Talk about another world. Not in the sense of impoverished but in the sense of aggressive sales.
As expected the change from the resort to Havana was drastic. When walking the streets on our first night in Havana, it was a constant barrage of peddlers.
"Hola, hola, where you from?"
"You hungry, eat here."
"The food here is very good. Best."
"Hola. You speak Spanish?
|It might look like a nice street, but walking it involves a lot of peddlers.|
"Hola Senor, Taxi?"
"Where you from?"
|Need a ride|
"Hola. Cuban cigars."
|We attempted to walk through this warehouse of stands but we were so heavily bombarded by people trying to see us stuf we left without getting anything.|
Have you seen those picture of some person sitting on the side of a building dressed authentically with a big cigar in their mouth? That is not some random person on the street that the photographer found and asked for a picture. That is a local sitting there offering to let you take their picture for a fee.
"Hola, hola. Picture."
|If you listen and don't put change in the hat she will let you know she is not happy.|
My travel companion summed it up perfectly when she said, "No one does capitalism as well as a communist country." Capitalism is rampant as can be in old Havana with its beautiful old buildings and narrow streets lined with people all offering to sell the tourist something. At one point we went to a market to just check it out, maybe get some souvenirs while we were, but the people were so aggressive with the sales and stopping us we actually left out of frustration without getting anything.
|Row of taxies waiting for a someone to walk past.|