Insights about Cuba (and Cubans!)
Cubans are cute! Look at Emiliano. Well, cute is not the word to describe him. Damn sexy would be an understatement. Suffice to say, he is a prime specimen of Cuban masculinity.
Their accent is musical. (okay, so I have a slight crush on Emiliano, but seriously it sounds nice). Difficult to understand, but nice to hear.
They marry young. I am not sure how old Emiliano is, but he has a twelve-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter. I know, not fair!
They are friendly (and pleasantly curious). Everyday Emiliano tries to learn about India and Indians. He asks me about places to visit, the weather, the rupee value, what Indians think about Iraq, traffic in Bangalore, Indian food, cost of building a house in India, and a million other things.
They work real hard. Everyday I ask Emiliano how his day is going to be, and he replies “Biseeee”, and that it was “Crasssiiiee” working like this. It seems the hotel guys called him home yesterday and asked him to come back. I sympathized with him. Till he told me that he was lazing in his swimming pool at 5 pm when they called him.
They earn well. At least in the US. Emiliano has been in Atlanta for 5 years and he just bought a house. I am thinking four years in Bangalore. Hmmm..sigh.
They ride bikes in Cuba. When I told Emiliano that there were a lot of bikes in India, a silly goofy smile replaced his macho look. He told me how he used to ride in Cuba and how much fun it was.
They cant afford cars. Even the professionals – doctors cant afford them.
They do not manufacture cars. He asked me if we do in India, and I thought of Maruti and said that we did. He was impressed.
They are not fond of hot spicy food. Emiliano had a party at his new place and they had prepared a kind of stew. Lots of meat, lots of vegetables, lots of spice, and one half pinch of pepper. Emiliano remembers his first days in America. A stop at a Mexican restaurant, pickled shrimps, and his guts were scorched. He acted it out for me. How he took the unsuspecting shrimp into his mouth, the shock on his face when the juices hit his tongue, his mad scramble for water with his tongue hanging out. Awesome.
They are big on family, however there are exceptions. Emiliano was impressed to hear that my father and mother live together. His parents live separately, and he sends them 100 hundred dollars each every month.
Technology helps them. There is a site where Cubans in America order merchandise. It gets delivered to their kin in Cuba.
They don’t like Bush. A law was passed three days back, which says that Cubans can go to Cuba, only once three years. Emiliano is outraged. He asks me “Do they really think they can stop me from going if something happens to my mother?” Also, he can only send a total of 100 dollars every month now.
They don’t like other Cubans in Miami. Apparently these are the rich guys. And entire families are settled here. So they don’t really need to send money back to Cuba. They however give money to Castro. (He didn’t elaborate on this; we reached office. I need to reopen the topic tomorrow)
They pre-dominantly speak Spanish. Emiliano loves Spanish music, and asks me about Hindi songs.
They think Hindi movies are bright and colorful. He likes the bright saris, heavy jewellery, dances. I didn’t dare ask him if he had watched K3G.
They appreciate beauty. Every alternate day, he tells me I am “preethi”.