30 January 2010
Any destination that holds a ban for American visitors can’t help but carry an allure. Just the mention of Cuba will inevitably generate an interest in what has become a mythical destination for many. I found it unusual to travel to a place that hosted tourists from all over the world, although has remained staunchly untouched by the omnipresent American tourist infrastructure.
You almost can’t escape the clichés here in Cuba. It really is like falling into a 1950’s movie set. Old cars cruise by crumbling colorful walls. I suck down minty mojitos while swaying to the omnipresent music and dancing that permeates every street corner and bar, day or night.
When the sun sets along the Malecon the men break out their fishing poles as children dive into the surf. Couples remain interlocked for the evening in such passionate embraces that the sea wall becomes somewhat of a love hotel without walls.
In Trinidad, a city devoid of technical distractions, life spills into the streets. Men tie up their horses and play a rowdy game of dominos at the end of the day. Teenagers practice their dance steps for their upcoming Quinceañera while women gossip and show off their babies.
On every street corner children play baseball with a stick and an old bottle cap. The thought of returning to my 28th floor New York apartment seems lonely.