Month: May 2016

Stottern auf Englisch!

Ich habe die wunderbare Gabe, mich in unmögliche Situationen zu bringen.
Nun ja, mein Leid ist des anderen Freud’.
Und so war es auch neulich als ich bei einem “Open Mic” Abend im “Old Man Hustle”, plötzlich auf der Bühne stand.
Diejenigen die mich kennen, wissen, dass es jetzt nicht so unbedingt meine Stärke ist, vor Leuten zu sprechen. Zumindest nicht, wenn ich auf der Bühne ich selber bin. Schauspielern ist etwas Anderes.
Aber wenn es nur ich und eine Gruppe Menschen mit erwartungsvollen Blicken sind, dann bin ich eher unbeholfen.
Ich sage dann sehr viel “ääähm” oder “mmmh” und manchmal werfe ich auch gerne ein geistreiches “aaalsooo” in den Raum, ohne dass dem “also” irgendetwas folgen würde.

Jetzt ist es aber auch so, dass ich es überhaupt nicht leiden kann, als einziger Mensch im Raum nicht den Mut zu haben etwas durchzuziehen. Dafür bin ich zu stolz. Außerdem sind neue Erfahrungen gut, das ist doch eigentlich was ich will. Lieber nicht so exponiert, aber nagut, man kann nicht alles haben.
Was bleibt einem also? Augen zu und durch.
Das erste Problem begann schon beim stottern.
Wie zur Hölle stottere ich denn auf Englisch?
Nach kurzem überlegen und eingeschüchtertem Lachen, dass ein rotes Gesicht und ganz viel “hehehe” beinhaltete, beschloss ich, mich zusammenzureißen.
Ja ich hatte zwar nichts zu sagen und erst recht nichts vorbereitet, aber ich war 12 Jahre lang in der Schule, das muss zu irgendetwas gut gewesen sein.
Und mir irgendeinen Quatsch aus den Fingern saugen, konnte ich schon immer .
Manchmal kann ich es sogar gar nicht zurückhalten. Ich nenne diese sinnlosen aber sehr unterhaltsamen Monologe gerne meine “Wortkotze”.

Jedenfalls machte ich dann den ersten Schritt und begann mein “äähhm” und “ööhm” und “aaaalsooo” auf Englisch zu übersetzen.
Das geht dann ungefähr so:
“Yeeeah”, “uuum”, “weeeelll”.
Ich muss wohl nicht noch sagen, dass die Crowd begeistert war.
Aber dann hatte ich mich warm gesprochen.
Ich erklärte ihnen wie mich mein eigenes “uuuum” inspiriert und dass das ganze ein Teil davon sei, wie ich mich als Künstlerin ausdrücke. Jeder hat ja so seine Art auf der Bühne. Und wie jeder gute Künstler behaupte ich einfach mal: “Das muss so, das hat einen tieferen Sinn”.
Dann lachten die Leute ( wer weiß ob nicht aus Verzweiflung, aber immerhin) und auf einmal war die Stimmung aufgelockert.
Ich setzte mich also auf diesen Hocker und begann die 10 min. mit irgendeinem Blödsinn zu füllen, was sie gar nicht so schlecht fanden. Zumindest wirkte es so.
Aber ich will hier nicht behaupten, dass die gute Stimmung allein mein Werk war.
Der Alkoholpegel im Raum war doch relativ hoch und als einzig nüchterne Person im Raum, war das sogar noch deutlicher.
Wir saßen dann wie in einem kleinen Familienkreis zusammen und obwohl mir zwischendurch der Erzählstoff ausging ( denn wie immer wenn mir das Wort erteilt wird, wird mein Kopf plötzlich unnatürlich leer), überlebte ich diese zehn Minuten.

Im Nachhinein kann ich sagen, es war eine gute Erfahrung und ich habe auch definitiv auch etwas davon mitgenommen.
Was das wohl ist?
Ich bin jetzt Profi im englischsprachigen Stottern!!!
Wer von euch kann das von sich behaupten?

Und Respekt an all’ die Comedians die sich Abend für Abend auf eine riesige Bühne stellen (mit nüchternem Publikum) und genug Quatsch zusammenbringen um diese Menschen ewig lang zu unterhalten!

“In Summer”-A poem

Oh, summer has clothed the earth
In a cloak from the loom of the sun!
And a mantle, too, of the skies’ soft blue,
And a belt where the rivers run.

And now for the kiss of the wind,
And the touch of the air’s soft hands,
With the rest from strife and the heat of life,
With the freedom of lakes and lands.

I envy the farmer’s boy
Who sings as he follows the plow;
While the shining green of the young blades lean
To the breezes that cool his brow.

He sings to the dewy morn,
No thought of another’s ear;
But the song he sings is a chant for kings
And the whole wide world to hear.

He sings of the joys of life,
Of the pleasures of work and rest,
From an o’erfull heart, without aim or art;
‘T is a song of the merriest.

O ye who toil in the town,
And ye who moil in the mart,
Hear the artless song, and your faith made strong
Shall renew your joy of heart.

Oh, poor were the worth of the world
If never a song were heard,—
If the sting of grief had no relief,
And never a heart were stirred.

So, long as the streams run down,
And as long as the robins trill,
Let us taunt old Care with a merry air,
And sing in the face of ill.

-Paul Lawrence Dunbar.

Patience.

Hey there!
I finally translated my essay “Geduld” . I hope you guys enjoy it.

 

 

“Please God, give me patience-but RIGHT NOW!”
-probably,we all once in a while-

….sadly that’s not how patience works.

Hello there!
I am finally translating this article.
The topic of this post is patience.
In my first post I had a quote from Mr. Freiherr von Knigge and said that I would write about each of the mentioned topics.

So let’s get started.

Wherever you’re going and wherever you’re traveling around, you’ll need patience. I tried to remember a situation when  I needed a lot of patience.
After a couple of minutes I remembered a whole lot of things, and even by the thought of it I got impatient.
But most of these situations had a good ending and also I realised that they weren’t too bad in the first place.
Honestly I think that I just got upset because I had the time for it. And in most cases it was good that I stayed patient.

Sometimes it feels like the whole world is only testing how long I can stay calm and patient. Of course no one is testing me, but life can be tough when yu have to wait in an endless qeue to get some food.
Well, that’s my temperament.

To be honest,often it’s also my own fault that I have to be patient. By messing up something else, not being prepared or too late…I see that this is my fault, but then in this very moment I blame anyone but myself.
The time I needed my patience the most was in Cuba (and by the way in Cuba it wasn’t my fault- I was super German: punctual, friendly,and surprisingly  organised!)

The first story that I thought of when I started writing this article was when I was waiting for the bus in Scotland.
It all started when I left Aberdeen for Cruden Bay.
(Cruden Bay is a super small village near Peterhead in Aberdeenshire).

Well on my way to Cruden Bay I stopped in another village where I had booked a B&B. As this B&B turned out to be 20 minutes away from the actual town (20min. with the car). I left the place quite early in the morning as the bus stop was supposed tob e a couple of miles away and the lady who owned the place wasn’t sure where this bus stop was. Either 3 miles up the hill or down the hill.
So I packed all my stuff and grabbed the way to heavy bag, to continue my journey to Cruden Bay.
First of all, I wandered about 3 miles in the wrong direction. ( I can tell you, this was sooo frustrating.) Until I met this one lady who was chasing her dogs. She gave me the advice that every scotish person likes to give:
„Go down the road girl. Down the road“
This sentence, coming together with a vague gesture in a random direction scared me already after my first two days there.
But this time, the choice of ways that I could go was pretty small. The only possible way I could go was the opposite direction.
So I just turned around and walked all the way back.

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Looked like some people also died on their way to the bus station.But I would have seen this if I didn’t had to walk and I find it has a wild and very typically Scottish charm .

Finally I saw an actual street AND a bus stop (!!).
Moreover there was even a bus, coming closer and closer tot he station, and finally stopping there.
During my long and painful walk through the wilderness I sort of forgot the reason why I was walking around.
I was so busy throwing my own pity party in the rain, that I totally forgot what I was looking for.
So when I first saw the bus all I thought was „oh a bus“.
And then, step by step, this information actually reached my brain and I started running. But it was too late. I was too far away and the bus only stopped for like two seconds.

When I actually started running, and screaming and crawling my armst he bus had already started to move again.

Well, I thought, what is wrong with having a seat and resting for 20 minutes and taking the next bus?
Nothing at all.
Tragically it turned out that this bus doesn’t come every 20 minutes but every two hours.
Plus, the bus stop had a roof but no bank to sit on.
The empty battery of my phone informed me that listening to music was not an option,neither was googling the direction tot he village ( so I could walk, if I wanted to- but I didn’t want anyway). The device died two minutes later.
It felt like the time was going backwards. It felt like waiting for hours, the time cringed like a tired and exhausted snail.
Then I saw a familiar person sitting in a car, driving towards the village.
It was the owner oft he B&B, she smiled at me happily and drove around the corner.
At this moment I was more than just tempted to completely wreck my stupid, old, idyllic bus station in the middle of nowhere. I was so frustrated, I could feel my blood bubbling in my veins.
The last couple of days I had some sort of bad luck and had to take some backstrokes and I began to be sick of it.
I didn’t have a bed for the night, nor a plan how to find one. And certainly I didn’t have an adapter either- which could have solved at least some of my problems. (It took me one more day until I found an adapter AND a place where I could plug- in my phone).

Luckily I am a super stubborn person sometimes and I refuse to take ebooks instead of real books with me. So my bag, was like a little library where someone had accidently also left some clothes.
Within minutes I was totally lost in the world of Mr. & Mrs Darcy, trying to figure out who the Murderer was ( I was reading „Death Comes To Pemberley“ by P.D. James). I was so absorbed from the book that I almost managed to miss the second bus too.
Thanks tot he Scotish kindness and the attentiveness of the driver I didn’t do so.
He actually drove back to the bus station and started tooting until he caught my attention.
I will never forget this. The wonderful person brought me ( more or less) to my destination and saved my day for sure!

————————

But anyway, this wasn’t even the story that I actually wanted to tell you. It just popped up in my miund right now. My patience was actually needed at an ATM in Cuba. There aren’t many ATM’s in Cuba, but ATM’s that actually work are a real rarity.
Also when you happen to find one that works, it doesn’t mean anything at all. It isn’t a promise that you can come back. Maybe the next day the machine isn’t working anymore. ATM’s aren’t really a thing you can rely on.

Please appreciate any working ATM that you might find there!

Well, this particular day, I was lucky enough to find one of these exemplars.
With a huge smile and a lot of euphoria I lined up behind the already waiting people.
I was having a great day. The sun was shining, I was on my way to meet some friends at the beach and I was about to get some money from the ATM.
As it was Cuba, this small group of people waiting to use the ATM grew. Andi t turned out to be a real happening. Cousins walking by that you haven’t seen in forever, and amigos that you wanted to meet later anyways, and just strangers hanging around.
Some family disputes were settled and some new were started.
Tragedies happened, break ups in the middle of everything and big love revivals. Sometimes Cuba is a lot like these super cheesy but still exciting Spanish TV shows, where you think this is just impossible. But it turns out that it is actually super possible and also likely.

IMG_6896Cubans are just the most relaxed people on earth.They are as calm as a mountain in the raging storm-no matter what, nothing can move the mountain.

Usually I would have really enjoyed this, but I was a bit in a rush.
Thanks to the non-existent internet connection and absent telephone net I had received a message 2 hours too late so that at this very moment I was already supposed to be at the beach.
The weather was amazing ( even for Cuba outstanding) and I couldn’t wait to get there. But I needed the money to pay the taxi driver.
Havana doesn’t have a beach, it only has the Malécon so you have to take an Almendrón or a bike (I had no clue where one could get bikes from) to drive to the beach.

Finally it was almost my turn. Only one person left until I could get the money and leave. I was already planning with whom of the taxi drivers that I knew could go there for the best price.
And how the hell I was supposed to find David and Pablo on an endless beach with hundreds of people? Calling was obviously not an option.
Sometimes the bank employees would let some of their friends use the ATM first, so they wouldn’t have to wait- but hey, why getting mad on such a beautiful day? Nothing in the whole wide world could bother me now. I was in Cuba, feeling totally relaxed and soooo close to the beach, that I could almost smell the sea already. All about to spend the whole day with amazing people who truly inspire me.
Absolutely nothing to complain about.

…Still. It is not really okay to let people wait forever and others can just go and get their moeny right away. This would never happen in Germany. This is so rude, isn’t it?
But I tried to remind myself of the Cuban easygoingness, that I had soo in my blood now. I was so relaxed, Balu in the Junglebook would probably be jealous. I mean, I was so relaxed that you couldn’t tell the difference between me and Cubans!
Only this annoying non-sense of ignoring people that wait….hmmpfh.

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Also this men was really taking his time. Some of the people behind me, had already given up hope and left.
He had been there for at least 15 minutes now, and I started to observe him. A couple of employees came and left, and others came to help him. They tried to explain him how to use an ATM. At one point I wasn’t sure if he spoke Spanish as he didn’t understand anything. But regarding his temper, he was obviously Cuban.

The German couple that was waiting right behind me, didn’t seem to care at all. They had a pretty obvious east German accent,enjoyed the old communistic flair and smiled at the overwhelming incompetence oft he man at the ATM. Also they were totally okay with the manager not caring at all. Just one or three ironic,arrogant and almost pitying comments on the Cuban education here and there. They seemed to be in total peace with themselves and the world, standing there in their old Birkenstocks.
I was getting more and more nervous. The bank employees in their tight skirts, high heels, see-thorugh blouses and obscene long nails were totally focussing on a discussion about a lipstick colour and let the man tap on the screen over and over again. The only problem with this: It wasn’t a touch screen.

Sometimes they glanced at us, either smiling or with an arrogant look in their eyes. A maximum of arbitrariness.
However, no one seemed to care and help the man at the ATM or at least inform him about the little detail, that this machine didn’t have a touch screen.
On the other hand, it’s not like they have touch-screens everywhere so he could have thought of this himself. Actually I still wonder how he got the idea that this old machine could have such a modern technology.

And then I saw it.
An incredible thing happened.
The man tried to put his credit card in the drawer-like thing were you take your money from. And then he kept on doing this and trying to get money. Again, and again and again- as my small nephew Charyan would say.
And that is when I lost it.
Screw this bloody serenity.
I stormed into the bank (which you aren’t supposed to enter when you are wearing a dress and flip flops). I didn’t care about this stupid dress code, these uniforms that the female employees were wearing were soo inapproriate, they could defenitely survive me and my „chancletas“.

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I was so mad that I could barely breathe.
I marched towards the first desk that I saw, with a „get-ready-because-you-are-going-to-die“ sort of look in my eyes.
Then I just handed this guy my credit card and other papers without saying a word.( Usually that’s the way how you get money).
And man, this guy was brave. He didn’t even look up, but kept on rummaging around in his food drawer.
Finally he stopped and looked at me. His face said only one word „boredeom“.
After another eternity he told me, that they would only accept originals. So no copy of the passport but only the real one.

Breathe Tamara. Breathe.
Breathe in. Breathe out.

And also he was eating right now so he couldn’t help me, plus he didn’t know how this was working anyway.
More breathing. Deeper breathing.
Trying not to get an asthma attack or to hyperventilate.
I gave my best.

But it was too late, I couldn’t hold it back anymore.
The words just came out like I had held them back forever.
I gave him a whole speech about thieves and the delinquency rate in Cuba in general and in particular. Including examples from friends and stats.
Until I came to an end after explaining him in detail how this whole thing with entering and leaving a country with and without ID works or doesn’t work. This guy knows everything about entry and leaving requirements now.
Not missing out on telling him how kind and helpful and productive the people at the other bank,two streets away were.
Then I asked for the manager.

Honestly, I feel a little sorry for him now.
But being in Cuba for a long time, isn’t exactly what you would call „easy“.

I got 20 CUC that day. That’s all they could give me.
Also I dodn’t make it tot he beach anymore.
But I defenitley trained my patience, plus I have a funny story to tell.
Which wouldn’t be the case if everything would have worked out, just the way I planned it.

“Am I Wrong for Wanting More?”

That’s what Ernesto asked the other day.
“Am I wrong for wanting more?”
He just said it in a normal conversation and we didn’t talk about it, but somehow this question was stuck in my head ever since.
It was the same Ernesto I wrote about in my other essay by the way.
If you haven’t read it, here’s the link: https://thecatastrophyoftravelling.com/2016/05/03/tamy-talks-toernesto/

So this question popped up in my head all the time. Maybe because all of us are privileged in so many ways that it feels like being greedy when you’re looking for more.
Or maybe because this question came from Ernesto and he has less than I do and he’s still asking himself this. And I do ask for more.
It’s not that I am not grateful for what I have, but I’d like to move forward in life. Wanting more for one self or the world is also a good motivation to work, isn’t it?
Plus we are young, aren’t we supposed to dream too big?

 
I looked up the definition for greed, and it says that greed is ” a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed”.
For me a greedy person is someone who takes something to the cost of someone else who would need it more. And the only reason for taking is just for ending up having more of this particular thing.
Life is about what you make from it, not what you take from it.

 

The word “greed” mostly comes with a bitter aftertaste.
Though we’ve got to be careful. It doesn’t have the same meaning as selfish. Selfishness is something else. And it isn’t jealousy either.
But in fact, I believe that one can’t be wrong for wanting more.
What is wrong with wanting a good life? What is wrong with wanting to be financially independent to have at least some sorrows and problems solved? Are we wrong for wanting to surround us with beautiful things?
What is wrong with asking for a good education or a better democracy? What is wrong with wanting more safety and more freedom at the same time?
I think most of us keep in mind, that there are people who weren’t so lucky to be born in the developed world, and that these people have sorrows and problems that endanger their existence every single day of their lives.
But is that supposed to be the reason why we should stop dreaming?
Just because someone else has less, that doesn’t mean we can’t improve ourselves, our lives and our world. Compassion and consideration are good and important, but you can have these qualities without stopping your life. I know, this doesn’t sound very nice.
Still, I believe that it is human to want things to be better. And how can being human be immoral?

 

I asked myself where mankind would be today, if no one was asking for more and only for what you really need to survive.
And I came to the conclusion that we definitely shouldn’t stop asking for more. And no one can blame us for wanting more. There is nothing wrong with wanting only the best for ourselves and our beloved ones.

 

 

9 Things That People Used To Do And That I’d Like To Have Back

Nowadays we have a lot of great new things.
Also we live in a society that starts to grow more tolerance than ever before.
But I think we have also lost a lot of things on our way.
I am a person that loves old things. I like old books, and movies, and houses and clothes… well simply old things.
I feel they have a sense of magic or glamour that tells us about old times, and I like to imagine how they were also new one day and nothing special.
We all have heard that “back then everything was better…”. This sentence never bothered me at all. It fascinated me, and maybe, I thought, maybe in some points these people were right.
I feel like they had more time than we do. Which is, of course, not the case, but they had a different lifestyle.
Today everything’s about our achievements.
Being offline is a luxury.

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Though I have never been part of it, I miss the times when people sent “Thank you”-Cards instead of “Thank you”-Emails. Or cared for saying “Thank you” at all.
I wish people would still pack a basket full of food for someone who is in hospital. And also I wish that people would not think I am dead, just because I haven’t been online for 24 hours.
I wish people would send each other letters from time to time. It is just sad that all we have in our mailbox are bills and ads.
I don’t even dare to think of someone who writes a letter with an actual pen and not just typing it in and printing it out.

What I like is, that people still send each other christmas cards and take the time to wish each other love and all the best for the next year.
And I hope people keep on doing this. But I’d rather have no wishes at all, than some weird email, that sings me a song and is super impersonal.
The whole thing is about taking the time, to think of people we love and who are important to us. Being thoughtful.
An automated email, is like totally misunderstanding the whole thing- though of course it’s nice, that these people do something at all.

So here are a couple of things that I wish we’d do again, but we don’t because of technology or maybe just because we are too cool, modern and stressed for it.

  1. Mixtapes ( If I wanted to do one, I wouldn’t even know how and that is sort of sad)
  2. Looking up things in dictionaries and lexicons ( we could learn a lot more because we would always find something else that we want to read and also books are just so much nicer than reading online)
  3. People doing puzzles together, drinking tea and talking- instead of watching TV.
    ( Thank you Ilka for doing this with me!)
  4. Playing vinyl-because that makes you actually listen to the music and appreciating it and not just having it along the way.
  5. Having actual maps when you’re going on a road trip or whatever. I know it is so much easier with our navigation system, but still…doing things yourself is such a good feeling.
  6. Visiting yard sales and flea markets.
    I know, we can order anything online, so why getting out of bed on a sunday morning?
    Well, maybe because it is also a way of socializing with people and a good reason to go for a walk.
  7. Glamorous parties where people have to dress up properly. Why do we need a reason to be chic?
  8. Rockabilly dresses and driving gloves!
  9. People insisting on politeness.

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So that’s all I can think of right now.
I mean it’s not like I don’t know about all the virtues that we have and the progress that we made.
I do appreciate a lot of things that we have, that weren’t possible a few decades ago.
But I think that these things would teach us a little more mindfulness.

CUBA- A Day in Havana

Cuba is the new place to be. Wherever I go people tell me that they want to go to Cuba, that they are so fascinated by the country and now even Chanel went there.
So it appears that a lot of people ask me questions about the place and my experiences.
Most of the questions are not about the nature or the politics but about the flair and the life there.
That gave me the idea of trying to capture a day in Cuba. I know that I won’t even come close to the feeling. But one can try, and you’ll get an idea of it.
Once more, if you happen to have any questions about Cuba or my experiences there, don’t hesitate to ask. I will be very happy to answer your questions. Also if you have made other experiences than I did, I ould love to hear about it!
I am going to describe a typical day in Cuba. . .

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Wherever you go, there is art in Cuba! Viva Cuba!

I usually got up pretty early. At the beginning because I had a jet lag and later because the sun would wake me up. ( Which is a pretty good way to start the day)
Then I’d go to the kitchen and clean this little cup I had. Then I started boiling water. And added vinegar to it ( to clean the cup that I used for boiling water), then take some more water ( without vinegar) and start to boil the actual water for the tea.
I like to drink tea in the morning, and in Cuba this meant a very long procedure, for a very small cup of tea.
While waiting for the water to boil I used to have very long discussions with myself, if I was in the mood for a cold shower or if I’d rather shower later.
As I didn’t have hot water ( until the very last day), and my bathroom was a little bit scary ( due to animals living right over my head) I wasn’t to keen on spending too much time in there. Also you couldn’t really rely on the lamps, so it was very dark.
That’s also why I used to brush my teeth in the kitchen…

IMG_7343This was my terrace. The whole apartment was flu of plants and very green! So beautiful! I actually had hummingbirds flying around the flowers all the time!

 
So if I had decided to take a shower, I would take some of the boiling water to clean my cup and to clean the teabag ( by holding it over the kitchen sink and pour some hot water over it) as there were a lot of ants, and they preferably lived in my teabags, no matter how good I tried to pack them. And then finally put the teabag in the cup to start brewing my tea. In case there were some more animals interested in my tea, I covered the cup with paper towel . Then took a quick shower, while boiling some more water.
After the shower I could finally start to drink my tea, while letting cool down the other hot water.
Between all of this I was getting dressed and cleaning some of my stuff with hands .
After I finished my cup of tea, I went to the kitchen to brush my teeth.
I used the boiled water to moist my toothbrush, then use the water to clean my mouth and to clean the toothbrush.
The leftovers from the hot water,I would use to clean my cup and everything else I used and then put it in the fridge, so the bacteria colonies had no chance to grow.

It might seem a little paranoid, and now when I think of  what I did to have clean water and clean utensils it seems a little crazy, but you only have to see the water from the tab there, and you will understand. Believe me.
Plus the experience of almost drinking an ant because I didn’t realize that they also came out of the teabags. It makes you…let’s say…a little more careful.

IMG_6812 La Casa de Morales! This is the place where I lived. I think it used to be white! 😀

Then it was time for going to La Habana Vieja.
As I lived right in the middle of Vedado, one of the three big quarters of Havana, it was quite a long way.
Most of the time I’d walk a bit to one of the big streets and catch an “Almendron” which is something like a taxi for actual Cubans.
You just try to stop one (most of the time they drive the same round over and over again), hand the driver 10 CUP and tell him where you wanted to get off. This is one of the easiest ways to get from one point to another in Cuba. Though it’s quite important that they don’t get that you are a tourist, as they will make you pay more.
So on my first days, when I didn’t speak a single word Spanish, I would just pay him and give him a sign and stay quiet for the rest of the time.
One time, there were two American tourists in the Almendron . They really payed 20 CUC ( so 20$),normally the price for getting to and back from the airport ( which is super far away).
When the weather was good and the humidity wasn’t too high so you didn’t expect a thunder storm, I also liked to walk to Havana Vieja (Old Havana). This would usually take me a couple of hours, as it is quite a long way and I stopped at the Malécon for like half an hour to enjoy the sun and the beautiful sea.
Also you meet lots of people on the way down there.

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On my way to Havana Vieja, I walked along the Malécon!

This is a very special thing about Havana.
It is impossible to NOT meet a person again. When it comes to that ,the city is like a village. You just know people.
There was not even one person I talked to, that I only met once. It doesn’t even matter where you are, if Havana Vieja or not, you will meet them again.
That’s sort of fun, because you are never very lonely, and as the Cubans love to be friends with everyone and are very spontaneous, you will always find people you can spend time with.
Sometimes, I was actually glad, when I made my way down to the port without lots of people joining me.

Once I got to Havana Vieja I would go right away to the center to a street called “O’Reilly’s”, to meet Pablo and David and sometimes Mileidi.
Pablo and David were both musicians so we used to spend most of the time going to different places and sing and dance and make music with other people. Talking to people.
Or trying to find interesting art galleries and a good and cheap place to eat.
Once we spend a whole day, looking for salad with olive oil, as Pablo was craving for it. Luckily he doesn’t get as grumpy as David when he’s hungry, and we actually found a place where they had it.
Also we spend a lot of time reading or trying to connect to the western world- which was more or less successful.

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One of my favorite places in Havana and probably one of the best art galleries I have ever been to!- El Ojo Del Ciclón.

At about 5 o’clock we would go back to their place to take a nap. Time for siesta!

(Oh you can’t imagine how messed up my sleeping schedule was, when I came back home.  I got so used to my little siesta-I really had a hard time, letting go of it.)

Once we had enough sleep, it was time for food.
We had this one place, that we would always go to.
It was very hidden and I doubt that it had an actual name. It was a place that only Cuban people went to and we would have never known about it if we hadn’t spend so much time on the streets.
On the third floor of an old ruin, we had the best food in town.
It was right next to a place called ” El Patchanka”, where an old man would entertain the guests every night, making a really good show-like you’d imagine the 50’ies in Cuba.
So this restaurant doesn’t really work like an actual restaurant. They used to have about one to three dishes of the day, not something like a menu.
Most of the time it was one dish with chicken and one with fish. They had huge plates.
A typical dinner there was rice, black beans, some sort of salad and chicken in lemon sauce. It was great!
Sure, you get sick of it, after some time, but then also it wasn’t the exact same thing every day and we only had to pay about 2-3$ for a meal and drinks.

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This is in El Patchanka. Musician taking a short break and a big Mojito!

After eating we would stop by at El Patchanka, saying hi to our friend there and then went to a park that’s right between the two streets “Obispo” and “O’Reillys”.
Until we were there we had usually a lot more people with us. There was always someone with a guitar or a flute or some other instrument. And if not, our bodies functioned as instruments.
As Cubans aren’t really welcomed in most of the places you would want to go to, we barely spend time in bars.
Instead, we bought some rum and stroll around the streets until we had found a place where there was good music and nice people.
We would dance salsa on the street, no matter if there was music or not, and we were friends with everyone.
The Cuban nights were special.

I always took a cab back home. I didn’t feel comfortable in the Almendrons night time, plus I would have to walk quite a bit until I would arrive at home.Most of the time I knew the drivers, so they gave me quite a good price ( 6CUC) and then I went home, climbing up all the stairs to my apartment on top of the building, and falling into bed.

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Yes, cars in Cuba are still pretty cool and people use them not only for the tourists!

So even though, basic things like a cup of tea or stuff like that were pretty hard, you forget about all of that, once you feel Cuban.