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When I fell for a Cuban

By Veronica


CUBA ... when I fell for a Cuban I am. Getting ready to go to Cuba again! I keep saying I am in love with the island no reality is I am in love with a Cuban. That is VERY different. In a way, I am connected to Cuba. The music if they weren't so poor, they wouldn't probably dance so much music keeps them going. Music keeps ME going. All the frustration at work fades away when I dance but not just "dance". I mean salsear and to be able to salsear one must dance with a Cuban.
No one in the world moves the way they do. Their bodies. Their fantastic and amazing bodies. Both, men and girls have enviable figures and how they shake their hips and make you move yours.
My Cuban experience was incomplete. I had just started to see Cuba when it was time to go back home. This time, things will be very different.

I am meeting Miguel. The man that makes me tremble every time we speak on the phone. He calls me "mami" most Cuban use that word but I still find it special. I am tempted to call him "papi" but it would just sound unnatural. I don't know how to call him.
I remember when we met. Just a bit more than 4 months ago. December 2006. Havana. On the dance floor, but we hadn't danced yet. I normally "fall in love" after they have danced with me…I fall in love with their dancing, this time it was different. When I came back from the ladies, my friend was talking to him…talking? half-talking. she couldn't speak Spanish, he couldn't speak English. I became the translator. I think it became too much for him. Couldn't say all he wanted to her and resorted to talking to me only. I would still translate in case she felt out of the conversation.

After a few minutes, I was totally comfortable in his company but I couldn't trust a Cuban. Never. I lied. Told him I was married. In that way, I felt more protected. Some guys came to our table and asked if we would dance. He nodded as a sign of approval "but only her", indicating he was "working" on me…mmm So I was not "allowed" to dance. It felt good. We stayed there and watched my friend dance. We carried on chatting and at some point he said I wasn't so attractive but that I had "something' then he said although you are very small you still have something. Would you like to come with me tomorrow morning? We are filming a video for a regaetton group. "I cant" I replied. "My friend has got a problem with her VISA and we have to sort it out tomorrow morning. I will come here tomorrow" "you won't" he said.

Later, I left to go and buy water. I was getting worried after hearing so many stories about Cubans who want tourists to buy them drinks, etc.

I didn't return to the table. On the way back, I met another Cuban who wanted to dance. He wasn't fantastic but I danced with him pretending I had no clue of how to dance. he "taught" me how to move and even said I was a fast learner. "Whatever", I thought. I spoke in English only. By now, my friend and I were tired of being asked for drinks , etc. It was easier if they couldn't speak to us.
The only problem with pretending was that I couldn't sing in Spanish I sing the songs I am dancing to it's a tick I can't help.

After a few songs, Miguel reappeared. We were sitting at a different table. He sat next to my friend and suggested we played a game. She would tell him things in Spanish I would whisper in her ear. So…I asked her to say "tienes unos ojos muy bonitos" (you've got beautiful eyes). He then replied other things I can't remember now.
There was more music but I didn't dance. Then some regaetton, he is a fantastic dancer. Oh my god. I saw him dance. I fell in love…with the dancing.

Once again, I left. I went to the bar to buy more water. I was counting my money when he reappeared. $1 CUC he said. I said, No..I'll pay in Cuban pesos. No…you are a tourist and must pay in CUC. I ignored him and still tried to use Cuban currency. The waiter refused and I ended up paying as Miguel had said.
"You see", he told me, " I was right". We started chatting at the bar. He asked me why I kept running away from him. "Are you scared of me?" he asked. "Oh, I know. You are annoyed because of something I said". Mmm. I think I was scared but not of him. I was scared of him finding out I had false teeth, of him getting too close and not liking my skin, I don't know I was just not ready I wasn't in "flirting" mode.

Then he went on "Whose idea was that about my beautiful eyes?" I said it had been mine…he asked me to repeat that myself. I couldn't. He made me feel nervous I was feeling so, so nervous. He came closer.

I like that I like that pair of things you've got. What was he talking about? "Those"…he signalled with his head and eyes…what? "but they are only small" I said, then I hugged him so that he could test it for himself (what was I thinking??, what a turn off that was eh?)
MMM…he said, "they are ok. Why would you want bigger ones hanging down there, mid-waist. Better small but in place". He asked me for my contact details in Cuba. I scribbled the hotel I was staying at in Havana. He asked me if it wasn't a lie. Was I being honest? I was.

Then more music. Suddenly, a Merengue song was being played. For the whole night, only salsa had been played. I jumped when I heard the music. "you wanna dance?" he asked. "Of course!" I said.

He held my hand and took me near the dance floor. We were dancing tight. He smelt so nice so good then he was about to kiss me when I panicked…(my teeth, I thought…do I have bad breath now?) I stopped him and said nothing could happen…I was a married woman how could I look at my "husband" in the eyes again?

He said he didn't believe I was married. I explained how my "husband" and I lived. He lived in Mexico and visited England 4 times a year. I travelled once a year.
"So"..he said, "next time you come here, will you come with him? or on your own like now?" I said I would go on my own as it was only me who liked salsa.

"Promise me you will be back" he said, "and on your own, without your friend over there". "if you come back, I will take you to places, I will give you an entire week. I will make you happy"…what? "make me happy" MMM I don't know about that but I said that I wasn't looking for anybody "to make me happy". My concept of happiness was different from the guys' point of view.

But as we were talking, I was very close to him…saying "No" with my words but saying "yes" with my body language. I was touching his back, stroking his head.

The live band started playing again and I turned to see them play. Miguel stayed behind me and hugged me. It felt so good.
He then kissed me on the neck, near my ears, licked my neck, bit me softly.

I felt the so famous butterflies in my stomach I smiled. The song finished and the band thanked the audience. "You liked that, didn't you?" he said.
"Of course!" I replied "Aha, you are not made of stone then?" "No, I am a woman I do feel".

End of the night. Time to say good bye. I thought "finally" Now I don't have to pretend anymore…but deep inside me, I wished I had kissed him. I knew I wasn't going to see him again

Back in the hotel room, my friend asked me if I was ok. I had danced only three songs and had spent the whole night with Miguel. Was I not frustrated for not dancing as I had planned? "No". I had had a very nice and exciting night.

Then I started crying I wasn't going to see him again. No man never I could not kiss anybody. My teeth were my problem. I was half a woman
he never called..we went to the same place the following day but he wasn't there. I was hoping to meet him again and say good bye
I had a feeling he was genuine. Maybe not at the beginning but there was something different about him. He wasn't like the other Cubans we had met.

That night, I went to the toilet many times, mainly to make sure I looked ok in case he turned up. I ended up chatting to the lady attending the toilets. She told me how embarrassed she felt sometimes of being Cuban. Not because of her but because of the guys. She said that most of them were not genuine, that they tried to take advantage of tourists so many bad things about them…however, there were exceptions. Like a guy she knew called Miguel. (Miguel? I thought how many Migueles there must be in Cuba!) she said he was one of the reps in the place and a great dancer. He was so hard working so nice, so reliable and honest I then realised it was the same Miguel.
So my instinct was right. He was different. I told her about the previous night and left my contact details in a" letter" I scribbled on a tiny piece of paper.
"Miguel", I wrote, " I am really sorry for my lies last night. I am not married and was not scared of you. I will come back to Cuba but only if you contact me. I will stay in Mexico for another month. Please call me. If I don't hear from you, it will be impossible to be back. I will fly back to England at the end of January". I left my e-mail address doubting he could access internet still.

I flew back home with a broken heart. I tried to call him many times from Mexico but I was told he had left and wasn't working there anymore.
Then I e-mailed that other Cuban I danced with. The night before I left he gave me his e-mail. I asked him to try to find Miguel and tell him to contact me. I explained how I felt and that it was important for me to find him.

Yosvani replied in one of his e-mails that Miguel had got married to a Dutch girl and that he had moved to Holland.
I could not believe what I was reading. "Cheeky bastard" I thought. Of course…men. He was engaged to the girl and wanted to sleep with me yes but, but he was different, wasn't he?

When I wrote back to Yosvani, I told him I was heart broken. I was devastated and sad. I think he took pity on me and replied that he "had made a mistake" and that the Miguel he thought was a different one.
In any case, he didn't help me find Miguel.

I flew back to England a month later and re-started my life. Found a new place to live and went back to university. I started work gradually again and forgot about Miguel.
Forgot about finding him again couldn't forget the night the stupid I had been.
I was frustrated with the dance scene in Newcastle. Salsa was not the same after Cuba and Mexico.
I needed "fresh blood". I went to Edinburgh with a friend to dance. The first night was horrendous. The second night we went to another place.
I danced with a nice guy at the end of the night we were kissing it was a nice feeling. It was so romantic Hadi was a sweet, sweet guy. He was totally infatuated with me. I went back to Edinburgh the following week and spent the night at his. Nothing happened. I wasn't I am not that kind of girl.

I told him I wasn't ready for any kind of relationship. The truth is I was but not with him. I was obsessed with the idea of meeting a Latin man. A black, Latin man.
That kiss gave me the confidence I needed. I realised it was possible to kiss people. I could kiss and be kissed.
It was almost the beginning of March. I was in full swing with university and work. I called home as usual and Mum told me a guy from Cuba had called me reverse call. She didn't take it.
I thought Yosvani was calling what for?
Mum then said it was a Miguel Rodriguez. What? I could not believe what I was hearing. I knew how expensive it was to call from Cuba. Mum said it wasn't of a gentleman to do that…only I knew why he had done it. Cuba is so poor.
I also received an e-mail and he said he had received all correspondence and needed a number in England to call me.
It is now two months since we spoke again, e-mails and phone calls. When he calls me "mami" I melt.
I am flying back to Cuba to meet him again. I just want to kiss him all over. Dance with him. Walk hand in hand in the promenade and, may be, after all, he can "make me happy".


















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