CUBA

Cuba is not a just little bit different country than others, it's an entirely different world. At least from the point of view of a "modern western society" man. There are so many dissimilarities waiting for foreign visitors! Unless you travel to one of the tourist resorts - you do not notice any big differences there, most probably you enjoy your holidays and nicely tanned go back home, which might be quite ok in a way, too. And I believe the whole experience might be even much more intense for travellers coming from countries westwards from our borders, since we Czechs know some similar socialism specifics from our own past before the year 1989. During the three weeks of my travelling I could not naturally make a perfect picture of Cuba, still everyone leaving the island has his own opinion of it. Mine was neither absolutely positive, nor absolutely negative, neither black, nor white, I returned home with mixed feelings. From the beginning of your stay in Cuba, you realise things work in a different a way than that we are used to. In Cuba, there is no hurry, there is a lot of time for everything and people are relaxed. Buses leave, after they come, generally there are no timetables. Prices are flexible. When you ask someone for an advice, he will probably reply in a nice way, but at the same time it is possible he or she will try to sell you something or make you buy something somewhere, tourists are a big source of money for them. Cubans get along well with each other, I mean they do not perceive any differences (colour of the skin, gender,...). We can take lesson from them here in Europe and elsewhere in America. Socialism gets you closer to each other - there is little they have, so there is no one to envy. People are nice here, it is easy to develop contact with them, however the fact they do not have anything makes them ask you for money even though you thought he was your friend already. It is safe there, there is almost no danger for tourists, there are cameras in bigger cities everywhere, which is praised by most Cubans, safety and control is more important for them then privacy. As for taking pictures, Cuba is a paradise for photographers. Old American cars, carts pulled by horses, colonial villas falling apart, spontaneous kids, charismatic people, you can photograph anywhere and any time. I think that in a black and white photographs Cuba looks quite differently than in colour - maybe it is because the era they were taken is not so obvious and photos look shabby and dim, it is not that bad in colour... Altough there were some details which spoiled my impression of my trip to Cuba, I must say I went back home with a thought I had not ever been to a similar country before, all my mixed feelings begin to settle down now and I believe I will make another journey there one day.