• Flight Diary (Day 1)

    by  • September 22, 2011 • Excerpts & Travel Diary • 0 Comments

    Note: I wrote Rum Socialism from the notes of a travel diary I kept while in Cuba. Here is a ver batim excerpts of that diary that doesn’t give away too much of the book itself.

    *****

    I need a drink. I’ve only had one since boarding, and the two I had in the terminal cost me what average Cuban probably makes in a month.

    *****

    I just work to the smell of something burning. Either we’re about to go down or someone is smoking scrap cigar tobacco in the washroom.

    *****

    I think the stewardess just brought a couple beers up tot cockpit. At first I thought she was going to serve them in first-class, but then she continued on through the second curtain where there’s nothing but the cockpit and an exit. Oh well, we’re almost there anyway.

    *****

    I just tried to another beer. “No more beer or rum,” the steward told me. “Only wine.” Looks like the captain and the co-pilot just got the last of it. Vino tinto it is!

    *****

    I just caught another whiff of smoke. I’m about to climb the cabin wall. It’s coming from first class where the off-duty Cubana staff has taken up all the seats. But hey, this cabin is Cuban soil, and the rest of us are just visiting. I thought I saw another washroom up there, past the second curtain by the cockpit, but when the fasten seatbelt first turned off after take off, and I made a b-line for it, I was turned away by the stewardess and sent to the back of the plane to wait in line with the other gringos. I guess I now know where the smoking section is. Oh well, I never really believed in equality, anyway. I mean, it’s a nice enough concept. But so is the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and Black Pete. At least the Cubans aren’t apologizing for a double standard they can’t help. This is the real world, where there are haves and have-nots, and there’s no use pretending otherwise. That’s why we have systems, after all: to keep the playing field level – at least between the members of the home team. And this is their revolution, not ours.

    *****

    I’m watching some Cuban music video with the sound off. The rocker looks like something Ben Stiller would play in a Happy Madison production about the bastard child of Jon Bon Jovi and John Cougar Mellencamp. This embargo really has left these people several decades behind the rest of us.

    *****

    We’ve dropped below the clouds on our descent and I can already feel the air on my skin. It tastes like moist, fertile soil. I need to get some of these clothes off.

    *****

    We’re on the runway and I’m looking out the window at the flora and I want to run off into the jungle naked and wrestle a chupacabra. I wonder if they have those, ere.

    About

    Kris Romaniuk is the author of the satirical travel memoir, Rum Socialism, and rummy behind this blog. He is an independent author based out of Montreal, Canada, and is currently working on his second book.

    http://krisromaniuk.com/

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