May 7, 2008

Cuban Connections
Miami Beach, United States

I bought a bicycle from a random Cuban guy today who I've never seen before, nor am likely to see again. It's probably stolen, though won't lose any sleep over it. A few weeks ago we'd put the word out that we were interested in having one, and I'm glad to see something finally came of it.

Today's fellow left quite pissed when I hustled him down to a meager $10 for the 21-speed bike (in pretty good condition, only needing a little air in the front tire). I don't really even have much of a lock for it—to buy even a heavy-gauge chain from a hardware store would probably cost as much as the bike. I'm content to use a simple padlock and thin, plastic-coated wire to keep it secured to the rack outside our hotel.

There are Cubans all over the place in the area where we're living. There are quite a few that seem to rarely leave this hotel's patio, and can regularly be found talking/complaining about Castro. Tatiana calls the ones she doesn't like by a derogatory Spanish word: Balsero—meaning "rafter".

Tip: Found yourself a heated argument with a Cuban in Miami? Calling him (or her) a "balsero(a) come mierda" is about as hard-hitting an insult as you can throw at them (without mentioning their mother).


The United States


May 8th, 2008

You should head over to Cuba before we lift the travel ban and flood the place with U.S. tourists. Of course, I'm not sure I'd write about it on the blog because, well, you know… it's technically illegal and all. Eh, details…

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