SCU: Day 8

Published: August 25th 2007
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Ask me about my day. I dare you to.

Apparently today was another historical day so half of Cuba shut up shop early. Do these people ever work? The streets were packed by this stage and noisy kisses were being blown my way every ten minutes by sleazy Cuban men. It got to the point where I told every one of them to "fuck off". They probably didn't understand me with their limited English but it made me feel a hell of a lot better. I swear if I'm harrassed by one more Cuban man I will punch him in the head. I didn't learn Krav Maga for nothing. It actually makes me realise how lucky we have it in Australia. Sure, some Aussie guys are dickheads, but their behaviour is nothing compared to how Cuban men treat Western women.

I'm supposed to be meeting the girls for Coppelia ice cream tonight. Paula said she and Katrin are meeting two Cuban guys and if I'm coming she'll ask them to invite a friend. I told her if she did that then I'd cancel. I tried to explain to her that I have NO INTEREST in meeting Cuban men, not even to practice my Spanish with, and especially not poor Cuban men who expect me to buy them drinks. I've bought enough drinks in my time for loser / unemployed / tight arse ex's. I don't want to do it on my holiday. No matter how many times I tried to re-word my explanation to her, I was met with a blank stare. She really doesn't get the idea that I'm a lesbian and have no interest in men.

I spoke to Ramon about my new departure date. He said I should be crystal clear with Raquel that I'm not seeking a refund for the two weeks I'm not here. He said if I don't explain that I'm leaving for personal reasons, that the money may not go to him, Clara or my host parents despite the fact that I've already paid up front. I like Clara as a person, but not as a Spanish teachr, but I'm not about to ask for a refund. Her methods may not work with me but they appear to work with others. Perhaps I'm not picking it up as quickly as the others because I only speak English. All the other students speak English as a second language so perhaps they're better equipped to pick up new languages. Although having said that, two other students have changed teachers because their originals ones were shit. I also told Ramon that I'm pissed off with how much the UK language company charged me for Salsa lessons considering they only charge CUC5/lesson here. He said the UK company actually pays a Dutch language company and that he has seen Salsa lessons for as much as CUC10 and the dance instructors only get CUC3.50 of that. I told him I would've preferred to have given him my AU$300 and he said I'll know for next time. He said they tell students that if they want to come back for more lessons, to book it directly with Raquel and she'll organise casas and lessons for them. I won't be asking for a refund of my $1,300 because I made a commitment to stay here and if I ask for a refund my host family and teachers will be out of pocket as they have probably budgeted for me being here four weeks. Plus, knowing how dodgy the UK language company is, if I did ask for a refund, they'd probably make sure they got their money but that the host family and teachers got nothing. So I'd rather they keep what little they actually do get.

Tonight I met up with Katrin, Paula and Nana (from Iceland who looks like SWF) to meet their Cuban friends for ice cream. Coppelia was closed so we went to a bar. I was over it after 30 minutes and Nana didn't want to walk home alone so I escorted her. I feel fine walking the streets at night, I just hate the harrassment. When I got the shits at the fifth guy blowing kisses, Nana told me to be more 'tolerant' and to 'chill out'. Perhaps it's flattering behaviour at 21yo but at 30yo it's offensive and regardless of whether it's part of the culture (as she claims), it's unacceptable behaviour. Are young straight women so needy for male validation that sleazy men blowing kisses and saying inappropriate things is considered flattering? If so, I'm glad I'm a dyke.

I went to Hotel Santiago's Daiquiri Bar for a few drinks with Katrin where we discussed the different ideas of entertainment for her and I compared to the younger female students. Her and I are the only ones without Cuban 'boyfriends'. We're also the only ones over 30.


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