R. makes friends with interesting people.
For example, his Cuban friend, P., who came to the island 13 years ago. It is superfluous to say he came with nothing; Cubans-solely materially speaking, of course-have very little in comparison with The American.
Now, P. has Spanish nationality, the presidency of the Cuban association of the island (250 Cubans here! Who knew?), a house next door to R.’s (which he has for free in exchange for fixing it up from time to time), and a huge “squatters plot” in the country near the airport (also for free, same deal as the house in Maó) where he raises pigs, chickens, and goats.
R. told me the typical Cuban explanation is inventando….they make their lives rich by continuously inventing ways to live, creating a rich existence for next to nothing. In addition to the two houses the Cuban has weasled his way into, he also hosts big bbqs at his house. Come over and play on his pool table! [Where did it come from? inventando]. Later, have a bite of the roasted 200+ pound squealer P. donated to charity at a local discoteca. Drive around town in the back of the furgoneta and hang out at the beach and, once back at his terreno, observe how he’s soldered impressive iron fences for his livestock [made from found materials, of course]. Never underestimate the power of resourcefulness.
Oh, did I mention he taught me the basics of how to make arroz amarillo con gambas (yellow Cuban rice with, as my dad would say, scrimp)? YUM.
Interesting people. Or as the Cubans would say, especial.
In other news, R.’s parents are here for the week. This means that furniture is dusted, t-shirts and sheets smell like freshly-laundered heaven, and a new pan for tortillas. Good food is plentiful; the fridge is teeming with local delicacies- the cheese, the sobrasada, the grapes as big as plums! We are stocked for WEEKS! And when we’re out, we get to try out the good stuff, like sweet potato patatas bravas at Santa Rita’s topped with pesto and fresh squeezed mango-orange-strawberry juices at the beach. (Holy guacamole!)
*Name that caption!* (because I can’t think of one!)
Who can resist a 3-day-old piglet? (Smelled like a pigsty, but very high on the cute scale!)
Old cubano had a farm…
The Vietnamese pig and I connected. I mean, either that or she thought I was bringing her food.
Old Cuban posters found in garbage hung next to pool table… creative, free, and very pinteresting.
Juice + Sunshine
More gambas. (And a lot of random poses.)
Not a bad way to spend a Saturday. Now, if I could just get back to my reading….