Life in Havana felt like I traveled back in time. Although a vast majority of the buildings seem to be decaying, there’s always something beautiful to acknowledge. From bright hues and pastels, to textured walls, and colorful handmade hydraulic tiles, old Havana overflows with breathtaking and vibrant palettes worthy of inspiration. Despite the conditions of the buildings, I was enamored of Havana’s charming cinematic character that made every sight and setting feel like a frame from a film.
Also, because of its insular nature and limited exposure to the outside world, its inhabitants have an untainted sense of self. These young women aren't spending their time on Instagram comparing themselves to images of Kylie Jenner. They go to school, after school they come out and play, flirt with boys here and there, and head in when it gets dark. Time stands still in Cuba.
As beautiful as life in Cuba may be, it is certainly not without its downsides. The centralized system of living has resulted in severe shortages of key infrastructure. READ HERE
Although insularity enhances the sense of self, it does so at the expense of exposure. The limited access to information and exposure to the outside world stunts the growth of the Cuban people. They invariably become unable to compete with their counterparts from other countries. Truly an island of its own.
Life on the island of Cuba, like most communist economies has its upsides. Its citizens are guaranteed the necessities of life such as affordable housing, free healthcare, and basic education (with a relatively low student to teacher ratio). Society is classless. The absence of privately-controlled factors of production eliminates the use of classifications typical of capitalism. People are treated equally by government regardless of academic achievement, financial standing, and similar indices determined by private fiscal strength. Life is made simple, and lived simply.
TO EAT + SMOKE CIGARS : LA GUARIDA
TO DRINK + EAT: LA CONCORDIA (mojito Frappe on point)
TO PARTY: FÁBRICA DE ARTE
TO STAY: AIRBNB ( Casa Miriam Hostal Colonial
THINGS I WISH I KNEW AS A US CITIZEN TRAVELING TO CUBA
- There are two different currencies being used on the island. One for locals and one for tourists.
- There's a limited access to ATM's that accept American Visa cards. Go with cash and change your dollars to Euros/Pounds before getting to cuba.
- For internet access, residents have to join queues at specific parts of the cities, queues that stretched out of the door and round the block. Even so, access was subject to the purchase of login cards, and only accessible at public parks.
- You are better off saying that you are Nigerian than American.
- Stay away from a man named Mr. Angel
- CUBA IS NOT CHEAP FOR TOURISTS!!!