Where eclectic neoclassic meets art nouveau, with Moorish forts and island shacks
Where hip tourist restaurants and hotels abut skeletal ragtag apartments
Where dining consists of heaping plates of fresh tropical fruits (mangos, bananas, guava, guayaba, oranges, papaya) mystery meat, and sawdust bread rolls.
Where butter comes from Wisconsin, all milk is dried, and beef is forbidden
Where every child’s birthday is tomorrow
Where privileged bureaucrats and those working in the tourist sector do fine, while others speak endlessly and angrily about the growing economic struggle and eek by on $12/month and $20 worth of national subsidies
Where Che’s political cronies who were rewarded with palatial ersatz palaces with chandeliers and reproduction figurines, now take in boarders
Where proper old conservatively dressed women, obliviously wear rolling stones tee-shirts
Where pristine beaches are ringed with bright plastic flotsam
Where music is everywhere, and hips always sway
Where teachers and medical personnel are traded for oil and other resources, leaving Cuba devoid
Where Santeria idols hide behind Catholic santos, and priests dance bare-footed in fresh goat blood
Where homeopathy, acupuncture and Reiki are available, and antibiotics unavailable
Where the women have Barbie bodies and luscious walnut skin/hair/eyes
Where tourists recline in frigid tourist buses, while locals travel soldier style, in standing room only trucks with canvas sides
Where mosquitos, butterflies and birds are eerily absent, and caged canaries reside on every patio wall"