Santiago de Cuba, or: No worries!

Before I move on with my travels to my next destination, Baracoa, just a little piece of advice for future Cuba travellers who are planning on visiting Santiago de Cuba. If the heat gets too rough and you feel like you need to escape and have some peace and silence, go to the cementerio Santa Ifigenia (graveyard). All graves are in white, it is a really relaxing atmosphere, there is a ceremony every thirty minutes and you can have a nice chat with the security personnel. Grab a Bici Taxi and go there, it is amazing.
Although it is a bit far away from the city centre, it is totally worth it as you cross the poorer neighbourhoods of Santiago. My Bici taxi driver was20141228_104442 amazing. His Bici was broken and fixed with a beer can (haha, AWESOME. I will use this next time when my bike is broken) and we talked a lot. He stopped at one point to say hi to one of his friends, and that’s where I got the Cuba experience in one picture: Imagine the following.
A completely fucked up neighbourhood. The street is not paved, houses about to collapse.
And then there is a man standing in his tiny garden of his house. Loud music, he doesn’t wear a shirt although it might be wise (He has a gigantic beer belly) and he is holding a bottle of rum in his hands and dancing enthusiastically to the sexy reggaeton music. He smiles at me and waves with his hands, signalling that I should join him. I just cheer at him and smile. That’s Cuba.

(The car you can see on the picture by the way is a Tourist rental car. The number plate is red and it starts with ”T”- for Tourist. Every number plate starts with a letter which means something:

A white government ministers, provincial officials, and other important state persons
light brown authorised government and official persons of lower rank
D / E / F / G / H yellow private vehicles
K yellow vehicles and motorcycles owned by foreign natural persons
light brown vehicles and motorcycles owned by foreign and mixed companies, foreign journalists, religious institutions
R yellow private motorcycles and “cocotaxis”
S / T / U / V / W blue state owned vehicles
Y / Z state owned motorcycles

source: Wikipedia (I know, I know. Horrible source, but in this case it is reliable)

Cubans don’t have anything. They live a very simple life and have to be creative in order to make a decent living. But still, they somehow manage to be happy. It does not make them depressed or anything.
But what about those people who apparently have everything?
-South Korea, a booming state with a fantastic economy: Highest suicide rate in the world
-In 2009, about twenty employees of the French company France telecom commit suicide because of stress caused by re-structuring of the management and policies.
-skyrocketting cases of burnout

Is it the weather that makes them happy and satisfied? What are they doing right? And what are we doing wrong?
I have my theory about that, but just think about it yourself. Are you happy? Do you think that you are satisfied with your life? What can you do differently in order not to fall into one of the mentioned categories?
I hope that I don’t sound like a strange psychologist at the moment, but I believe that every person should be aware of the most important aspect of their lives: Happiness.
Do not let ”them” (The system, your employer/company, parents, those who critizise you, or whoever it might be in your case) take that away from you.


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