In lieu of the ”OH EHM GEE you guys look at all these pictures of my summer abroad, oh my gawd I’m having the most incredible adventure” Facebook album, I’ve opted to express my feelings on Cuba, a truly beautiful country, through a more heinous medium (wait let’s be honest I’m still posting Facebook pictures. The only reason there aren’t more is that the internet is slow as balls).
Cuba is incredible and different from anywhere I’ve ever been. I learned a shit-ton in five weeks, but I’m still very much an outsider. But my Spanish is better and I have an increased penchant for rum. My salsa moves, however, are still a work in progress. The hope is that after three more weeks I’ll look less like an epileptic chicken.
For my own self-indulgence your enjoyment, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 reasons that I know I’m not in a Chicago suburb anymore.
1. In my life at home/Northwestern, I view dancing as a necessary evil. Here it is a way of life.
2. In that spirit, my dance moves that can pass for charming at best at a crush party are absolutely laughable here in Cuba. Here, everyone has this thing called rhythm. I got none of dat.
3. In Cuba, the closest things to a tater tot are these little fried malanga fritters. The closest thing to mac and cheese is NOTHING THEY DON’T HAVE IT HERE.
4. The US embargo means that all the cars here are either modern cars imported from Asia or American cars from before 1959. So, like, half the cars on the street straight-up look like Greased Lightning. It’s so cool.
5. Bathrooms in Cuba are nothing to get excited about. Only twice have I encountered a public bathroom that had the Holy Trinity (soap, toilet paper, and a toilet seat).
6. Pinga means dick. Piña means pineapple. So if you mix them up and say “Pinga is my favorite, I want to eat it every day,” then that’s awkward.
7. Cuban guys have been drawing pictures of me. It’s happened three times, each picture with varying degrees of accuracy. In one picture, the guy was a superhero (with wings!) and I was the damsel in distress. I’m just going with it.
8. This one guy grabbed my face when I was walking down the street. Then he made eye contact, apologized, and proceeded to caress my cheek. It was weird.
9. Estoy embarazada does not mean “I’m embarrassed.” It means “I’m pregnant.” I know this. It was drilled into my head in tenth grade Spanish. Mixing it up is a goddamn rookie mistake. But I don’t think well under pressure. So in the heat of a rapid Spanish conversation, I accidently told a bartender that I was pregnant. He just looked like he really didn’t know what to do with that information.
10. The ocean is RIGHT THERE and it’s so fucking awesome.