Showing posts from September, 2015

What Angela Davis Left for Me in Cuba

Day 1 - June 15 th , 2015 2:43 PM So Paola tells me that I can get a new dictionary at the bookstore around the corner from our hostel but in Central Havana, there’s a bookstore on EVERY corner. I swear I went to all of them!  Some are actual stores while others are in the living rooms of people’s homes. I couldn’t find anything in English. There were old, dust covered Russian-Spanish dictionaries but not one thing written in English. I was getting tired of walking but I told myself, you had to lose it in order to find whatever you are supposed to find on the journey to getting a new one. Active-optimism. I started to write that thought in my iPhone's notes because it sounded like a caption that I could use later on Instagram and my clumsy ass almost knocked over a little old lady! “Lo siento! Siento!” I frantically began to apologize. I was grateful that I knew how to say sorry in Spanish. She looked at my phone and gestured her head from side t

My First Cuban Anxiety Attack

“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.” - Rumi Day 1 - June 15 th , 2015 1:55PM “But…” I looked around the room and counted one… two… four beds. Each was neatly made except for the one that was positioned directly in front of the door. It was in the corner of the un-air-conditioned room, right next to the wall’s built-in bookcase. I watched her place a faded salmon-pink sheet on the twin bed and with as much courage as I could muster, I said, “I am supposed to have the private apartment … with the balcony.” Her name was Marisol. She was the housemother of Casa De Linda, my casa-particular for the next 29 days. She looked at me and I could tell that she was completely dumbfounded. I didn’t know what else I could say to rectify the situation because she didn’t speak any English. “Paola!!!” She yelled in a super loud Cuban accent for one of the houseguests to translate for us. Paola entered the room wearing a pair of denim daisy-dukes and

I Wasn't Ready

Day 1 – Monday, June 15 th , 2015  1:21 PM I laughed it off but I wanted to die. I wanted to cry. Maybe it was too soon for me to be diving right in but I smelled the acrylic and saw the sign MANICURE hand-painted in the window and I went in.  " {Insert some Spanish for how may I help you?} " It was a really wide and desolate room - no sign of any nails or toes. Maybe I was expecting to see some little Asian women.  "Hi, I want to get my feet done..." "QUE?!"  She looked like a regular older Black lady from Baltimore. Dark and very frail, with a strong attitude in her tone. I sat right next to her on the bench like I'd known her all my life. I was comfortable. "I don't speak Spanish." I still have no idea what she was saying to the lady next to her but it wasn't nice. She was talking enough sh't to make us all laugh, while mimicking my words in an attempted pretentious American accent. She y