I was inclined towards ‘the city that stood still’ – Havana. Preparing to encounter the Cuban capital was an opportunity of a lifetime that shouldn’t be missed. Having booked a last minute flight to Havana, I fathomed that this inviting Cuban city is unique and authentic with 16th century palaces; a craze for American cars; vivid and beautiful painted homes and shops.
So prepare to shrug off any misconception you may have towards this amazing town.
Crime is almost non-existence in Havana. No traces of weapon trade, robbery or drug peddling. There is a concrete sense of humanity and community in Cuba. Everyone looks out for the good of others. I felt safe and well-treated here, so will you.
There’s home for everyone
I was literary stressed to find any kind of homelessness in Havana. No one was found sleeping on the streets, crumpled up in a sleeping bag or a blanket. The government forcibly subsidized housing in Cuba and made it a law that owning a house is a right for everyone. The apartments might be tiny and overcrowded, but each one has four walls and a roof to stay. Book cheap flights to Havana to witness the life of the Cubans!
Havana is blissful for car lovers. Visitors to Havana flock in just to gape at these age-old beauties. Locals feel discouraged as these cars remind them of a bitter reality. Car parts are no longer available and their mode of transportation repeatedly breaks down with the need to get repaired. Some locals mend it on their own, while others wait for a new part to come in from the US.
The drivers are quite friendly but I felt uneasy riding one of those as if i am enjoying a struggle that Cubans face daily. Definitely these cars are a magnificent piece of art and prestige for the locals, but I feel it’s time they need a change and something that keeps them excited and entertained. Isn’t Havana fascinating enough to allure you to bag lowest flight tickets?
Education, it’s free!
Can’t believe that! Several things that are pricey elsewhere are free for people in Havana. Education is one of those things that is free right upto university. This is something that is highly valued as it determines a person’s career.
For Cubans, work means vocation that stirs up a sense of contribution without expecting anything in return. Kids are treated to a free nutritious lunch in school. Believe it or not, literacy rate is 99%.
Health Care, It’s Free too!
Cubans enjoy free health care and they don’t dread of losing it. Despite not being updated with latest equipments and medicine, their system is quite commendable. Cuba has a list of the best trained doctors that anywhere else. Truly marvellous!