Sunday, May 12, 2013

Tips for a simple service
May 12, 2013-Day 3

Alicia Taisey, Havana
We pulled up to a lavish and elaborate mansion not knowing what to expect. This was a place for tourists, not for Cubans I might add.
 The hot humid air caused my clothes to stick to my skin but I didn’t mind. I was excited because I knew that today was a beach day and all I wanted to do was lay out in the blazing sun and relax. We walked inside and the interior consisted of dark wood furnishing. Straight ahead were French door’s that led out to the patio with a long dinner-style table. Even farther out was the crystal blue Caribbean Ocean with the waves crashing against the cement walls. It was quite a sight to say the least. A few girls and I decided to go change in the bathroom. We noticed a frail, old Cuban women sitting in there. She gave us toilet paper which for some reason, seemed to be lacking in Cuba. Even on other excursions, there were old women like her sitting next to the bathroom and they expected to be tipped after we were done using the bathroom. That is just an example of what Cubans do in order to make money for themselves. Granted about one CUC$ (Cuban Convertible Pesos) is equivalent to about 24 Cuban Pesos. Pesos are the currency the typical Cuban uses, might I add. A simple task as giving a tourist toilet paper is what needs to be done in order to make money for some people. The going rate for most Cuban wages is 17 dollars a month and this is why they take jobs waiting on tourists. They hope to earn a government salary with tips, even if it is simply handing out toilet paper to tourists.  The fact of the matter is, what we as Americans would consider a low amount of money seems like a fortune to many Cubans. Sometimes we take for granted what we have because it a lot easier to obtain certain necessities that could seem nearly impossible to most Cubans.


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