Havana – !Vamos Pa’lla!

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Here is Havana – A blog written by the gringa next door, conspires to give you a dose of what life is really like across the Straits.

Partly out of boredom (that blue meanie for all sorts of odd motivations here), and partly because I’m fed up with all the self-serving, politically-motivated, misinformed, or just plain stupid mierda being written about Cuba, I’ve decided to start a blog. It’s a reluctant undertaking for so many reasons…

Here is Havana is navel-gazing, cathartic venting at its best and worst. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to kiss on the Malecón, go to the doctor for free, smoke tasty 5 cent cigars,  or forgoe toilet paper for months (I promised I wouldn’t reveal this well-kept secret, but we are in a very Special TP Period over here; more on toilet paper in another post), welcome to Havana.

Other passions and perturbances of life here you’ll read about include baseball, my fledgling garden, machismo, the Cuban kitchen, my favorite little old ladies (who have more spunk than your average 22-year old from Omaha), rock ‘n roll withdrawl, the “wireless network found” icon that harasses me as I’m connected via 50k dial up, and other ironies.   

On a slow day, you might even read about those old cars that make visitors wet and dewey-eyed, but for us are simply a way to get from point A to point B.

What you read here is 100% my opinion and experience after 7 years (and counting) working as an American journalist in Havana. I have no agenda. I aim to sway no one. In Cuban, this translates as ella no está en na’. A high compliment, rarely paid.

For all you rabid extremists out there who will slam what I say, no matter what or how I say it, repeat after me: ella no está en na’. And please, take a chill pill or three while you’re at it.

Here is Havana – like you never dreamed.

PS – For the meaning behind the title of this blog, plus more musings, see my work in progress, Here is Havana.

PPS – Coming to Cuba? Check out my kicking iApp to the city Havana Good Time. C’mon, you know you want it. Only $2.99!! (the cost of 3 Bucaneros!)


Filed under Americans in cuba, Uncategorized

18 responses to “Havana – !Vamos Pa’lla!

  1. Ker-splash! Welcome to the blogosphere wonderland, my favorite Westchester shiksa! I’m already hooked, and you’re about to be blogrolled on Can o’ Whup-Ass.


    • Hola WAM!

      Thanks for the encouragement (and it has been a loooooong time since Westchester, but thanks for outing me as the suburban kitten I am!)

      Now if I only knew what a blogroll was??!!


      • I see you’ve discovered the tit-for-tat art of blogrolling, and thank you. As for outing you as a suburban kitten, although I’ve been in NYC for 22 years, I’m still a yokel from the whitest town in the rockies.

        More posts! Pronto!


  2. Normy

    You were NEVER a suburban kitten, just someone trapped in suburban kittendom. So psyched you are doing this, and can’t wait to check out future posts.

  3. Claudia

    Very Special TP Period. . . had me rolling! How did this not get a mention when you were here?

    • I’ve adjusted! Now if only we could find a toilet SEAT…

      By the way, nice pun! Out of all the things I miss in my Spanish-language life, puns have to be in the top 2. More on what I miss in a later post.

  4. Emily Coffey

    Can’t wait to read more.

  5. Dickie Skillz

    Cool blog–I look forward to more.

    That lack of toilet paper must be a real pain in the arse….

  6. What’s a blogroll, Conner? Anything like a sushi roll? You’ve done us all a great service opening up this avenue. Mil gracias. Keep it up.


  7. Dayi

    Hahah Omg i wish i were you!!! Im cuban but my parents moved here with me an my brother about 13 years ago, i was 2 when i came and my brother was 4. Starting last summer ive Been going to Camagüey, Cuba every summer, and i having my quinceñera in Cuba this summer hahah. I look forward to reading all. Your articles you seem like an excelent writer! Oh, and Thank you…its hard to come across someone who actually says nice things about my Cuba, It means alot to me. Chao!!

    • Hola Dayi! Glad you found me, but more importantly: glad you found and love your roots. Does your brother visit and also feel the same I wonder?

      Happy 15th!

      • Dayi

        Yeah my brother also lives cuba but, if you talk to him you can tell he’s cuban Because he actually has the accent, i on the other hand dont (plus in light skin,dark hair, and dont look hispanic actually. People ask if Im white, puertorican, russian, or colombian -.-) y yo creo que por que no soy tan obvious que soy cubana, yo me siento mas apegada a Cuba, por que me encanta TODO de Cuba. Noooo mi empotra que este pobre, ni nada, Because humana are SUPOSE to go through trouble in life.! And i think Cuba is soo natural and humble and Agh! Just increíble

      • As you can tell, Im also enchanted by Cuba – but not “everything” and I do wish folks could be less poor and life could be less troubling. A lot of people can’t take any more luchita; a lot of friends and family leaving which makes me really sad. I know that if economic conditions were better, and bureaucracy less, some would still be here.

        What do your parents say about your love affair w the isla, I wonder?

      • Dayi

        Well i told my parents last year that i wanted to go to highschool in Cuba (its actually pretty lógical, Because i just tons of family i can live with my grandparents, everyone in about a miles radias knows me (Because They know my parents) and the school over There is really good i Heard (Well my family knows wayyyy moré math, science, ext… Than i do, and Im going to school in the united states of america)) but when i told my parents that i wanted to go to school in Cuba They told me They would die with out me by their side… -.- so that means no. And yesss i absolutly love Cuba and They know that, and yeah i agree with you i also wish the situation in Cuba would get better, but Im very hopeful, and i know its going to mejorar 🙂 sense Raúl Castro is moré understanding with new improbamente i think, maybe he can work something out, i mean Cuba is gaining moré friends like Brasil, and China and stuff so i can see Cuba getting better and Then moré people like you Will actually go move There from the united states, Because in the end Cuba IS a paradise island.

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