Regina Coyula, Translator: Unstated
Yesterday, two pleasant women from Madrid appeared in my house. One of
them follows Bad Handwriting, and the other came with her because she
didn't want to come alone. After the introductions and making
arrangements with the driver of the Soviet-made Lada car that brought
them, they told me they had been in Cuba since the last week of
December. Fascinated by so much local color, they showed me many photos
of beautiful young men with tanned skin and suggestive musculature —
"Wow!" — the one who didn't read me said she admired me (and assured me
she would read me in the future without fail) — "And what a New Year's
Eve! My God!"
Laughing, I listened to their accents, the sound of it more entertaining
than the details of their New Year's Eve "a la Cubana." But once I got
used to their pronunciation and their turns of phrase, I realized that
they had experienced the New Year in a country different from mine. A
country with streamers, candies, grapes, champagne, live music,
fireworks, and a countdown. The only thing in common was the pork and
They didn't skip the coffee, which they found very good, but I didn't
deceive them, I told them it was mixed with a "substitute" which is
added to the coffee sold in local currency. They were delighted with the
experience: Cuban blogger, adulterated coffee, Soviet era car. We took
several photos, including with the waiting Lada, with just enough time
for them to collect their luggage and head to the airport.
I said goodbye to them with genuine sympathy and leaned into the car
window to tell them there was a place they had to visit, without fail.
"Where? We've been to Trinidad and Varadero is the cat's pajamas."
"You mustn't forget to go to Cuba."
January 9 2012
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