Thanks for coming back to our blog – this week one of our daring twosome goes on a date in Cuba!
We left off at our heroic return from climbing El Yunque on a couple of bikes in serious need of better suspension. As we waddled through the entrance of our casa – the bikes had done some damage to our lower halves – we were told our salsa teacher Johnny was going to drop by later. We thought we hadn’t scheduled another salsa lesson for the evening, but couldn’t be sure given our state of mind from all the bruising; so when Johnny arrived he was faced by a couple of rather confused expressions. Expressions which soon turned to amusement, when Johnny revealed the real reason for his visit – to ask Rosie out on a date. Click here for the soundtrack to the night;
Now to give you some background, just before setting off to Cuba Rosie broke it off with her boyfriend after deciding that if she was to develop a deeper attachment, the other party had better be on the same page. She was pretty broken up over this one and – if you remember from the fiesta bus post – had sent a heartfelt message to which she had hoped the person in question would respond expressing a change of heart, but received no reply. Rosie still had strong feelings, but in light of this felt it was time to stop moping and have some fun.
She was also curious about this 3/4 sized but otherwise perfect looking man, so in another example of the extremely responsible behaviour Elle and Rosie have in common, agreed to go on a date with mr. salsa, alone, in the Caribbean.
Johnny said he’d swing by to pick her up in a couple of hours, and once the door shut, the teasing ensued. Elle also expressed a little concern about the possibility of Rosie being abducted into the Cuban night, so Rosie promised she’d be back by midnight.
While this gave the semblance of some sort of safety net, in reality we had no idea where the date was going down, the police’s phone number (or if they even had one), and in any case no real ability to use our phones as calls cost about 4 pounds a minute. So in hindsight we realise this may have been rather dangerous. Anyway, luckily Rosie didn’t get abducted, so we can continue with the story.
Johnny showed up at the side door, and Rosie stepped into the night feeling empowered by her decision to grab adventure as it came. They walked down to the malecón and turned North-West, feeling the ocean spray as they passed numerous Cuban couples seated on the sea wall – most of whom did a double take when they saw this odd pair coming in their direction. But as they began to reach the city limits and the people started thinning out, Rosie was losing confidence. A few disconcerting thoughts raced through her mind, thankfully assuaged when she saw Johnny jump up onto the Fuerte La Punta (a fort built in 1803) and sit down, looking across the straights of Haiti.
As Rosie drank in the view of that rolling sea, they discussed their very different lives – sparking up a cigar and playing music from Rosie’s ancient phone (the height of modernity in this forgotten place) as conversation flitted between the frivolous and the serious, with Johnny voicing the anti-government feelings suppressed by all Cubans in public.
Suddenly realising that time had flown by and it was nearing 1am, Rosie snapped out of the daydream and insisted Johnny take her back, setting a rapid pace in the direction of home. And that’s when Johnny said: ‘eres todo lo que quiero en una mujer’
Rosie tried not to laugh, but it’s very hard to take that sort of thing seriously when you’ve known someone for two days, even if you have just been on a date in a romantic location. She managed to tone down what would have otherwise been hysterical laughter, but as any other self-respecting cynical woman would do, laughed nonetheless. He then asked if he could kiss her, which she politely declined. However, showing true Latin perseverance Johnny vowed to be at the bus station the next day to wave Rosie off, and to his credit was a gentleman dropping her home with a kiss on the hand. And a good thing too, because Elle was waiting inside ready to punish any misbehaving!
Next week on our blog we leave Baracoa – find out if that was the end of Johnny, where we went on the next leg of our adventure and more photos and tips from Cuba!