dimanche 4 mars 2018

First Meal in La Habana Shabbat Shalom

The first meal in La Habana
The outside world when wishing to criticize Cuba talk quantitatively about salaries etc, but never mention the quality of life here. Here I use the first meal in Havana at the home of my neighbours as a metaphor for life in Cuba compared to USA or Europe.
They had known that I was coming today and when I arrived at home, they had come to greet me and welcome me. Before leaving the lady said: Dinner tonight is at 8 pm.

If I did not have that invitation, if I were like a tourist to this country, I may have to go out and look for a place to eat, and of course it would cost money.
I went to the neighbours house at 8 pm. It was Shabbat so I had lit the candles and wished my family all over the world well.
The dinner was simple but ample by any standards: pollo al carbon, chicken cooked in a grill with carbon, they had made eggplants with a touch of vegetable masala as they know I like it, rice and extremely delicious black beans made savoury by some spices, and a simple salad of tomato and cabbage. I had taken down a bottle of sauvignon Blanc from Chile, which is always welcome at any dinner table.
We sat and ate and talked for about two hours. I am always overwhelmed by Cuban hospitality, which is much pro active and very considerate.
The next time you hear or discuss how little money Cubans make, please say to yourself, how may of my countrymen would pro actively take care of your needs: whether a meal of welcome, or transport or meeting you at the airport, or making sure that your fridge is full of essentials that you like: sparkling water, brown sugar, butter and eggs (which is rather hard to come by these days, after the hurricane season)
I am happy to be in Havana.