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Just a Morning in Cardenas

By Anja

Get out of bed, down the stairs, pass the dog "WOW - WOW!" I will never get used to D, open the fridge take un vaso de jugo* ... music, Ibrahim Ferer will do in the morning.

Banjo ... no toilet paper, newspaper works as well ... flush the toilet ... doesn't work ... take a cubito*, fill it with water, flush the toilet! Shower .. HA a real shower and it IS working. Put on a dress and open the front door, Cardenas life has started up already.

Horses with coches are passing by, bringing people all over the city for 1 peso, these horses have to work almost 24 hours a day, and in the end collapse and die in the streets of "la Ciudad de Cangrejos" while doing their job.

At the other side of the street I see a man bend, to pick up a peso that was probably lost by someone ... should I do the same?

The women who are living in this street, which is the central street of Cardenas, walking in and out each others houses to gossip. The mother of the woman next door died last week, and her husband run away the day after, now she is living with her old and always drunk father and her son Carlito of 4 years, who is visiting us often.

Somebody at the door ... it is the man of the permuta, his house is much bigger then this house and my friends love to exchange theirs with his. He is telling that he lowered the price from $3000 to $2500, and that they have to decide next Monday if they are able to pay that amount or not. It has to happen, because the boys are getting older, and sooner or later will marry, so more room is needed for the future. I offered to help, but my friends don't want my money to help them ... there exist Cubans who do love an extranjera without hunting fulas, M. said :"You don't have to solve our problems"

Then I hear:: "Me voy, me voy! señoritas quedan pocas, me quedan tres, solo 99 centavos!" The man is selling cookies in the street.

I love to sit in that chair, keeping the door open with my feet being la chismosa and listening to the morning street noise of Calle Calzada


Explanation of words:

*Permuta - exchanging of houses
*Cubito - bucket
*Vaso de jugo - glass fresh juice
*Extranjera - foreigner (female)
*Fulas - dollars
*Chismosa - gossiper
*"la Ciudad de Cangrejos" - city of the crabs (Cardenas)

















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