say anything at all, but this is the world I am in.

To you reading this piece – let’s do lunch tomorrow.

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