Life is very open in a typical village in Cuba. The door to your house will typically be open. People ask you to “enter” without knowing who you are. People wait at the colonial style window next to the brightly coloured front door to greet the plethora of neighbours and friends that pass by. Many people appear to spend a large percentage of the day in the street conversing with their neighbours. The evenings are passed having shots of rum and playing dominoes. There’s a saying in Cuba, “In Cuba, you queue for everything.” However, while you wait, you talk.
It’s easy to romanticise a lifestyle that is alien to ones own. It is nonetheless interesting to look at where this perceived increased sociability comes from. I believe this increased sociability comes from necessity.
The rations (1) and salary (2) the average Cuban receives is not sufficient. Families live together because they have to. You rely on your neighbours and family to provide you with what you lack and they in turn rely on you in their time of need.
In a closed economy (3), seasons matter – you can’t go to the supermarket in Cuba and get mangoes year round, firstly because you don’t have the money and secondly because mangoes are only available during mango season, i.e., when the mangoes grown in Cuba are ready!
This just in, Lance Armstrong’s parents have decided to rename him Lance Injecteddrugstomakehis Armstrong as their own personal punishment. When asked if they were legally able to do this, his parents replied in unison “we’re not interested in the legality or morality of this. And we believe that this decision to rename our son has finally settled the nature v nurture debate.”