Eurodan in English

March 25, 2005

Socialismo o muerte

...was the sign that greeted us at Holguin airport, where the plane to Havana makes a short stop and we peered out of the doors, desperate to see something - anything of Cuba after 10 hours in the plane.

Since then Hugh, my travelling companion and I have been welcomed in a rather less uncompromising fashion by the Cubans, and I must say that this place is quite something.

Any attempt to wax lyrical about the place is bound to come out like sub-Judith Chalmers, so I´m not going to try. You can read all that romantic stuff in the guidebooks if you want to.

The things I´ll take away with me are certain impressions and realisations which creep up on you the longer you stay here. Like:

- The fact that musical education here is so good that the street musicians are better than some concerts I´ve been to (and they sell CDs - of which I have bought a couple)

- The fact that you do get hassled on the street in Havana by people trying to sell you stuff, but there are also people who genuinely just want to get to know foreigners. And it´s fairly easy to tell the difference.

- It´s very, very warm and humid during the day, but in the evening it´s wonderful to sit in an old square, listening to Cuban music and drinking a mojito.

- Given that most Western tourists are hundreds of times richer than your average Cuban, we´re all treated with extraordinary good grace and patience.

- Loads of other stuff besides, but it´s nearly time to go and get the plane.

There was one downer for me, apart from the heat. I had another one of those tooth problems... (There´s a picture of me on the blog looking like a chipmunk sometime back in September I think). So I had to buy some antibiotics and take it easy for a couple of days. Rats.

Anyway - now it´s back to the UK for a couple of days to see the family, and then back to Brussels where there are also people I´m looking forward to seeing...

Posted by Eurodan at 8:53 PM | Comments (3)

March 18, 2005

The sunhat has been packed, along with the factor 45 sunblock, the insect repellant, and around half a pharmacy in fact!

Yes, tomorrow morning it's off to Havana. Up to know I've been a little apprehensive about such an un-Daniel destination, but now my sense of adventure has taken over, and I'm really, *really* looking forward to it.

I'll try to write something while I'm there, but I hear that internet connections are not that easy to come by, so we'll see...

Posted by Eurodan at 4:20 PM | Comments (0)

March 12, 2005

If there's one thing I've never really "got", it's shopping.

It seems that as an urban gay man you're supposed to leap with joy at the thought of spending an afternoon searching for clothes or other "must have" trinkets, but for me it sounds like a vision of hell.

"Retail therapy" in my case would be something that I'd have to partake in to get over the awfulness of the shopping.

Today was no great exception. It was the morning after the night before, and I had to buy a whole load of cool cotton clothing for Cuba (I leave a week today), so it was a military operation. Get in, get what you want, and get the hell out of there.

Operation successful.

Now that I've admitted this, will I have to surrender my gay membership card?

Posted by Eurodan at 5:18 PM | Comments (1)

March 6, 2005

Alkoholist! (aka drunk in charge of a weblog)

A long time ago Adam warned me that I hadn't fulfilled my quota of drunken blog postings. Well now, having just come back from Brussels' rather eclectic Next party with rather too many blanches under my belt, it seems the ideal time to redress the balance.

I believe the deal was that you wouldn't erase anything the morning after. So sue me! (Or better still, forgive me!)

So, here goes... these things, dear reader, I know:-

1) They play quite good music after 2.30am at Next, but the mixing is still terrible.

2) It gets better the more you drink.

3) It can be fun to sing along with the taxi driver on the way home, especially when they're playing the original 1960's version of "C'est une poupée qui fait non, non, no-o-o-on... toute la journée, elle fait non, non, no-o-o-on... personne n'a lui jamais apprit... qu'elle peut aussi dire oui..."

4) I *can* actually have an elementary conversation entirely in Polish (albeit with a Spanish interpreter).

5) It's always good to be true to yourself, even if opening up and being honest can be difficult and disconcerting, especially with people that you like. A lot.

6) I think I'm actually quite a nice bloke overall.

7) This was a very dodgy idea and it's *way* past my bedtime.

Posted by Eurodan at 5:13 AM | Comments (1)

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