I thought I was going to update ya´ll on my situation in Cuba, since I feel that I have come a bit too short on that part. So, here´s an informative update all for ya´ll:
10 Questions and Answers on Cuba
1. I AM in Cuba. Why? To study Spanish and Philosophy (ex.phil and ex.fac).
2. Where am I staying? In La villa not far from Cojimar, east of Habana (or Havana if you like). I live in the penthouse of an appartement-building rented for the Norwegian students, and I share it with three other guys from Norway whom I didn´t know before. Now that I do, I can tell you that they are really great.
3. Where are you studying? The three first weeks, last day tomorrow!, we had Spanish in La Universidad de La Habana, tutored by a Spanish professor who refuses to speak anything but Spanish. I think we´ve learned more in 3 weeks than you learn in 3 years in Norwegian high-school. On monday, we´ll begin the ex.phil and ex.fac studies, and I guess we´re going to some other school or somewhere they can entertain a group of approx. 60 students.
4. Any parties or just school? Eh. The question should probably be the other way around:) No, just kidding. We´re having one big party a week, and since we have a lot of homework to do in addition to reading etc., I stick to that one. Last Saturday me and three other guys went on a concert, and afterwards we strolled down to Malecón where we danced and got drunk. Really funny! (Read the previous post for more information.)
5. How IS Cuba? Oh, it´s much more than I´d be able to absorb in the three weeks I´ve been here, but I can tell you some stuff I´ve noticed in my wee time here. a) Propaganda like: "Vive Che!" and "Tenemos y tendremos EL SOCIALISMO" can be found anywhere. Along the road on big signs, but also painted on buildings and sidewalks everywhere. The food is also worth mentioning; it´s NOT as bad as ppl wants it to be. On the contruary. It´s just a bit boring. What we call ´junk food´ at home, is regular food over here. And the bread is almost always just loaf.
6. And the people of Cuba? Los Cubanos are like the climate; very warm, but since I live in a richer area of Habana I get to meet too much jinteros and jinteras to really appreciate the people. Jinteros/as are people who surf on the foreigners by offering all kinds of services or just superficial relationships. I have met some people, though, who couldn´t care less about my money. One day about a week ago, I was walking around taking photographs (I´ve taken 115 already!) when I was invited into a family´s house to have a refreshment. With my dog-spanish and their stuttering American we got along just fine and talked about the differences and similarities of Norwegians/Europeans and Cubans. When I´ve got some more control of what I say and how to say it, I´ll probably try to get to know some students, because they are youths just as I am and care less about making a profit.
7. How are the beaches?? I´m abit ashamed to tell you this, but despite my friends taking off to the beach all the time, I´ve felt that I hadn´t had the time nor the energy to visit any of them yet. We live not far from the ocean, but there is only this vulcano-rocks there, really beautiful but deadly if you get caught by a wave. Sharks only swim further out, but I take no chances with them either.
8. Are the Cuban girls as nice as the myths wants it to? In general? Yes. Cubans are very careful with they way they look, so you will seldom run into fat cubans (not literally, anyway:). The problem is the jintera issue. Are you willing to pay for a girl to like your company? Me? -no. But if you´re a good dancer, you don´t have to, so I´ve signed on the salsacourse to learn how to shake that ass! Can´t wait to master it fully:)
9. Climate and temperature? Pretty
fucking hot and usually a rainshower every other day around 4 p.m. The last five days, however, we haven´t had any rain at all, but the air is so humid over here that you´ll never feel dry at all. The only thing making you catching a cold, AND YOU WILL, is all the airconditioned places you walk in and out of.
10. Are you having a good time? Yes. Between all the studying and partying I set time aside to do what I really want to and that is to walk around taking photographs ans just absorb the "cuban feel". I wish that I had more room to be alone, though. Not that everywhere is crowded, like it was in Beijing, but I share room with three other people – and don´t get me wrong – I really like ´em, I´m just that kind of guy who needs some quiet hours to read and write and think. If possible, with a big cup of coffe.
I hope that answered some of the questions you may or may not have, but if it didn´t, feel free to e-mail me or use the comment system found below this post:) That´ll be all for today! See ya!