What Is Real in Cuba?
I've met some lovely people on my travels around Cuba, some genuine some hustlers. You can always tell when they approach you with a 'Where You From My Fren". If you ever hear those words run away as fast as you can.
I met what seemed like a genuine guy a year ago. From a small town east of Trinidad. I spotted him first not the other way round. We met up every night for a week and have been emailing each other ever since.
Lately he seemed impatient, and kept asking me to return in August, which is when fares are at their highest. I put my foot down and said no. He kept on saying we could go on excursions together, cook together etc. I then asked him about his living situation. He said he lives with his single parent mother, who's divorced from his father. She is a nurse.
He is unemployed, having recently been made redundant from a factory. So I could see why he had so much time on his hands. He was unemployed.
I looked up fares but they were double what I would pay in the off season. So I was firm and not coerced into booking a flight. I then wrote and told him I was the kind of woman who would never maintain a man or his family. I was in no way referring to him, but was thinking about an elderly woman I'd met during my visit. She was actually maintaining a guy and his family. And I remember thinking 'What An Idiot".
Clearly she was being used.
I also told him I did not believe in marriage and would not be marrying him or anyone else.
I was shocked by his angry reply. He accused me of 'discriminating against all Cubans'. This clearly is not the case. He said I 'should not judge all Cubans as the same'.
I wrote back and asked him to calm down that I was not referring to him but just telling him the kind of woman I was. That many silly older women, usually Canadian fly to Cuba and fall for the B.S. and send money and cellphones etc.
I told him that Love Does Not Have A Price Tag. Not that I have ever spent on him. But I merely wanted to spell out to him the aspects of Cuba that I disliked. I referred to the perros who would not get out of bed to work for 15CUC a month, they'd prefer to be maintained by a Yuma.
Again I was not referring to him but told him this is merely how I felt about the gameplaying that goes on all over Cuba.
That not all Yumas were easy. Not all Yumas were walking ATM's. Certainly this Yuma is not.
I do hope I have not upset him. But if goes all ballistic I feel it is his problem. I have emailed him again to spell out that I was not referring to him. Just wanted him to know my feelings about the kind of B.S. that is played out in every town in Cuba every day, and that I was not going to be mug to be part of that B.S.
Now he could be genuine. He could have misunderstood me.
Time will tell. Either way if he does not get back to me I will not have lost anything.
Comments by Vic Havana-guide.com
Yes, it's difficult to know what's real in Cuba.
Do not believe the stories about unemployment. When he speaks to his CDR (Communist Party Member)
he will get another job. The problem is most Cubans prefer not to work for a salary of 20 cuc.
He can earn more on the streets. You will not meet the genuine Cubans in the tourist areas of Old Havana or the all-in's of Varadero. The honest genuine Cubans do not seek contact with the tourists, most of them are proud that can offer you a coffee in their house instead of asking for money.