How to Visit Cuba Without Pissing Off Your Cuban Parents: Part 1, Crashing for the Night

Categories: Culture
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Joshua Abril
Fulano, the Miami Cubanaso, has all the know-how you second-generation Cubericans need to visit the motherland without (hopefully) getting disowned by your exiled grandparents or by your Bay of Pigs-veteran old man. Here's Part One: Crashing for the Night.

Bro, so you're totally Cuban, right? Pero you've never been to Cuba, so that idiot on the beach visiting from France said you were all confused, right? But he doesn't know shit because he doesn't know about Hialeah or Westchester.

Pero for real though, you want to see the island already, but your abuelos will disown you if you hand your money over to Castro like that. Bro, look, next time, tell them that you're gonna do it like this, so that the money goes to the people. And plus, this way you'll have like way more cash to get snatched out your pocket in Centro Habana.

Casa Particular
These are apartments where the people can rent out rooms, so you get to pay them directly. They gotta pay extra taxes and shit, but whatever, at least they see some of the cash, unlike hotels.

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Joshua Abril
Symbol for a Casa Particular.
Buildings that have casas particulares have this little symbol over the door that looks like some kind of crazy hieroglyphics or something. We think it's so that, like the Espiritu Santo passes over those houses as it goes around killing, like, the first-borns of capitalist trouble-makers or some shit.

Trust me, inside, it's mad chill. You even get air conditioning. The government makes it so that the room can't be all hood and shit. Sometimes you even get a refrigerator.

Pero dog, don't let yourself get ducked out by those fake ones. Like, if you're walking down the street and some come mierda sees you with your bags and tries to drag you to his apartment and when you get there, there's some old dude sitting there who the guy claims is his abuelo, even though the guy's straight black and the old dude is white with liver-spots.

You might get the room mad cheap, but the dude asks you to keep the bedroom window closed so no one sees you staying there. And then you find out that the toilet doesn't work after like 10 p.m. Next thing you know a water pipe busts in the building stairwell in the middle of the night and you wake up to find the Amazon River rushing your bed and all your things are soaked cause you left them on the floor.

What you've found is an illegal casa. You could stay there and see how Cubans live for real, but they can get busted bad, or the apartment can be a total piece of shit. Plus, the guy who grabbed you on the street will usually try to get you to cop them a bottle of rum or something for finding you the place. Just look for the blue sign, bro. Then you know it's legit.

The casas particulares cost like anywhere from $10 to $30 a night, dog, cheap as shit! In the pueblitos, it can be like, good luck finding one. In Havana, bro, you know they're gonna charge you closer to $30. Also, for a little more flow, they'll make you breakfast.

Next time I'll let you know where to eat for like a dollar, and even if your old man calls you crazy, at least he can't bitch about where the money goes.

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15 comments
Martmns
Martmns

Well "Panfilo" can believe what he wants about Cuba. I've been there, while he hasn't - at least  probably not for decades - if ever.. Cuba and the Cuban people have moved on. It's people like him that they've gratefully and without any remorse whatsoever, left behind.

Martmns.

=========================

Martmns
Martmns

First off, I'm a Canadian - with no Cuban roots or relatives. I just returned from a month in Cuba - in 'Centro Habana'. Your article is pretty much right on. As far as the 'Casa Particulars' go - I stayed in one at a cost of 25 CUC a night in the Concordia and San Nicolas area of Centro Habana. I t was more than adequate and the family who ran it were absolutely wonderful and so gracious. They treated me literally as though I was one of their own family. But more than just that- that was also my experience with most Cubans I met. Not just polite or friendly because I was a tourist and had CUC's and could potentially buy things for them - but friendly in a truly genuine way. Once I got to know some of some of my new Cuban friends a bit too - and they me, a few of them and two families in particular, practically adopted me as part of their own family and I ended up staying with them, in their homes as much as I stayed in my own 'Casa Particular . They literally shared what they had with me and I lived and experienced their life. What I found in Cuba, in the roughest most rough and tumble and 'non-touristy' part of Centro Habana too was genuine family. Life in Cuba is difficult for most people, the living condition often primitive, compared to middle-class North American standards and most of the people don't have a lot - but for the most part, they are the kindest, most sharing and genuine people on earth. To the exiles in Miami who have posted negative and disparaging comments about this story and about Cuba , I say to you, please, - get a life and move on. Be happy with your chosen life in America. The revolution was more than 50 years ago and for better or worse, Cuba has survived and changed and it has moved on without you.

Nocheaj
Nocheaj

I would stay away from Cuba. I left 40 years ago and will only return when things change there. I owe it to my dad who had to spend 8 years in political prison for not agreeing with the Castro ideology. I would love to walk through the streets where I learned how to ride my first bicycle, but I personally cannot look the other way and ignore the reality of the Cuban tragedy, if you can, good luck!

Panfilo
Panfilo

Joshua,

YOU are all confused, nice angle though.

Liborio
Liborio

How are you going to get there wihtout paying the outrageous ariport/landing fees the government charges the airlines that go there. Specially the charters that leave from the good ol' USA.

Nicolás Jiménez
Nicolás Jiménez

Probably worth noting that there are two colors of casa particular signs. Just like the cabs, casas particulares are segregated. So while you're shelling out not much flow for a dope time with air conditioning, the locals looking for a place to stay for the night get to stay in the craphole the Cuban government decided was too dirty for yumas like us to stay at.

Also, pluralize casaS... "casas particulares"

Panfilo
Panfilo

My dear "Martmns", do you have independent data to back up you fairy tale or is it just your boyfriend's opinion?  What do you know about anyone's remorse or gratefulness?   Why don't you go and try to fix the Canadian health system? How can you abandon them like that to go frolick with the pingueros?

Panfilo
Panfilo

Martmns, you forgot to tell us about your new boyfriend and how much you help him now by sending fula.  Does the fact that you couln't get laid in the US or Canada and in Cuba you had people following you everywhere have anything to do with you views.

Fuck you on your commentary to move on and to get a life. It's none of your fucking business.

Yumuricu
Yumuricu

We owe it to our parents and grandparents that sacrificed everything to raise us in a true Democracy....if you have no one there to see, you have no business going back....

Martmns
Martmns

I don't know what Cuba charges various airlines for landing rights and facilities at 'Jose Marti Internacional' airport in Havana, but I do know from first-hand experiences as an individual passenger, that the Canadian government charges a flat-rate "airport use tax" on all passengers flying in and out of Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto of nearly 200 dollars per each round-trip flight.. That's nearly 200 dollars by the way, on top of the mere 450 dollars my entire round-trip Toronto to Havana airline ticket on Air Canada cost! On the other end, the Cuban government only charges passengers flying in and out of 'Jose Marti Internacional', a 25 CUC - per round-trip flight (about 30 -dollars) flat-rate "airport-use tax". Who again did you say was charging "outrageous fees"? In this case it's certainly not the Cuban government and at 450 dollars for my round-trip ticket, they c9oulfdn't be charging Air Canada any - quote - " outrageous landing fees" either. Could it be that it's not the fees however moderate, that you're really complaining about anyway, but rather the fact that the Cubans actually have the audacity to make foreigners and especially, Americans like you, pay something, even anything at all for the services they receive.and consume??. The world really isn't your oyster you know. :)

Lolo
Lolo

Haha..primitive attitudes, mindset and ideas like those expressed by Panfilo, do no good to the Cuban exile community - just to discredit us. Martmns is right Cuba is moving forward, regardless what the crowd in Miami think or not.

Panfilo
Panfilo

Lolo, I only speak on my behalf. I have not been elected to speak on behalf on the "exile community".

You, on the other hand, are funny and free to make a fool of yourself. Why don't you do some research before you opine. Here are a couple of links to Human Rights Watch. Hardly, part of the exile community you apparently despise and pretend to be part of:

 http://www.hrw.org/en/news/201...http://www.hrw.org/en/news/201...http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/...

Keep parroting the same BS. It must be good for business. It worked during Goebbels time, but not today. Fortunately, we have the internet, cell phones and dissidents.

Panfilo
Panfilo

I never thought New Times was capable of censorship. You disappoint me.

Panfilo
Panfilo

I have not been elected to speak for the entire exile community and only speak on my behalf.

You, on the other hand, are funny (in the embarassing sense) and thankfully only discredit yourself.  Why don't you do a little research before opining?  Below are a couple of links to Human Rights Watch, hardly part of the Miami crowd you so despise.

http://www.hrw.org/en/news/201...http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/...

It may be bad for business but you can not hide the truth by parroting the same propaganda.  It worked fine for J. Goebbels but that was before Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.  

Moving forward....Please, it's too funny (näive?).

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