Thursday, 1 June 2017

SEÑORITA CAN I BUY YOUR CLOTHES

 By Lara Sabry



Trinidad, Cuba


Me and my hobo set out to Cuba in January 2016. Cuba has been on the top of our list for years, we’ve saved up a great amount and had spent months doing our research to the point that by the time we got to Trinidad, we knew the street names by heart.

Little did we know, our three-digit budget was about to take a speeding swing down to 0.

Cuba


Before heading out to Cuba we had already made all our Hotel reservations online and so we set out with a budget that would cover our daily expenses and internal transportation. The plan was to start in Havana then backpack across Cuba and end the trip in Baracoa (sounds like reasonable plan, doesn’t it?).

By the time we got to Viñales (which was our 3rd city to visit) instead of spending two nights there we ended up staying for a week. That’s when the financial crisis and excitement began!

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By staying in Viñales for a week, we were also deciding to miss the rest of our reservations, exciting! We had $500 to cover us for 3 weeks; that gave us $23 to spend per day on:

Accommodation, Transportation and Daily Expenses (WHAT!).

Cuba


Not only did we manage to rent a room to sleep in but we also managed to visit two more cities!

From Viñales to Varadero to TRINIDAD

You can’t simply go all the way to Cuba and not pass by Trinidad, can you?

Any Cuban you come across will almost always recommend you to go to Trinidad. What’s there not to like? From cave parties, sugar cane fields, tobacco fields, waterfalls, mountains, horse-back riding to THE Hershey City-Tour Train. Shall I say more?

Cuba


By the time we made it to Trinidad, we had been surviving on biscuits, $2 Pizza and tap water for the past 3 days. That was until our host came up to me and genuinely offered to buy my clothes (but wait, let me explain).

It is almost impossible to find clothing stores in Cuba except in Havana and with a maximum wage of $20–25 per month, Cubans can rarely afford to purchase clothes. For those not living in Havana, it is impossible.

Being far away from Havana, our host asked if we had spare clothes to sell for a reasonable price and we sure as hell did! For $15 we had sold: 2 dresses, 3 pair of pants, 2 scarves and 5 shirts. She had bought herself and her daughter a few flowery-patterned pieces of clothing and we had earned enough cash to keep us alive the next couple of days. A win-win situation is what it is! To top that off, before we departed to catch the bus heading back to Havana, she had prepared 2 pieces of bread for us, a juice box, fried chicken and a free ride to the bus station!


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Lara Sabry was born in Venezuela and spent the majority of her life moving around Latin America until moving to Belgrade in 2005 and to Egypt in 2009. Laura went to Cuba in January of 2016, and found that Cuba was one of the most profound places she had visited. She spent 2 months roaming around Cuba and truly believes that for the first time she has found a place she could call home. 


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