Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Creeping Cynicism

This staying up all night nonsense has got to stop! I did the same thing last night as I did the night before, and I slept in today until noon. Even in retirement in mode this is very unlike me.

Actually last night was not as much fun as it could have been. Certainly the entertainment value was there. The locals were dancing in the streets, the rhythm of the salsa dance and the beat of the Cuban drums was certainly enervating. Yet last night I found myself looking around at the crowd, the people, and started thinking about things. This is never good for me.

I watched the men and women of all ages dance in the street, laughing, moving to the beat, seemingly having fun. I noted that it wasn’t just the youngsters although there were plenty of them. I also noticed that the dancing was the way people meet other people here in Varadero. And I noticed I was not dancing, something I might have done had I working legs.

It was a different kind of a crowd too. Last night there were a great many Canadians, sadly many of them drunk. Those representing our wonderful country were not doing it well, unless getting drunk is a good representation of Canadians.

The other thing I noticed was the size difference between Canadians and most of the rest of those in the crowd. We, like our neighbours to the south, are an obese nation. It is a tragedy, especially a health tragedy in the making.

On the other hand many Cubans have told me that they like the Canadians as opposed to the Russians or Europeans. I suspect, though, that the statement is reversed when they are talking with a Russian or European.  I suspect it may be a case of “follow the money”.

By the way, for those of you who think of Cuba as a cheap vacation, think again. The Cuban government has designated the region around Varadero as a “tourist zone”. They’ve created a completed economy based on tourism dollars, a good thing for those Cubans working here. However that economy is a relatively expensive one.

The cost of most things is pretty much the same as the cost at home and in some cases more. A night out here in Varadero costs about the same as a night out in Calgary. Only the rum is cheaper, and that not by much. As with all tourism economies, much of what is here is intended to extract maximum tourism dollars. It’s just the nature of business and money, like pretty much everything else in life.

Am I becoming too much of a cynic?

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear that is too bad Richard. I had hoped for a more entertaining holiday.Too bad to think that it is just a mercenary culture like all others.