|Setting for Hot Havana Night--|
the Victor Hugo House in Old Havana
And I had to research my story, One Hot Havana Night. I couldn't afford taxis, so I walked all over Havana Vieja, the tourist quarter, where I set my story. A friendly expat showed me a lunchroom where I could eat a huge meal for $1-2--so that's where I ate. It was pretty good food--a protein (eggs, chicken or meat) with a little salad, plus rice and beans--typically Cuban meals. I even had enough left over so I could go to a bar and get a drink while listening to the local music every night.
I learned a lot. Most people seemed pretty contented. As for the economic system, while I heard someone complain that they work really hard for little money, I saw only one or two people who seemed to be badly off. Everyone else looked happy and well-fed, though not obese. I saw many of the famous classic American cars, but I saw a lot of new cars as well--Peugeots and Kias, Hyundais and even Benzes. I just didn't see newer American cars. That's because Cuba isn't isloated at all. It's just that we don't have an economic relationship with them. Other countries have been trading with Cuba quite happily.