Long live a revolution or cube – the island of freedom
What is your cube associated with you? Of course, with rum, cigars, salsa, incredible beauty of the Turquoise ocean, as well as Che Harer, Socialism, Pioneers, Multinous Havana and Rareny cars.
Such a close to Russian citizens with its socialist real Cuba is not just far away from us, but very far: on the plane from Moscow there are still 12 hours to overcome Europe, then the Atlantic Ocean, and then Canada, and the coast of America, over which aircraft flies. The eight-hour time difference with Moscow and 16-hour-old with Vladivostok will turn the loss of one or two days by arrival: acclimatization and addictive to a new hour belt, heat and inipically high humidity. And loss of the week after return.
But all these nuances compensates for the magic pure atlantic ocean turquoise color, soft white sand and lack of stress. Not a gift of the measured rhythm of existence gives local residents a total life expectancy of 80 years: women on average live about 83, and men – 78 years. Therefore, after retirement, in 60 and 65 years, respectively, many cultivate the garden, watch TV, play dominoes or smoke cigars.
There is no objective reasons for such a pastime: there is no Internet for Cuban, although the state thinks about this issue, private entrepreneurship, requiring constant attention and enormous labor costs, while generally not allowed, with the exception of farming, a small restaurant business, like cafeterias or food shops , as well as small trade of clothing, souvenirs, housing or auto service. Everything else is a hotel, pharmaceutical, construction and any other major and medium business – belongs to the state.
True, the socialist system has its own "pluses": the man will not die with the hunger, since the state is stirred about the citizens of the country, issuing financial assistance every month. The basket for one person includes a dozen eggs, liter of vegetable oil, a couple of kilograms of sugar, rice, a kilogram of beans, as well as some meat, chicken, fish and sausages. Daily – on a small bun from a coarse grinding flour, and children are still in a liter of milk. From household goods per month per person give out a piece of economic and toilet soap. But it is not quite free, but for the minimum price, about 3 cookies.
The state cares about schoolchildren, issuing children a free form: Girls – blouse with a skirt, and boys – shirt with trousers (shorts). Medicine in Cuba is free, as well as education: from kindergarten to universities, which in the country there are quite a lot. Cubans are very proud of this.
Cult Che Guevara
However, no less feeling of pride and patriotism causes the name of the folk hero liberator – Ernesto (Che) Gevara. In the town of Santa Clara, in the very center of the country there is a museum and a monument to the people’s hero, who presented the freedom of the country from the chief enemy-colonizer – the United States. In the museum you can not talk loudly, taking pictures or walk in headdresses. Here the eternal flame burns, here they take into pioneers, here the cult of personality … From all this it becomes somehow. But Cubans consider Guevar demigod, the image of which is applied everywhere where you can: stones or flowers on the roads, paints on the walls, silk screen of T-shirts, tattoos on the body.
Pioneers in Cuba really want to be similar to. Something they look into our guys of the socialist era (oh, how far and close at the same time) – take the oath, swear in loyalty to ideals and wear red ties, just as we! True, our schoolchildren in June are already resting at all, and Cuban children learn until the end of the month, and after that everyone will go to rest in children’s camps located throughout the country near the water or in the mountains. Summer camp – the spectacle is quite sad, like the territory of kindergartens. From attractions – swing, sandbox, crossbill and painted tires covered in Earth. I do not know whether the child is happy in Cuba, but those children who feel in confused, as well as pensioners try to improve their existence. And methods for this enough.
In Havana, Trinidad or other cities flooded with tourists, they can sell some fruits, torn in a witch in state plantations. Many are just begging. Some, especially honest and decent children, try to help parents, such as fault vegetables in the father’s food bearing, are involved in the repair of a motorcycle or car, thereby gaining experience in the prestigious profession of the car mechanic, because there are so many cars in the middle of the last century in Cuba, that masters supporting the car on the go called "golden hands" and pay good money.
Agriculture and industry
The land on the island is fertile and nutritious, here, in addition to vegetable crops, is replete with sugar cane, the products of processing of which largely go to exports in the form of sugar and Roma. Beans and rice almost completely cover the need for these products from the Cuban themselves. Feed bananas, like potatoes, is widely used in the preparation of traditional dishes in the form of puree or chips. Cubans remove abundant yields of pineapples, coconuts, mango, guava, grapefruits, lemons and t.D. Traditional vegetables: carrots, beets, onions, garlic, earthwood pear. And of course, the pride of Cuba is tobacco and coffee trees.
Those who do not believe advertising that "coffee is collected by hand", you can exhale freely, it’s really true. Coffee, like tobacco on the island collect only by hands.
Cuba agriculture in terms of technology is in the "contraceptive" state. The techniques are so small that people are forced to work with their hands: mow, collect harvest, plant-sow and even plow, harnessing ox. Traditional tractors "Belarus" are far from many.
Earnings and money
Very many Cubans, perhaps, everywhere in the world, send their strength to the mining of light money in the form of sale of prohibited goods, as well as theft and prostitution, strictly punishable by law. But still there was a feeling that the girls of easy behavior do not think or simply are not particularly afraid. Especially many such harbor. To married men walking with their half, of course, they will not pester, but the lonely guys are not insured against the podcasts of loving, not depressed morality.
Some after all, in prisons in prisons are in prisons – an unenviable fate. The term depends on the severity of the crime, for example, pimps receive 20 years. True, in prisons is developed and a system of promotions for good behavior: can be sent to camp to agricultural work: rice, corn, potatoes.
Working on Earth in a country with a year-round scorching sun is a tedious, pretty hard work, so it is welcomed in any fields of activity, ranging from farming, to the army or children’s boarding schools. And if the farmer is interested in financially – how many raised, so much sold, then in the army or boarding for it they do not pay. Children simply teach labor on Earth, not long, a couple of hours a day, in addition to learning and games. And the soldiers themselves choose their service: two years of building training, as it should be, all in the military, or two years to deal with construction, or on Earth, where the extensive "field" for activity.
The average salary of Cuban in terms of about 3 thousand rubles. To live within a month, a family of 4 people, on average, you need 18 thousand rubles. But the usual family receives no more than 6-10 thousand, and even subsidies in the form of material assistance do not cover the needs of the family, because shoes are needed, clothing, household items. Therefore, those Cubans who are trying to escape from a vicious circle, try to work more. And someone and so everything suits ..
Someone sails several years to a ticket to America and leaves to work illegally, sending parents to 50-100 dollars a month, which are more than their pension. Someone tries to study perfectly and leaves for Russia on the exchange program of students, where teaches the language, and returning, it works in a tourist business that brings a worthy income. Especially well live guides engaged in individual tours, and even if they have a free room for renting. Just twisted – look for a clientele.
To work in the hotel tourism, (maid, animator, waiter or bartender) welcomes higher education and knowledge of languages, to which it is necessary to invest from school. 20-30 phrases in French, German, Italian, Russian and English, in everyday life of the professional hotel, give a full-fledged increase to the salary in the form of tips, for example, about 100 cookies per month.
Prestigious and profitable, in addition to the tourist sector, is considered to learn to the doctor. This specialty is very appreciated because two medical education systems were organically combined in Cuba – American until the 60s and Soviet – after the 70s. It is thanks to its contracting specialists, Cuba receives a good attracted capital: the doctors of the island go to work in many countries of Latin America and Africa, helping the most in need of specialists to countries, such as Nicaragua, Honduras, Combodia, and others. A doctor’s salary can reach thousands of euros, it is just a fantastic amount for ordinary Cuban. In addition, after the end of the contract, the doctor can give a state apartment, the purchase of which is almost inaccessible under the current socialist system.
In one word, each earns as it can. And the capital of Cuba – Havana – a full confirmation. There are many cafes, shops, taxis, private hotels and so on.
Cook (CUC) – Convertible Peso (in the photo on the left), was introduced in the 90s specifically for tourists and equated to the dollar. Unconvertible peso (CUP) – the currency that locals are calculated, its value is several times lower: 1 Cook – about 25 pesos. In banks working only up to 15 hours, you can exchange euros or dollars for cookies, however, with your dollars will keep the 10% commission. You can rent money from Visa and MasterCard credit cards, however, for reliability, it is always better to have cash with you.
The capital of the island – Havana
In Havana, it is necessary to visit. For the sake of authentic Cubans, cars, color, and architecture resembling European. Built buildings since the times of Spanish colonization (and then thanks to the American, and French "lepts"), weakly restored, represent the spectacle stunning. There is a feeling, as if on a beautiful European city, with narrow cobbled streets, Catholic cathedrals and monuments Suddenly, bombs collapsed in many places. As if in the past, the majestic city was subjected to devastation and ruin and since then was canned in such a state. Decline, of course, not everywhere, but a little away from well-groomed "combed" tourist areas and a historical center announced by UNESCO in 1982 in the city’s property.
The Europeans, built Havana, brought here their historical architectural vision here, but did not bring a sufficient amount of money, so the buildings of Havana are distinguished by smaller pompous, they were easily simplified and "facilitated", but do not lose their greatness. Tourist attract the tourist chapel of neoclassical style El-temptle at the site of the base of the city, weapons, cathedral and old square. As well as the abundance of guns covered in the ground, employees at the same time and fences and dressing columns at night for those who have not found amenities nearby. This powerfully announces the smell on the streets of the city. On finding here public toilets or urns is impossible, they simply do not. Lovers drink beer worth searching toilets in hotels or in a cafe, but for it will have to pay. Price conditioner: Give as much as you consider relevant. Someone puts 1 peso, and someone 5 bucks because there is no less.
The connoisseurs of the art of the American writer Ernest Hemingway can visit his house-museum, hotel room or favorite restaurants – "Bodegita del Medio", and "Floridita", where his favorite drinks Mojito and Daikiri are served for rather immodest money (the last drink is on an amateur). In "Florish" many photos of the famous novelist, as well as his bronze figure, next to which you can take a picture, if you still wonder to squeeze through the crowds of tourists. Dozens of years, this American residents of Cuba respond to mutual love and do not miss the case to earn in his name a little money.
Among the attractions of Havana you will also find both the Capitol and the Opera House, and the Roma Museum and Much, much more.
With all the beauty of the tourist center, the outskirts of the city – as the reverse side of the medal: people live in houses without windows, trees grow on the roofs of dilapidated houses, and the fun of children become pebbles and glasses from bottles.
But retro cars resemble post-war America. And let the Cubans are diverted from all American, but, no matter how cool, the "print" of America is largely visible to the naked eye. And yes forgive me Cubans, but if not for American cars, one landmark would be less!
For which it costs to go to Cuba – it’s for the sake of her cars!
Cars in the country began to deliver at the end of the XIX century, first similar to ordinary designs of the design of 4 horsepower from France, then already familiar to us cars from America and the USSR. The United States was actively sold to Cubans for the 200 Peso Machine on a loan for 20 years with an initial contribution of 5 peso. Thus, the number of cars began to quickly increase, but after the overthrow of Fulsencio Batista free sale of cars was prohibited. Now such American retro cars, according to approximate estimates, there are about 60 thousand.
New cars, mainly from Europe, are imported only for the needs of the state. Just a few years ago in 2008, with the arrival of Raoul Castro, the population of Cuba received some relaxation against private auto business, therefore it became possible to buy and sell personal cars. However, even with its far from the first freshness, such machines remain inaccessible for the majority of citizens of the island of freedom. Add also difficulty in maintenance here. After all, the original parts on them no longer exist, so only the body remains relatives, and all the insides have long been replaced. So, in "Chevrolet" and "Dogs", our Soviet engines are buzzing, and in "Volga" – American.
For example, in Pontiake 53, on which we traveled, a diesel engine was installed and a junction gearbox was installed, the rear axle from Toyota, and the cardan shaft, crosses and bearings – UAZ. By the way, the huge help of auto mechanics – the old Soviet military warehouses, which for many years will remain a reliable source of necessary spare parts.
Fill the "swallows" mostly 92-m gasoline or diesel, but with fuel in Cuba is not so simple. At the end of the month, you are unlikely somewhere we drink the Iron horse – a new factory smell is usually in the first days of the month.
In tourist centers, such as Varadero, Trinidad, Havana almost all cars are used as a taxi. However, in order to work as a taxi driver, you need to deduct weighty taxes. So, at Varadero, this amount is 20 cookies per day (600 cookies per month). For Cubans, this is a huge amount of money. That is why in the tourist regions the cost of taxi services is quite high. For example, a decade-minute trip can do 15-20 cookies. Of course, outside the tourist zones, for example, in rural areas, the cost of the trip is much lower, right up to several pesos. Even Personal Lady Transportation for the organization of transportation between villages or the closest cities.
In order for the tourists to fully feel a romance of a trip to the rare cars, without refusing to themselves in elementary comfort, Cuban crafts are supplied with air conditioners. And considering that the summer the air temperature rises often above 40 degrees, this is not an excess. Here you have a living competition and the struggle for the client under socialism!
Police in Cuba are not very much equipped with special equipment to determine the violations of the high-speed mode, therefore the fact of violations are installed on the eye and prescribe quite high fines. And in order for these fines to somehow minimize, use dating. As stated, bribes Cuban police do not take. By the way, they move on our "fives" ..
The choice of goods in Cuba is in principle satisfactory, but only if you are a tourist and you have cookies. Typical stores for the local population look approximately as such from our socialist past, only pretty easier. Photographing the modest narrow streets of the tourist Trinidad, we looked into one of these stores. Just that day there was a radius of chicken eggs, which are issued to residents of Cuba in the composition of social. Package on product cards Libreta de Abastecimiento.
The main volume of store shelves was busy with eggs, surrounded by the showcase, collected from plywood, the following products were presented: Bottles with household chemicals like our "White", Several bottles with lotion, tubes with toothpaste, scoop, basin, pair of gray socks, on the bottle of rum and beer, water hose and on the top shelf – toilet rams. All this for the counter, paved broken tiles.
For some reason, there was a fear that seeing Europeans with the camera, the saleswoman will take the Ershik from the top shelf and try to run them into this very camera, but for some reason it did not happen. Instead, a plump mulatto burned down and began to demonstrate a box with some little thing.
People in Cuba are very friendly. We never caught disapproving views. Moreover, with a proper approach, many, on the contrary, happy with pleasure posing in front of the camera. But with all her goodwill, it is still not in a hurry to work. Several times we had to observe in government agencies, such as museums or stalls with ice cream, installed in tourist places, an interesting picture. While the saleswoman does not agree on the phone or will not finish painting nails, and it can continue for 10 minutes, and half an hour, no service. You can, of course, draw attention to yourself, but all that you will hear will be concise "Momento!»With a smile on the face.
Honestly, we have already looked off from such an attitude to visitors, so a couple of times with annoyance unfolded and left.
But in general, the atmosphere of universal lifting is felt in everything. It seems that people have no need to be suspicious or something to hide each other. For example, if you go along the field where the peasants work, they will definitely welcome the car, and the driver will sweep in response.
It is a pity that I did not have enough of some 2 thousand signs to accommodate still info about the house and life.