Cuba doesn’t let your eyes get bored
When you first get to Southeast Asia, you can’t stop taking pictures of tuktuks. They’re just so…interesting! A week later, maybe two, and you barely notice the three-wheeled vermin. This is often the case when traveling: some local item grabs your attention at first, before blending completely into the background.
But, as is so often the case: it’s different in Cuba.
This is one of the first pictures I took, on the bus ride in from the airport.
These are all from my first day (click to enlarge).
I have too many car photos to say if these are even in my top 50. That island is visually overwhelming.
Nearly three weeks went by, with art, music, and dance, not to mention culture, experience, and friendship.
I was saturated. I felt overstuffed with experiences and images; I’d need a spare lifetime to process the photos alone.
A neighbor gave me a ride to the bus station in his clunky Moskvitch, a Soviet block of metal homage to the right angle.
I rode to the Che Guevara Memorial in an antique Peugeot with hand-carved wooden arm rests, walked past Russian Ladas more ubiquitous than sandals, and ridden five hours in some dude’s claptrap Hyundai (which he claimed was a legal shared taxi, but when we’d pass a police checkpoint he’d roll the windows up and say “If they ask you, we are friends, and you have been staying at my house for a week. My name is Javier, what is yours?”)
And finally, I’d ridden in a couple of the classic “Yank Tank” American cars, first a Pontiac, then a Chevrolet from the 1950s. Both now chug along all day as shared taxis, which will take you anywhere along their route for 20 Cuban pesos, about $0.80, and were two of only four times I got to use the national Cuban currency, instead of the “Convertible Peso” used by the tourism industry.
And yet, after all those days, all that sweat, all those miles and exhaust pipes, these are some of the many from my last day.
I’m not normally a car guy. At all. I would happily drive a Honda Civic until my dying day (hopefully unrelated to the aforementioned Civic), but there is just something about those cars, in that place…
It’s just different in Cuba.