Waiting as a Way of Life

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The first U.S. to Havana flight in over 50 years arriving on November 28, 2016. Photo Courtesy of YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images.
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Hope for U.S. and Cuba Relations. Photo Courtesy of YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images.

Waiting and having patience is something that is inevitable in Cuba. On December 17, 2014, Former President Barrack Obama announced a change in Cuban and American relations. The first U.S. to Havana flight wasn’t until November 28, 2016. It took over 50 years for Americans to be able to legally fly directly from the U.S. to Havana (I have been all for it since I could remember).

People load luggage from a Miami charter flight onto a car at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana
Photo Courtesy of Associated Press.

The Jose Marti International Airport is a very interesting place. It is unlike any other airport that I have been to. I was shocked to see the way luggage is handled. The luggage belt launches suitcases like canons from a pirate ship. There were a few times I swore that I was going to get struck by one of these catapulting luggage (I feel really bad for anyone with cheap luggage).  I was very anxious to leave and see Havana but I had to wait what seemed like forever to get our luggage.

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After waiting for 45 minutes, I finally found our luggage but now I had to find my daughter’s stroller. Everyone who worked there seemed busy doing nothing. After waiting for like another 30 minutes waiting for it to appear on the luggage belt, I noticed that it was in the corner leaning on a wall. I grabbed that stroller like it was a baton for Track relay hand-offs (I wasn’t playing).Once we had everything then we finally met up with a Cuban friend at the arriving area.

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Meeting up with our Cuban friend at the Jose Marti International Airport. Photo Courtesy of Madelin Vasquez Polanco.

It was a rainy and muggy Havana evening. Due to the heavy rains, transportation to get a taxi was becoming competitive. I learned that you have to bargain because taxis will charge more if they are able to. My Cuban friend explained that patience is the key to good bargaining. After about another 45 minutes, we finally found a ride for about 6 CUC (Cuban convertible pesos).

I realized that waiting is a way of life in Cuba. Cubans have mastered the art of making the best out of everything while they wait for almost everything imaginable. As we cruised through the streets of Havana, I was glad that the wait to see the beautiful island was over. I felt like I was in a real-time dream as we passed many classic cars under the serene palm trees.

Thank you for reading. Much love and safe travels!

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11 thoughts on “Waiting as a Way of Life

      1. The decades of sanctions are so criminal. But Cuba has done such great things like free medical school, organic sustainable farming, how they take care of things after disasters, how they send doctors and aid to other countries….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are absolutely right Katelon. Cuba has a lot of great medical doctors and Cubans are highly educated. They have learned to use the little that they have to make a lot. It is very inspiring to see.

        Liked by 1 person

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