Gag-inducing Travel Tips from Sarah Hall
Ziva posted an item that was emailed to the staff at Babalu by long-time contributor, Mora. In the email Mora described at gag-inducing and boy was she ever right.
This woman, Sarah Hall, describes her decision to go to Cuba as a spur of the moment lark:
I like places that are a little hard to get to. I woke up the day after my birthday and thought to myself, "by next weekend I need to be in Havana." So I grabbed my iPad and booked the trip.
In a couple of short sentences Hall not only destroys the idea that anyone is being prevented from going to Cuba thus invalidating one of the big libertarian arguments against the sanctions the US has on Cuba, but also demonstrates that she's one shallow thinker. She didn't bother to contemplate why it's "hard to get to" despite being 90 miles away. She didn't think for even a minute about the 5 decades of suffering the Cuban people have endured at the hands of the Castro brothers or millions that have fled the place where she would vacation or the tens of thousands who have died trying to flee. No, it was her birthday and she wasn't going to be denied this exquisite experience to see the animals at the zoo.
She goes on to describe some of what she experienced:
A picture perfect combination of beauty and decay; architecture that doesn't exist anywhere else in the world; vintage cars perfectly maintained by their owners.
Ahh, how nice it is to be the omnipotent tourist that gets to vicariously enjoy decay and then fly home to Manhattan. There are plenty of poor countries one can visit and see decay. Most of the time when people return from such places they talk about how sad it is or how eye-opening it was. In the case of Cuba we see this romanticized vision so often that it makes me wonder if they aren't drugging the visitors upon their arrival. The difference between Cuba and these countries is that Cuba was once a new country, a country on the rise. The decay she witnessed ALL came at the hands of the people she doesn't even deign to mention. Ignorance is bliss and this lady is truly ignorant.
Cuba is one of the last places where you can get lost: your cell phone doesn't work and you can't really get on the internet. From the moment you land until you get back on the plane, you are completely and perfectly in the moment.
Such a lovely euphemism for being completely and intentionally cut off from the rest of the world. Desirable of course when you're the co-owner of a "creative services firm" in New York but not so good when you are trying scratch out an existence in a dictatorship. So glad that this prison for 11 million could serve to deprive Ms. Hall of all the pressures inherent to living in a modern and connected society. Their sacrifice is for your enjoyment, Sarah.
So the bottom line according to Sarah Hall is that if you truly want to get away, go to Cuba. I wish she'd go and stay permanently. Let's see if a few months trying to feed herself using a ration book to buy goods for which there are no rations and riding around on overcrowded and makeshift buses and working for $20 months a month changes her opinion.