Lasting Impressions of Cuba

“Anarchy is like custard cooking over a flame; it has to be constantly stirred or it sticks and gets heavy, like government.” ― Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Anarchism as a social movement in Cuba held much promise for the working class during the 19th and 20th centuries. I won’t go into the sordid details, you can read the history here Anarchism in Cuba.

Yet, what I would like to discuss are my lasting impressions of Cuba. First, Che is everywhere. Forty-five years after the death of Ernesto “Che” Guevara — the Argentine doctor who led the 1959 Cuban Revolution alongside Fidel Castro — his portrait is the most reproduced image in Cuba.

His face appears repeatedly on murals, water tanks, billboards, and even plates, t-shirts, coffee mugs, beach towels, and bikinis. While extraordinarily popular as a figure of revolution where children are taught to see him as a hero from a very young age, his image is used to promote commercialism in Cuba. My impression is that he has become a pattern and a design to sell to tourists, and I think they have gone too far and misrepresented Che. Would you buy a bikini with Che’s face on the butt of a bikini bottom?

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Contents of My Constant Companion

I’ve carried a purse since I was five year’s old. Although the contents change, they symbolize where I am in my life. Since I have a constant companion, I thought I’d share the contents of my traveling purse and explain my purse psyche.

IMG_3162I am a frequent international traveler. Presently, I’m in the states and the contents of my purse are spread out on my mother’s dining room table. I’m baring it all in this post, hopefully enabling you to understand my traveling philosophy and delve into my purse psyche.

1. First, I carry everything in a shoulder bag given to me by a friend who frequents the Salvation Army stores. It’s free…it’s purple ( one of my favorite colors)..and it’s compact.
Notice the little Canadian duck pin on the front? I prefer to let foreigners think I’m Canadian. I won’t go into it here, but let’s just say, that little pin has opened doors for me in some Latin American countries.

2. Salvation Army tissues fit neatly into the front mesh pocket. They came with the purse and are ever so handy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been without toilet paper when I’m traveling.

3. My used 3S/3G iPhone. I just bought an Otterbox Defender for it in the states because Nicaragua and the tropics are hard on phones. It is like a mini-computer and I have lots of cool traveling apps on it.

4. Just a little money. I never carry too much money in my purse when I travel. I have a few dollars for tips, and I have a little stash of my cordobas for my return trip to Nicaragua.

5. Of course, I need my passport and my Nicaraguan residency card ( When I return, I don’t have to pay the entrance fee of $10 in customs.)

6. My wallet has a few things in it, but my one credit card is hidden in another place in my purse. I won’t say where, but I can get very creative. The wallet is over 10 years old. I bought it at the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Alabama. That place is incredible.

7. I always carry a toothbrush. I couldn’t find travel size toothpaste in Nicaragua, and it’s a hassle to carry any liquids regardless of the size on a plane.

8. Under my toothbrush, I have two very important papers. One is a tracing of Julio’s foot. He wanted me to buy him some running shoes, but he didn’t know his size. I started compiling the other list months before my trip to the states. It contains all of the things I want to buy, or things my friends want me to buy while I’m in the states. Hard or nearly impossible to find things such as; pickling spices, cheap solar lights, a hummingbird feeder, raw peanuts, horseradish, pretzels ( I have a lot of food items on my list), and an assortment of little tools from Lowes.

9. My cheap knock-off sunglasses, and prescription glasses’ carrying case. I usually wear my glasses because it is easier than digging around for them when I have to read something (the only reason I need glasses, but when traveling, there is always something to read). I also discovered that my empty carrying case can hold little things that most airlines don’t want you to take. My little secret, but they are never detected when they run my purse through the x-ray machine. Nothing dangerous, of course.

10. My mother always told me to either wear clean underwear, or take a clean pair along with me and I’ve never broken the habit. 🙂

11. I can’t forget the pen. I confess, I am a pen stealer. This pen came from the director of House Hunter’s International when they came to film us for 5 days in May. No wait! I’m wrong. He kept reminding me to return his pen. I thought he would forget about it, but NO, so I begrudgingly returned it. Hmmm…I must have stolen this one from the airline personnel at the check-in counter.

So, there you have it…the contents of my constant companion. I think my purse psyche would show that I lead a simple, cheap life and I’m not very fashion conscious.

Now, when I get my travel vest loaded with 40 pounds of children’s books, and my zebra print backpack stuffed with my MacBook, Kindle, and other electronics…I am a sight to behold as I waddle through the airports. What’s in your purse today?