La Havana

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There are two biggest challenges that really make me get out of my comfort zone: buying and riding. It involves taking to locals. On my second day of living in Havana, I took a public transportation and bought a loaf of bread in a National Cuban Bakery! ATACA!!!!

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION 

It’s the most challenging system in Central and Latin America. There are rarely schedules or exact routes. YOU JUST HAVE TO ASK. In Cuba, the buses are overloaded with crowds and you have to ask where they go. The best way is to take one of those old Chevrolets for 10 pesos.

I just love it! When I climb one of those I feel like back in the days when we had old cars. I am not sure how the old Chevys are still functioning. Sometimes they would miss the full from part of the “navigation” system, windows, glasses, or the door would only open from the outside.

The regular buses look like trolleybuses from USSR. It’s only 40 cents (pesos) and is thrown into a little box upon entering into the bus. I almost gave the fare to the bus driver and he almost put it in his pocket.

BUYING FOOD 

Right by our house we have two bakeries. One charges in CUCs and another in National Pesos. I went to the one that charges in National Pesos to get a loaf of bread. It cost me less than ¢20 but it was a challenge to get the attention of the sales person. The markets are the most delicious and cheapest places to shop.

Here I have tried the sweetest and most exotic fruits ever! How sweet that all of them have tons of sugar!

LANGUAGE 

I gotta say that Cuban accent is hard to understand. They don’t day “S” and exhale where there is supposed to be “S.” The first two days after listening to Cubans talking my throat was hurting as I tried to speak alike.

Words to watch for:

fruta de bomba – papaya *(Don’t say papaya in Habana. )

guagua or omnibus – bus (Cojer la wawa and not Agarrar un bus)

majina – old Chevy taxi that charges in national currency 10-30 pesos.

pesos – could be national currency or CUC. (you have to know or ask).

perro – hot dog

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