The guillotine was dull. That is why we had to use scissors to cut the heads off. One is hard pressed to find anyone willing to have their head cut off with a pair of scissors just like that, so they taught us a technique.
Dmitri Prieto’s Diary
Reading a recent Cuban sci-fi fanzine, I was very much surprised to find out that people referred to as frikis are the ones who take an interest in (and, in some cases, become obsessed with) science fiction, fantasy, Manga comics, anime, videogames and comic books in general.
A brochure handed out in Havana’s neighborhood of Vedado offers a “package” of refresher courses for high-school students. Parents are invited to pay between 5 CUC (Math only) and 15 CUC (Math, Spanish, Physics and Chemistry) a month to ensure their “son or daughter becomes a university student”.
To “offer apologies” is becoming a common practice in Cuba. Apologies, however, aren’t offered – they are asked for. To ask for someone’s forgiveness is a gesture of humility that stems from our awareness that we have done something wrong.
It was Friday afternoon and the bus stop was full of people. Suddenly, a Transgaviota bus pulled up to the curb and its doors opened. Maneuvering among the throng of people scrambling to board the bus, I managed to climb the steps of the vehicle but…
A sign calling amateur artists to participate in a “Cuban music” competition (inclusive of “traditional songs, son, ballads, boleros and guarachas”) explicitly excludes rap and reggaeton as eligible genres. The organizers of the contest are evidently clear on what qualifies as “Cuban” music and what does not.
There was a time in which “pocket” transistor radios were a novelty. People walked around holding their small radios to their ears, listening to their music of choice or a baseball game. For those who had lived in the era of vacuum-tube radios as large as a piece of household furniture, it was surprising to see how a device the size of a soapbox could perform the same functions.
In response to the remarks of her adversaries, who pathetically tried to portray her as a defenseless, deaf and blind woman ruthlessly taken advantage of by the “reds”, Helen Keller would ironically ask them if they had ever had the opportunity to experience what “exploitation” was all about.
What happened to the Rosenbergs pisses me off. I’ve known their story since the time I was in high school (they made us read a number of documents about their trial, carefully selected for the 10th grade history textbook).
Many years ago, the US dollar – then on a par and freely exchangeable with the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) – was valued at 20 Cuban pesos (CUP). With time, the value of the CUC went up (or that of the CUP went down).