[ 9 August 2016 - Tuesday ]
[ 7 August 2016 - Sunday ]
I felt like a sack of shit (as Martin says) today - hoping this cold goes away fast. I've run out of the Hotel Nacional tissues and have been going through Hostal la Gargola toilet paper like mad blowing my nose, the housekeeper probably is wondering what the heck I'm doing, lol. Running out of tissues to blow my nose with is something that I wouldn't worry about for half a second in any other city or even country. But I seriously haven't seen a single grocery or "convenience" store anywhere!
So I kind of just wandered around not sure what else to do with myself, lots of things were closed since it's a Sunday and I didn’t really have the energy for much else. I ended up sitting in a park for an hour or so just people watching and reading, trying to not think about the starving dog on Obispo as I watched two healthy ones playing in the grass together.
[ 6 August 2016 - Saturday...later in the day ]
[ 6 August 2016 - Saturday ]
Soo, I did the unthinkable today, I attempted to book an early flight home. As fate would have it the travel agency I tried didn't have any available flights.* (Glad I didn't book that one way ticket as Martin suggested I do - apparently flights are scarce and I might have run out of cash in the meantime!!) I feel like there have been a lot of little things leading up to this point of wanting to be back home. The “Hola linda!” comments that used to be quasi-funny but at least tolerable are now annoying. A guy yesterday started talking to me, asking where I was from, what my name was, etc which all felt pretty harmless but after talking for a bit I began to leave, saying “ciao,” and walking away and I could tell that he was following me, calling out something to try to get my attention. I pretended to not notice until I couldn’t any longer. Then he asked where I was staying (not telling you that…) and whether I wanted to go to massage parlor (huh? nooo….) and that he’d go with me if I wanted (hell no……) Then as of yesterday morning, I’ve been hit hard by a cold (I sneezed so much yesterday that my abs were sore this morning, my throat is killing me, my nose won’t stop running, and I’m achy. Please don’t let it be Zikka! The starving dying dog is laying in the same exact spot as every other day sometimes with uneaten food placed beside him. Then yesterday evening I also saw a dog with a leg so mangled you could see the bone. I think that’s what sent me over the edge.
* It's not as simple of course as just hopping onto Kayak and booking a flight...
Note: This is NOT a commentary or critique on Havana or the Cuban people - what I am trying to point out is that the photos we are usually shown of Havana are always cropping something out, always making things appear more aestheticized than what is the reality of the situation.
(From what I could gather the dumpsters are where all the neighboring households had to take their trash for pick up. Unsurprisingly, door to door trash pick up, a convenience taken for granted in the US, is not a service available in Havana.)
"In the memoir Quand J’étais Photographe, '…everything appears to us with the exquisite impression of a marvelous, ravishing cleanliness. No squalor or blots on the landscape. There is nothing like distance to remove us from all ugliness.'
From: Writing on the Image: Architecture, the City and the Politics of Representation by Mark Dorrian p. 27