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.