Poor Fishy and the CoCo Express

Havana, Cuba Day 3 – January 24 2009

It is shortly after 1pm and I am back at the hotel again! I hate to say it, but this trip is starting out to be a dud.

I woke up completely sore as hell from yesterday. My feet are blistered and torn apart. Far worst then I thought they were last night. My hips feel the worst.

I got up and dress and went to go eat something at the included breakfast on the second floor. At this point I got a good look at the other guest as I made my way around the buffet. Mostly, well actually all of the guest are forty-five and over. I really hate that no matter where I go I am stared at by everyone especially then men – of all ages. It is unnerving.

I took a cab to the Acuario Nacional shortly after it open. I paid the 7CUC admission fee.

Before leaving I had great hope for the aquarium. However when I got in I was really disappointed. Even though Frommer’s said it had been renovated although no sea world it was warn down and dirty and had me worried for the few animals they had there.

The walrus entrapment was smaller then most people’s pools and had four at least 500 pound walruses in it. Swimming around in circles because that’s all they could do. The dolphin show was a little better. However the tank is very small. The dolphins looked very unhappy and they showed a lot of wear and tare on their bodies. I left afterwards.

havanacubajanuary2009-052havanacubajanuary2009-053I had the girls at the information booth call for a taxi for me. I was warn that it would take 30-40 minutes for the taxi and was given the advice to grab any taxi that showed up even if it’s not the one they called.

I waited only a few minutes outside of the gates when the yellow motorized Cuban version of a rickshaw called a coco taxi showed up. I waved it down and go in. I filmed the ride back to the hotel. The driver took the long way back but charged me 5 CUC the same amount it cost me when I took a regular taxi there.

The taxi driver jumped out and offered to take a picture of me in the coco taxi for me.

“Would you like a picture in the taxi?”
“Ah sure.”
“No, no, sit in front like you’re a taxi driver.”

I only had a 20CUC bill on me. The driver said he didn’t have change so I gave him the entire bill. That was a 15CUC tip I gave him. A lot for me, seeing how I don’t normally tip ever.

Since being here I’ve only eaten pizza from the pizzeria at the hotel. I’ve always been a picky eater. Even more so since becoming a vegetarian in October. Here in Havana I have seen very little restaurants and even less in the vegetarian variety.

For dinner I am going to try the other hotel restaurant and see what I can get there. If not pizza again. Blah!

What would make this trip more enjoyable? Probably speaking Spanish or at the very least remembering anything I learned in the two years of Spanish classes I took six years ago so I have more independence. Not being so klutzy and accident prone would help too.

Tonight I will be calling home.


I called my parents and began crying the moment my mom pointed out that I didn’t sound like I was having much fun. I’m not and I am. I am hopping tomorrow will be better. My feet and hips are starting to feel much better.

I’m tired thought. This hotel I tell ya at times trying to sleep is like trying to sleep in the middle of a nightclub and a parking lot. Outside the balcony I can hear cars putter up and down the street and the constant use of their horns. Outside my door coming from the pool comes a blaring mix of Cuban music and top 40 hits from once upon a time ago. A lot of Celine Dion. YUCK!!!!!!!!

I left my room to get dinner [pizza at Mi Patio again] only to see a squad of synchronized swimmers practicing in the pool. REALLY?!?!?!

The plan for tomorrow is the Habana Veija: Museo de Revolution, Parque Central, the Capitolio building, strolling Obispo to the Plaza de Armas then El Templete.

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