Café Fuerte has an interesting article about Marta Elena, a lady who travels from Cuba to Miami for the very first time to visit her sister, Maria Luisa. After visiting the requisite sites and being astonished by visions she had only seen in movies and magazines, the following conversation took place between Marta Elena and her daughter back in Cuba through some unknown internet telephone service (my translation):
-Mom, Yuniara and Yuneska say that the dresses have to be tight fighting, which is what is popular nowadays, and the shoes have to be the pointy kind. The sneakers, well, you know.
-Yes, sweetheart, but how are all of you doing?
-Don’t forget the shoes for Yeyo, you took the measurements, and bring him two pairs of jeans, any brand, he’s not into that kind of stuff, and a t-shirt. But the sneakers have to be Nikes. There are stores over there called Coño and barato and Varsan where stuff is really cheap. There you can by panties, bras, and a few airy blouses for work. And the video player, Felo says they’re only twenty bucks, but they have to have data ports, and if you can get two that’s even better. One for us and the other so the girls can watch their programs downstairs. And most importantly, the laptop so they can do their homework.
-Felicia the neighbor wants you to bring her a 27-inch plasma TV, that she’ll settle with you when you get back. Poor thing, she’s all screwed up with diabetes. And if you can, bring her an electric fan too, it’s hot as hell over here.
-You think they’re going to let me bring all that stuff in?
-Sure, if you pay with Cuban dollars. Tomorrow I’ll send you an email in case I forgot anything. And how are you doing?
-I’m good, it is very beautiful here, as I told you. Felipe is here, he came to see me with a friend. Do you remember him? He left after he had already grown up.
-No, this one doesn’t have a pug nose.
-I don’t know who he is. So where is auntie going to take you today?
-To the Ermita de la Caridad (our Lady of Charity Church), to see if Cacha will give me the numbers to the lottery.
-But mom, you’ve never even played the numbers here.
-But now I do, because if the virgin doesn’t give me the numbers, I don’t know how the hell I’m going to find the money to buy all the stuff you’re asking me for!
Marta Elena is a very discrete woman who speaks deliberately and with perfect articulation. Maria Luisa and Felipe were astonished. My friend surreptitiously scratched his nose. Then the lady launched her final thrust:
-Forgive me, gentlemen, but over there the people think that it rains dollar bills here. Hundred dollar bills! What a pain in the ass!