11 Guidelines for Vacationing in Cuba

I was supposed to work the night shift tonight, but I got mixed up and woke up far too early. I’m going to blame the bronchitis for the mix up (whether it’s fair to the bronchitis or not) and do a little bit of housekeeping.

Cuba was amazing. I don’t know if any of you have ever been, but I would recommend it. The place that we went to, Barcelo Solymar, is a five star resort in Varadero and while there were a few mishaps, I have never been any where that had such beautiful clear water and amazing dancing. The entire time was not only eye-opening, but incredibly inspiring. I don’t even really have words for it, but there were a couple guidelines for Cuba that were pretty much followed every day.

1. No one who sleeps in the same room as Anthony gets to sleep in. Get up, you slackers. I think the latest we ever slept in was after ten when we were hungover and had only gotten in at 3am.

2. Gangnam Style must always be danced to. I wouldn’t dance unless I was in the mood, but I was always into dancing Gangnam Style (perhaps just because I actually know how to dance it). I heard it every day in Cuba, remixed with Meringue tracks.

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3. Teasing is the highest form of affection. There were days when I had trouble with this, but the more comfortable we all got with each other since it was our first time traveling together, the more we would tease and make fun of each other. This particular line belongs to Aaron.

4. Homesickness passes. There were times when I was incredibly and inconsolably homesick, particularly when I wanted to email my Dad and the internet remained down throughout all of Varadero for over a day.

5. Piña coladas are the devil. There was a night when I drank eight or nine of these in an hour when Anthony was trying to get me drunk. I couldn’t drink them for the rest of the vacation and I didn’t even get drunk for my trouble.

6. It’s harder to get drunk in Cuba. I don’t know if this is true for all people or just for our group, but we had a harder time getting wasted even though the resort was all inclusive. We had so many alcoholic drinks that it would be impossible to count and they were strong drinks too, but none of us ever lost control (although we did see some fantastic examples of that around the hotel).

7. What happens in Cuba stays in Cuba goes to Facebook. This was actually coined by the entertainers in the resort, but Anthony very quickly proved them right once we got home.

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8. What is cheap in Canada is expensive as hell in Cuba. This includes pop, toilet paper, t-shirts and so many other things. While we could get huge glasses of Cuban rum easily, they were much more stingy with their juices, their mixes of any kind and there were no real spices for the food.

9. You have no friends in Havana. Our tour director told us this and it was a beautiful day out in Havana with him showing us the town and taking care of us. This was spoiled slightly when he tried to con us out of money once we paid him, telling us that we had shorted him by 20 CUCs.

10. CNN is a hell of a lot more interesting to watch (even when Anderson Cooper isn’t on) when you’re watching it with intelligent friends. There was a night where we decided to stay in and  just ended up watching CNN. When you have intelligent (and dirty-minded) friends, everything either becomes supremely interesting like when we were talking about North Korean aggression or funny like when we were talking about a bus crash in China where the bus driver was boss enough to miss getting decapitated.

11. The more you think of it, the harder it is to distinguish Taylor Swift from a goat. I’m not even sure how to explain this, but just youtube Taylor Swift goat and you will find what you’re looking for. She ended up being seen quite a bit in Cuba and her song “Trouble when you walked in” was stuck in my head the entire vacation.

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