Tuesday, January 22, 2013

spies in the cupboard

I am not a hoarder.

I don't even consider myself to be a collector.

But I am beginning to doubt both of those denials after looking at the oddities I am now discarding from my life.

Take this can, for example.  I found it in the fruit cooler cupboard.  (Remember.  The house was built in 1925.)

I had no idea why it was there.  Aluminum fruit juice cans with Spanish labels are not very exotic.  Not after four years in Mexico.

But this is not a Mexican can.  It is a Cuban can.  That I picked up on my trip to Cuba in the spring of 2001.

I have mentioned that trip on my blog and in comments on other blogs.  It was fascinating.  Enough to convince me that socialism has not been kind to the Cuban people.

But also enough to make me interested in returning.  To do work with the Salvation Army.  My plan to accompany a Salvation Army corps from Canada in February has not panned out.  But there may be other opportunities.

I also ran across a photograph of our 2001 tour group.  The trip was sponsored by my law school law school alumnae association.  And here we all are.

If I had a better memory, I would ask you to play a little game by identifying the Cuban who was willing to talk to us about the failure of the socialist system -- and the Cuban who was assigned to us to report Cubans who talked about the failure of the Cuban system.

Neither of them is holding an orange juice can.

And neither am I. 

I have assigned it to the dustbin of history.  Where I trust a certain regime will be before too many more years.

1 comment:

Steve Cotton said...

My friend Teresa (now living in Japan) had trouble getting my comment engine to work. Here is her post --

wanted to make a few comments.

1. my parents were from pinar del rio. i remember going there as a little girl to visit my grandma. she had no running water or electricity. needless to say, no indoor toilet or t. paper, how would you like to wipe with cornhusks? i believe sometimes newspaper was available for that purpose. her house had dirt floors and a thatched roof. yes, i come from humble beginnings. i have very fond memories of visiting and to this day, whenever i hear frogs and crickets, i remember the big tin tub where i was bathed and would hear those sounds at night. there were no roads leading to "mi abuela's casa" so we would always take the train and get off near her house. i remember like it was yesterday yet sometimes i can't remember where i put my glasses just a few seconds earlier.

2. since you can't tell who a cuban person is just by looking at them, i won't even attempt a guess. none of my friends have ever figured out that i am cuban. if the fact that i speak spanish happens to come up, they ask where i learned it and i tell them that i am originally from cuba so it is my first language. some people assume that all cubans are black, and although there are a lot of blacks and mulatos there, as you know, there are also many whites. i think the people who make those assumptions are also the ones who wonder why so many of us left our country. some go there on vacation
and see only what the government allows tourists to see and think cubans don't have it so tough, they are soooo wrong.

3. i hope you get to go back eventually. too bad your february trip didn't pan out but it seems you have enough to keep you occupied for a while.