The following a conversation I overheard yesterday morning while standing in line at the cash register, waiting to pay for a frozen pack of tilapias and a pack of Hawaiian rolls Mom had asked me to get from her local Winn Dixie. The woman was Cuban, somewhere in her thirties, with a six or seven year old boy and chatting on her cell phone:
“I can’t go this year…”
“No. I have to wait until next year…”
“In August. Next August. For two weeks….”
“No. We’re flying directly…”
“Havana. Jose Marti Airport. Yes.”
“No. No way. We are going straight from the airport…”
“Yes. To Varadero. For two weeks. I cant wait…”
“No, mija. We are going to one of those all-inclusive resorts…”
“Yes, two weeks at an all inclusive resort. Yes, in Varadero…”
“No. We’re not even telling the family until we’re ready to leave the resort…”
“Yes. Because then they wont let us enjoy our vacation…”
“You know how it is. We want to go Varadero y pasarla bien. Have a good time. That’s why we’re going to an all inclusive resort…”
“That’s right. Because you dont even have to leave the place…”
“And they have everything there at the resort. We won’t have to spend our vacation time standing in line or dealing with the black market…”
“I know! Two weeks next August! We can’t wait! I have to let you go now, i have to pay.”
The woman hung up her cell phone and gave me a half-hearted, apologetic smile. She tossed her phone into her purse and rummaged through it looking for her pocketbook.
Now, I know you all are thinking I must have been about ready to blow a gasket – and I was a bit teed off – but I was much more disappointed than anything else. The real anger came later.
The woman pulled out her pocket book and asked the cashier how much it was. “$87.52,” the cashier responds.
The woman opened her pocketbook, pulled out the plastic and paid for the groceries.
With an EBT card.