Arroz a la Cubana: Resortworld 2.0

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I may have lived in Canada a bit too long. I’ve gotten used to the sterility, all the bylaws that treat smokers like social pariahs, relegating them to the fringes, forced to smoke nine feet away from all entrances, skulking somewhere their second hand smoke won’t cause cancer for everyone. This must be literal paradise, because they’re treating this resort like a cigarette fuelled free-for-all. Smoking in the lobby. Smoking at the bar. Smoking at the beach. Smoking at the pool. Smoking in the elevators. Smoking everywhere. (Thankfully, no smoking was done by any of the other folks on the same floor as I was.) They did say Cuba is a throwback to another age, but this is not exactly the the throwback I was looking for.

Then again – and I’ve heard it at least twice now – Varadero is not the real Cuba. So it serves me right, I guess. For choosing what is in real life, Disneyland for adults, where the booze is flowing and the smokers are lit up quite happily and walking around barely clothed, abusing both my eyes and their internal organs. It’s an experience. I’m not unhappy about it. This solo trip has me walking around bemused, almost like I was given a license to watch people in an unnatural habitat and no one cares that I’m gawking because they’re way too busy having the kind of fun none of us get to have elsewhere. A people safari, is what this is. Back home, like everyone else, I tend to mind my own business. I’m usually lost in whatever movie or book I’ve downloaded for consumption whenever I have to commute, so people watching isn’t something that I get to indulge in. It isn’t polite to stare at people in the big city. It isn’t safe either, but in Varadero the rules have gone straight out the window. For all I know, they’re staring right back at me for being an odd duck on my own in a place where it most certainly should be a group thing, but I guess I don’t care either because kevs ever. Maybe that’s the spirit of Varadero. Kevs ever!

Speaking of kevs ever, the man boobs, oy. I’ve seen enough man boobs to last me into the next decade, I think. All the in-resort restaurants have signs reminding guests to keep their shirts on and cover up when coming in, but people don’t read instructions when they’re on vacation, honey. So it’s an overflowing buffet of flesh and ass and yes there are girl boobs too, but that’s boring to me. It’s all the manly jiggles and hairy buttcracks and the sunburns so severe they look like a level six alarm on legs. Sometimes people don’t tan, they burn. The tan ones look like preserved leather, the red ones look like they need a lifetime supply of aloe vera. It’s painful. One woman was walking around with her skin peeling, red patches blooming on her shoulders, revealing … pink patches. Sunburn on a sunburn. Kind of makes me feel glad to be a tropical girl, because I turn golden brown, like a luscious rotisserie chicken. Gloat. As always, I’m staying out of the sun because I’m a vampire with a screwed up body clock here on a people safari.

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