Cuba sets you back in time. I constantly feel like if I was living in the mid-sixties.Imagine: A city where people still drive around in petrol driven old chevrolets from the 50s. A city where 99% percent of all buildings are some new-baroque or colonial palaces, every single one of them so run down that you think twice before leaning on one of the beautiful terrace columns because it might collapse on you. A city where the most common car is a taxi Chevrolet ’52 with huge backlight antennas, 99% of them puzzled together by countless parts of other old cars. Oh, and if there is no Oldsmobile cab around you just take a bicycle taxi of a horse cart, there is plenty of them around. A city without internet, without mobile phones, without a working bus time table, without literally any kind of infrastructure. A city where sometimes there is electricity at your workplace and sometimes there just isn’t. That’s the way it is, that’s what you have to get used to. Very, very impressive.
Well, i got used to all that. Quite easily and quickly even and to be honest I even enjoy most of it but there is one thing I just cannot cope with. The slowness of things.
You just cannot imagine how. slowly. things. work. here.
Seriously. imagine you come to work and want to check your mail. every. single. page. takes. about. 3. minutes. to. load. then you go to the library to get some books and you have to wait 1 hour because the library lady is currently out, walking her dog. Even printing something represents a problem because there is only one printer in the entire building and for this one you first need to find some blanc paper. paper which, of course, you buy yourself. just like the toner because the institute doesnt’ have the money to afford even paper and ink.
then you have a quick chat with your colleagues and- oh, it’s already midday. lunchtime. after lunch you get to work seriously but as things happen they’re or fumicating the house or there is no electricity. fumicating is the better possibility, this way the building is only dead for about a couple of hours. if there is no electricity, go home. maybe they’ll have arranged it tomorrow. probably not.
By the way: fumicating is an insect-killing smoking of an entire building that takes place everywhere twice a week. Be it your home, your workplace, theatres, ministries or restaurants. During about two hours they place a petrol-slurping, smoke-producing machine inside the building, seal up every window and door and smoke the entire building with this stinking, oily petrol smoke. This thick smoke is so agressive that it kills every cockroach, mosquito or flee that might have taken foot in any corner of the building. The good thing is that it takes relatively little time and seems to be 100% effective. The other side of the coin sides (beside the stink) is that you never know when fumication is going to take place because the service is sold on the doorsteps by groups of three with carry around these devilish machines.