Picture this: you’ve spent three weeks living in a beautiful foreign country but have barely seen the beaches. You only have two showers and they’re both always cold, and you’ve been eating arrozcompollo morning noon and night since you’ve been here. Your mattress is thin, the pillows are stuffed with rags and old cotton batting.
But then you get the best news: you’re headed to an all-inclusive resort on the longest uninterrupted beach in the world. All you can eat food, much of which comes from la Yuma. All you can drink liquor, but the only one that matters is rum. The showers are hot, and there’s one for every pair of people.
Okay, this place creeped me out.
Also among the amenities? Cubans are bussed in and out every evening, and only if they have proper identification proving that they work on a resort. This way, there are no pesky hungry people ruining your beach view. Bingo is conducted in English, French, Spanish and German. At every meal beef–no matter that outside of these tourist traps is like winning the lottery to find beef from a cow in a Cuban restaurant.
“I can’t even say ho-laaa!” the tourists cackle, mostly Canadians and British. People stumble around at all hours, never leaving the specified resort area. Never removing their precious plastic bracelets that separate them from the rabble that is Cuba. We only stayed for three days, but for most, this is all they will ever see of Cuba.
We stuff our faces, we shower several times a day. We drink all day long, accomplishing little else. We cook our skin, we stomp around salsa like this is Dirty Dancing and we’re all in the Birkshires. The entertainment staff performs a bastardized santeria song and dance and we wonder how the tourists aren’t terrified or curious. They clap and take pictures of poor people in synthetic clothes, dancing for money instead of the orishas. We dress up and pretend Batista is still in charge.
This is so fucked up.