How to get to Cuba from Mexico

By: borsht

Mar 18 2013

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Category: slide film

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1.      While in Oaxaca, pay close attention to rumours you hear from other travellers about someone they met on the road who went to Cuba for free, with the proviso they bring in suitcases full of clothes and shoes and stuff for Cubans. Feel dejected when these people are never able to hook you up directly with the travellers who’ve done it.

2.      Make your way to Cancun, the place you least want to visit in Mexico and perhaps the world, but which has the closest airport to Cuba. Inquire about the price of flights to Havana. Bristle with outrage when you find out the price, which is way too high.

3.      Walk the streets of Cancun hoping you’ll meet some shifty character who will help you get to Cuba for free. When one such character approaches you, follow him to a park to meet with a Cuban woman who says she can help you. Return to the park the next day as instructed to meet her to get details. Feel upset when she doesn’t show up.

4.      Follow another false lead that involves several phone calls, empty promises and, ultimately, zero results.

5.      Change hostels because you hate the loud-mouth, obnoxious Canadian who runs the one you’re in, strike up a conversation with your new roommate, who happens to be a stripper from Poland, and tell her what you are trying to do. Listen with skepticism when she says she can help you.

6.      Accept with a trembling hand the phone number of a woman who helps people go to Cuba for free with the proviso of bringing in suitcases full of clothes and stuff for Cubans, which the Polish stripper gets from the manager of the hostel.

7.      Call the woman and in halting Spanish learned over a course of less than a month get the details of how you will get to Cuba: she will arrange your visa, buy a return ticket, drive you to and from the airport, and will give you $200 cash in case the Cuban officials deem you are bringing in gifts for Cubans and charge you duty. Agree to, in return, bring in one suitcase of clothes. The two Mexican guys you will be travelling with will deliver it once in Havana. Try to keep from your mind the thought that you have just been recruited as a drug mule.

8.      Go to the airport with the woman, meet the two Mexican guys, and accept your suitcase of clothes. Open the suitcase to check from drugs, weapons, etc., only to have it explode because it is packed tighter than you ever thought imaginable. Give up on the thought of searching through it all, and let the two Mexican guys re-pack it. Hope for the best.

9.      Get on a 1950s-era Soviet plane whose signs are all in Russian and which has a terrifyingly loud drone that makes you feel like are going to fall out of the sky. Wait impatiently for your free shot of Havana Club rum, which you receive as the plane is about to land as it’s like a one hour flight and you are sitting at the back of the plane.

10.   Go through immigration, which looks just like immigration in the former East Berlin, at least as it appeared in the movies, where you can only see the lower half the officers’ faces.

11.   Make it in without any problem and hand the $200 to the two Mexican guys, who take the suitcase from you, find you a place to stay in Havana, and say adios.


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