30th of January 2014
Woke up at 8, only 3 hours of sleep, went walking around with Sam to Vedado to give my final goodbye to Che and Camilo in plaza de la revolución. Then walked through the malecon towards Centro Habana. I love Cuba. Back in the hostel, I called Reinier who said he will come soon, took a shower, chitchatted with Juan the good-hearted dueño de la casa. Reinier came, it’s amazing how you can make a good friend in a place so far in a matter of few days. Human connections are weird.
I said goodbye to everyone, even Ipek who was mad at me for the past few days. I didn’t feel much, just a feeling of emptiness, no sadness (the first time I felt sad is now writing these words in the airport waiting for my flight). I went down with Rey, hugged him goodbye promising that we will meet again. One of few promises that I have no doubt I will keep.
Now am sitting at the airport, the feeling of emptiness is replaced with deep sadness and mixed thoughts. Thoughts that I really want to keep this “me” when I go back, this “me” though flourishes from being a foreigner, a stranger, it loves this challenge and lives for it. It is ironic that in my search for a home, I realized – some 30 years into my life – that my home, my comfort zone, is in being homeless.
I love Cuba. I love how it pushes your limit with its eccentricities, with its lack of logic, how it questions the rules of the world and does its thing in the way it likes regardless of what everyone thinks. Cuba is young, rebellious and beautiful in and out, and it is the least rigid land one can imagine, don’t let 60 years of apparent political stagnation fool you, the soul of salsa and rumba has no place for stagnation, a stagnant society would never be able to dance, laugh, do sports, arts, medicine and business in the way Cubans do.
A stagnant society is one where people lol on Facebook instead of laughing out Loud on the streets, and retweet about football instead of lively debating it in the middle of a Havana park. A stagnant society and system is one whose members waste the best years of their life chasing an elusive retirement house, be it in heaven .. or south of Spain.
Cuba though is young, rebellious and full of life.