From our Bureau of Irritating Travelogues with some assistance from our Adventures in Apartheid Tourism Bureau
An Australian tourist who decided to travel to Cuba on a whim ended up having an awful time in Cuba and she has decided to tell the world about it, since she is a professional journalist.
Naturally, she went there to have a good time and to experience the human zoo and the “nostalgic glow” of old cars and dilapidated buildings promoted ad nauseam by travel agencies, travel guides, and travel experts. But instead of enjoying a dream holiday in the land of antique American cars and mammie cigar ladies, she found herself constantly annoyed by the backwardness of the place, especially when it comes to ATM machines.
Not a word about human rights abuses, poverty, food shortages, power blackouts, etc… The fact that she had a hard time turning her Australian dollars into Cuban currency ruined the whole trip for her.
On the plus side, she did meet some noble savages who were kind to her, but, naturally, she related to them as a superior being who was there to provide them with a chance to serve her needs, make a few bucks, and bask in their own inferiority.
Aaaaahh, the perils of travel to a “tiny, frustrating” dystopia! And aaaaahh, the joys of being a noble savage.
Reason I’ll Never Visit Cuba Again by Melissa Iaria
Tucked away in an old envelope is $200 in Cuban tourist dollars – the remnants of an ill-fated trip I don’t want to talk about.
My jaunt to the Caribbean nation was badly planned. I had booked a trip on a whim from Mexico and while I had a shiny visa, I neglected to research Cuba’s currency requirements.
Upon landing, I joined the hordes of travellers lining up for the single ATM outside the airport. However when it was my turn, I was shocked to discover none of my cards worked, meaning I had no spending money for the rest of my Havana days.
The currency exchange stores only swapped Canadian dollars, Euros and Mexican pesos, but the lonely 20 Mexican pesos in my wallet wouldn’t buy me a Cuban cigar.
Australia has no relationship with Cuba, so I took a long taxi ride to the Canadian embassy with the promise another Commonwealth country would lend a hand.
I handed over $AUD 70 for the pleasure of using my credit card, and was charged a maximum couple of hundred dollars to tide me over the next few days.
For more whining, continue reading HERE