[If you’re just catching up, read about day one in Cuba here!]
Day Two: Exploring Havana
So like I said in the last post, I woke up feeling super groggy and sleepy after a restless night in the heat. But it was nothing a little (or…a lot) of espresso couldn’t fix and some fresh air on the balcony. One of my favorite things about Cuba is the street life and the interaction between people. Sitting on Yolanda’s balcony, you can see friends chatting, people walking to work or elsewhere, people talking from balcony to street, etc. It’s so fascinating and always makes me wish that the United States had more of a face to face culture. We are so quick to turn away, or to interact through screens, but there is so much to SEE.
Our first full day in Havana was all about exchanging our U.S dollars for C.U.C and then plan out the rest of our trips. We walked down to Diez de Octubre (the main street through La Vibora, which is where Yolanda lives), and crossed the street to catch la gua gua (the bus). La gua gua-It’s a true Cuban experience. Completely jammed pack with sweaty (but clean!) people. You can oftentimes see the road through holes in the bottom of the bus and you’re a lucky duck if you end up next to a window. My mom goes, “Tamara! Take a picture of me!!!” Yeah, ok mom, with my free hand and my ability to balance on this rocking & shaking bus. No problema.
While my mom and Yolanda waited in line (of course!) to exchange el dinero, I walked around and took pictures. During this trip, I have a lot less pictures of mi madre and myself, and more of people/cars/things. Here is the University of Havana, where my new Princeton friends (you’ll see them in future posts) are taking classes and studying for the semester.
Once that was done (nothing goes fast in Cuba- people kept telling my mom “tranquila…”…calm down). We made our way to lunch at Cafe TV, which is a popular restaurant underneath a building called Focsa (spelling?). We stopped at touristy craft market where I later bought shoes.
And caramel ice cream (ish).