Cuba Beat Generation Budget
I am now paying one Dollar U.S. per day for Cuban food, or the same as Haiti. Maybe the food cost a little more in Haiti, but not much difference.
I have switched money, I am using only “Moneda Nacional.”
A small ice cream cone cost 5 cents US, a ham and cheese sandwich for 30 cents, potato chips for 15, this is cheap, and it is street food. This is the same price as Haiti, but a lot cleaner.
Havana Habana Cuba Thursday, December 10, 2009
By Andres Hidalgo with editing
Before you read another word, read this:
“You can live the same as the locals, there is no reason to use CUC, except for the room.”
Moreover, I am not positive on the price of room; I just have not been able to break out of the tourist room price trap.
Now, I will quote what the Lonely Planet Cuba says,
“For seasoned budget travelers Cuba can be a bit of a financial shock.”…
“In fact, compared with say, Guatemala or Peru, you could feel yourself staring at a veritable financial conundrum with little or no room to maneuver.”…
“With a little guile
and a certain amount of resilience….
Page 21, Lonely Planet Cuba
He is saying the same thing, just not saying it.
Why do Travel Writers make life difficult?
What is Guile?
Maybe, I had better think about this… he has a responsibility, first, to keep Tourists safe, second to make them happy. There is no moral obligation to write for poor Hobos. His audience is rich travelers. The Lonely Planet guidebook was written for people who go to Five Star Hotels and Resorts, and this is the target audience.
Now, I will also say this,
“To be safe, always pay in CUC, the tourist money.”
Do not negotiate, do not ask questions, fall in love with the country without every learning how things work, Cuba will be happy. I do not love Cuba, however it is obvious, 99.99 percent of travelers who come to Cuba, loved the place before they got here.
Cuba is the Worlds Largest Tourist Trap
I was assigned to learn about Cuba, unfortunately, few travelers every try to learn, and observe both sides, the rich and the poor. I had the good fortune to spend 3-4 days with my Norwegian friends, as they lived in expensive Hotels. They lived the life of luxury, and spent a Cuban persons monthy wage for one meal. Every day I walk around in the the Cuban Five Star Hotels, I use the internet, and see what the other half is doing.
Use the Five Star Hotel
I was laughing, we went to the Melia Cohiba swimming pool, not a question was asked. Any Hobo could have walked off the streets and used the Swimming pool, nobody was checking.
Now, please try to understand, why a Tourist Trap works. They work because everyone agrees to follow the person in front of them. There is no information provided that tells you there are any other options; it is truly a trap, a socialization trap, where the group protects the norm.
And again, and again, and again, people who live in Tourist Traps protect them, they belittle, and tell people who do not want to pay, you are cheap. You should enjoy the country and stop complaining.
I Feel Bad
I feel a little more horrible with each passing day here in Cuba. Every day I pay 20 CUC for a room. It is possible, I am not sure, but it possible, when I pay 20 CUC, this may be a month’s wages for family outside my tourist trap. I am 100 sure the Cuban people have the essentials, food, shelter, but they not have the extras, they are bored.
A man walked up to me yesterday, said he lived in England for a couple of years. Then proceeded to tell me,
“You live in the expensive Casa Particulare over there.”
“Where everything is nice.”
“Yes, I know, I have no choice.”
“We have no choice; it is time to stop the blockade.”
I started to reply, but I could see in his eyes, he was never going to blame Castro, or himself, or take responsibility.
He was short, sort of wide and squatty, obviously well fed, I doubt he wanted to work in England, so he returned to Cuba. He then proceeded to call this Haiti woman,
Then to demonstrate he spoke good English, he asked her to suck his… blah blah.
She did not understand, I understood, my English is good. He knew this; he wanted to elevate his social status, if only for a second. I looked into his eyes, I looked at hers, and I gazed at the neighbors. They were not angry, they were not defiant, they were not hungry, they were tired, they were the
“Cuban Beat Generation.”
He used to play in the streets…
Now he is beat, he sits on a concrete step, looking up at the world.
There in front of his house looking at the street, too many days, he sees the street, it does not move. He was tired of looking at the street. Life was good for him, but he was beat. He wanted to be somebody, he knew he was nobody.
He calls the girl a
“I am educated.”
Is this second or third generation welfare?