Friday, January 11, 2008     « Davin in Cuba »


We had two weeks together over the break. Too bad about the having to go back to work and make a living thing.

I took this photo on New Year's Day when we decided to walk to the local beach and ended up spending 4 hours walking to the nearest town and back. Walking was really our only option out since everyone was on holiday and no taxis seemed to be running. A truck driver stopped to ask if we wanted a ride on the way out but we thanked him and waved away the offer, still under the impression that we were just going to walk over the next hill... but the next hill came and then another hill and another turn in the road and we just kept going looking forward to whatever came next. We discussed hailing a taxi on the road back but never did see one -- the road was empty except for cows, circling vultures, and Cubans walking to the beach.

Along the way we stopped to wave and wish a Happy New Year to everyone we passed. It was a holiday and spirits were high all around. Davin noted the strangeness of acknowledging strangers, a social behaviour uncharacteristic to city living. It made sense though in a place so small everyone knew each other. It would be rude to walk past someone without a friendly greeting whereas in the city it would be considered crazy to behave otherwise. Some people looked at us suspiciously but many watched with an enthusiastic curiosity while others invited us to join their party. About half-way into our journey we crossed paths with a multi-generational family headed towards the beach. A woman about our age was nursing a young baby. She stopped short of us, removed the baby from her breast, and promptly plopped the baby in Davin's empty arms. Everyone stood around laughing and cooing at the baby. The family made jokes about leaving, pretending to walk away from us with the baby still in Davin's arms. We all laughed and played along but it was one of those strange experiences that was both light, friendly, and warm but had the air of an unspoken something to it. We eventually parted ways astonished by how open people could be. I guarantee you no one would place their child in a stranger's arms around these parts regardless of how friendly that stranger seemed.

I took this photo of Davin shortly after we set out on our journey. The road seemed particularly hot on the first leg of our walk... probably because it was paved with asphalt and the rest was mostly dirt or broken up. Davin saw a snake slither into the brush along the road. I was pretty bummed because I missed it and never did see a snake at anytime during our trip. No tarantulas either. Maybe next time.

« Davin in Cuba »