my mom and I went to cuba in april this year - I took tons of pictures. pictures of classic cars, communist propaganda, gorgeous buildings, dilapidated buildings, food, etc. while each photo has significance, this photo above definitely has a story behind it.
we were a part of a larger travel delegation from the world affairs council of atlanta and we had a well planned schedule for each day of our trip. my mom is a college professor and really wanted to get a photo in front of the university of havana, in order to do this - we had to take a detour from the travel group one morning....
we woke up bright and early to get a head start on the day. it seemed a bit cloudy but we weren't too concerned. we headed down to the front of our hotel to grab a cab to the university of havana. we'd been wanting to ride in the classic american chevys and the first option was a creamy white convertible cab. although we had slight reservations about the convertible, we assumed that if it rained, our driver could just pull the top up. we hopped in and headed to the university.
our before photos: big smiles, dry clothes
we drove through chinatown and made our way to the college, meanwhile a few rain drops came our way. it was at this time that we realized this cab had no top. in fact, none of the convertible cabs had tops in cuba. we hung on to hope and stayed positive as we continued to avoid the rain and zoomed through the streets of havana with the breeze blowing pleasantly.
we made it to the university of havana and hopped out of the cab to take a few photos. our driver was very helpful and offered to take the photos for us. we then hurried back in the cab and directed the driver to a paladar where we would meet up with the rest of our travel group for lunch. paladars are local, private restaurants in cuba.
we sped off and crossed our fingers that our luck would prevail. welp, it did not. a few minutes later, we were caught in a TORRENTIAL downpour. I opened my umbrella to try to shield our hair but it was worthless. we were speeding up and down side streets with no top, pouring down rain, and inverted umbrellas. to make matters worse, the driver knew what part of town we were looking for but couldn't actually find the paladar. he shouted to passerbys asking them if they knew where the paladar was located - since many paladars are in local homes, they can definitely blend right in to residential neighborhoods. next thing we knew, our driver was flooring it backwards through residential streets. keep in mind, he was wearing eyeglasses and also had no cover from the downpour. also keep in mind, cell phones are not a thing in cuba. it's not like we could call the restaurant to get directions.
when we finally found the place, we were 30 minutes early, the restaurant was closed, and it was still raining cats and dogs. our driver knocked on the door to explain our situation. thankfully, they let us in the lobby to wait and we tipped our driver well to thank him for staying around to ensure we were okay.
my mom and I were soaked to the bone. every single piece of our clothing was sopping wet. I can't believe they even let us in to this restaurant. needless to say, we had a great story to tell our group (all of whom were dry) when they finally arrived! moral of the story: do not choose a topless cab on a rainy day and don't be too high strung if you do happen to get caught in one of life's torrential downpours! :)
to read more about our amazing week in cuba - start with day one! and thanks to ellesees.net for creating this fun and authentic linkup.