Things I Will (and won’t) Miss about Living in Santiago de Cuba

9 04 2011


View over the city from the Pico Turquino ice cream parlour

After three months living in Santiago de Cuba I have returned to England. I thought that I would compile a list of the things that I will (and won’t) miss about living there. Here they are:

Will Miss

  1. Waking up every morning with the almost certain knowledge that it will be a warm, sunny day
  2. Panaderos passing my front door from 6.30am onwards, selling fresh bread, often still warm
  3. Carratilleros coming past my door each day selling vegetables and exotic fruit such as pineapple, guava, mango, papaya, coconuts, bananas, oranges, tamarinds, zapote and grapefruit.
  4. Street cleaners in the street outside every morning from before sunrise (my street in the Reparto Santa Barbara neighbourhood had better cared-for houses, road and pavement, and was cleaner, than my street at home in England).
  5. Children playing in the street
  6. Copelitas (small ice cream stands) selling cornets in flavours such as strawberry, orange/pineapple, mango, guava, chocolate, coconut and vanilla, for 1 CUP (£0.03)
  7. The Pico Turquino ice cream parlour on the top floor of an 18-story tower block, with superb views over the city, selling combinations of ice cream and cake – five scoops and a slice of cake for 12 CUP.
  8. Las Noches Santiaguerras (see post of 11th January), where every Saturday and Sunday night the Avenida Garzon is closed to traffic and there is live music, dancing, food and drink stalls and open-air restaurants, all priced in CUP.
  9. The bolero (a genre of tragic love songs popular in Spanish speaking countries) sessions in the Patio de Artex every Saturday afternoon.
  10.  The rumba (an Afro-Cuban musical style) sessions in the Casa del Caribe late every Sunday afternoon
  11.  A trip on a lorry to nearby Siboney to spend the day on the beach
  12.  Watching Santiago play baseball, particularly when it is an important game and there is a conga group   playing  in the stand
  13.  Saturday nights in the Casa de las Tradiciones, where a band was always playing – in the front room of what was a house – whilst the crowd, a mixture of locals and tourists, seated on up-turned barrels and rocking chairs, danced and enjoyed themselves.
  14.  Maniceros selling cones of hot peanuts for 1 CUP.
  15.  Tamarind juice for 1 CUP per glass in the market in Enramada.


Won’t Miss

  1. Endlessly searching for cheese in the shops
  2. Powdered milk
  3. Shaving in cold water
  4. Washing dishes in cold water
  5. Things that creep, crawl and fly (such as flies, cockroaches, mosquitoes and lizards) and want to share your house
  6. Sudden unavailability of  items in the shops
  7. Barking dogs
  8. Slow internet access
  9. People repeatedly saying “taxi” to me as I walk through the city centre



One response

18 04 2011

Things you will miss: 15
Things you will not: 9

Even if we stick to raw figures, we can tell that you will miss La Ciudad Heroe hehehehehe.

Excellent blog, thanks

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