Wednesday, April 8, 2009

All the reason I need

People sometimes ask me why I’m so hung up on Cuba, let’s face it: I write about it almost as often as I write about Canada. For those very few people that know who I actually am and for those who’ve been over to my house: I just show them a roll of toilet paper that I brought back from a 5 star luxury resort in Cuba. Sandpaper does more to keep my skin soft and provide comfort than this stuff.

That’s all the reason I need.

In a country where the most luxurious of places provide you with stuff we wouldn’t give our prisoners in Canada, you’ve got to ask yourself what the regular people are getting to help them perform the most basic of functions. Let me tell you: nada. If you walk into an “El Rapido” (fast food chain in Cuba) and want to use the washroom, there’s no toilet paper but there is an old woman (or man) waiting at the door of the washroom to sell you a few pieces of pink stuff that probably causes rectal cancer. In a place of propagandized utopia you can’t even wipe your ass without cutting it wide open or messing up your hand.

As far as metaphorical statements for describing the state of a nation goes, I think this one is particularly powerful. A place that claims to meet all the needs of all those living within it’s closed borders can’t even provide toilet paper and when it does, it goes to the tourists first. Like so many other things such as beef and lobster and eggs. They sell their lies to tourists who love to hear a good story of a bloodless revolution for the people, by the people. Selling them Che shirts and little hats with little red stars on them. So the ignorant mass of foreigners sits on a beach, drinks their Bucaneros and enjoys all the privileges that Cubans can’t afford and aren’t allowed to enjoy even when they can afford it.

So when you travel please bear in mind, when you complain about the food at the hotel, that it’s really hard to cook something well when you’ve never tasted it. And when you complain that the beer is flat and warm remember that when you make 18Cuc a month and beer costs 1.25Cuc it doesn’t really matter how warm and flat it is. Most importantly every time you wipe, remember that you are enjoying the softest and best toilet paper in the country.

Or you can do what I do and use the Granma state newspaper: the propaganda filled ink makes for a really soft wipe and as an added bonus it feels really good to flush it down the toilet with the rest of the shit.

Muchacho Enfermo

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Usha said...

Man..i am REALLY lost for words...

Firstly, I did wonder why you wrote so much about Cuba..and sadly I don't know Cuba beyond the infamous Guantanamo Bay :(

IS life in Cuba that bad?? Are Cubans leading that miserable a life ??(with reference to what you wrote)

Muchacho Enfermo said...

As, usual, thanks for your comment Usha, it's always appreciated. Ton answer your question: the only part of what I wrote I'm not 100 % sure about is the toilet paper attendant. I'm not sure they're in EVERY "El Rapido" but I have seen them in quite a few of them myself and in many clubs.

I'm hope someone someone else will chime in and add to what I said and help paint you a more complete picture.

If you'd like to know more about Cuba there's quite a few blogs that'll give you a better idea of the place than I ever could, I'll list a few down here and:

machinepolitick said...

Bravo Muchacho and write on. I think I feel a painting coming on. As you know, I have a special dislike for those nasty trolls down there keeping the people in poverty with their 'revolution' propaganda.
Don't get me started on the Che shirts. I finally started the long awaited Che painting. I will keep you posted on that.

Muchacho Enfermo said...

When you do get to that painting let me know I'd love to see the Butcher forever immortalized by your brush! Thanks for your support and good job on the pun/double-entendre there!

wendy said...

bueno te quiero decir que por la libreta(el estado) dan como 4 rollos de papel sanitario para el mes y para toda la familia si se te acaba tines que comprarlo ilegalmente, y si no tienes dinero tienes que limpiarte con el periodico(newspaper) cuando lo hay y si no con cualquier lapel como revistas(magazines)y si no con agua que es escasa, porque muchas casas en cuba se avastecen de una sola pipa de agua para una o dos cuadras y en cada cuadra hay mas de 50 viviendas,,,, y con respecto al papelen los rapido cadadia es mas escaso y si que te venden esactamente 3 cuadraditos y con eso tienes que resolver, de pinga, ni me quiero acordar, y te voy a decir una ver cuando estabamos en g al que andava conmigo le dio ganas de ir al bano, no habia papel ni agua, termine yo recojiendo los papeles mas limpios del piso (de la calle) para que se pudiera limpiar, y te pudo decir otras anectotas que no seria muy higienico contar, pero tengo muchas,,,y mejor no te digo como es en los hospitales, solo imaginate, no hay, papel (de ningun tipo)no hay agua y todo sucio parecido a la terminal de trenes y eso que son hospitales, si quieres mas informacion me avisas jajajaja

Muchacho Enfermo said...

Send me some more toilet paper stories from Cuba... I'll make a regular column with them! One story per week...