Monday, May 21, 2007

Or Habana, apparently.

We took a bus tour/day trip to Havana. On the way we stopped for drinks and whatnot and I fell in love with their much more attractive than Canada's public telephones.

Although, to balance this out, a bus mate of ours informed us that when she went to use the washroom she had to pay a quarter to an attendant for some toilet paper and there was no water in the toilet. When she was done, the attendant came into the stall with a bucket of water, dumped it in after her business and flushed it. We also had to use a washroom where you had to pay a lady for toilet paper. And she was not generous. And the seats were not clean. So you had to use some of your paltry amount of toilet paper to try to clean the seat. And if maybe something happened in there that you weren't planning, then you were pretty much screwed. Maybe these pretty phones aren't really a proper balance after all.

Here's a view of Cuba from our bus.

Our bus which caught on fire.

So me and my friend are sitting at the very back of the bus, and of course, being the politically sensitive ladies that we are, we have been making quiet jokes about getting killed in Cuba. Then we hear a sound like "psht pssshhht", to which my travel companion says "Are they gassing us?" We laugh a little. I follow it up with "That reaks!!!!" Because it did. Then the bus starts to become engulfed in smoke. It's not actually cluing in that the bus in on fire yet, since it looked like we drove into the smoke.

Suddenly our bus whips off to the side of the road and our bus driver yells "Get down!" So we're all crouched in the aisle of the bus like "Here we go. Fidel has died and it's the new revolution and we're so getting murdered and getting our hands chopped off." The realization of fire kicks in and we're like "Great pate but I've gotta moter if I'm gonna make that funeral." Turns out our bus driver was not quite sure how to say "Get out" in English, and ended up saying "Get down."

Then my "friend" pulls a George Costanza and totally plowed past me to get off the bus first!!! Hilarious! In her defense, she was terrified to the point of shaking, whereas I was all "It's still just funny until I see flames." But still! Nice friend! Next fire, I'm totally out first!

Unfortunately the people at the front were all "Buh, why are we leaving the bus in the middle of nowhere?" and collecting all their belongings very slowly. Until we yell out "A little faster people! The bus is on fire!"

Here you can see that several other tour buses stopped behind us and the drivers came to the rescue with several fire extinguishers.

The fire truck showed up in less than five minutes, which was totally impressive.

Lots of cars drove by and barmped at the random whities standing on the side of the road in peril. Here's the view.

About an hour later another bus showed up and we continued our trip to Havana. We took the very front seat and no one challenged us after we declared never having to sit in the back anymore, since the bus literally had just caught on fire under our seats. The fuel line had caught on fire apparently. And I got George Costanzaed. And my friend will never lose that nickname.

Here's the fancy capitol building!

We got our pictures taken by these people with a camera from 1910! Awesome!

I have a real thing for sidecars. I adore them. And everyone and their grandmother had them in Havana!

Here's my travel hippo with some dude named Che Guevara. Seems pretty popular. I think he's a baseball player or something.

These are adorable Coco taxis. I got a postcard of them, that had men using them. Pff. Women drive these. I did not see one man driving these taxis. We took a ride in one. Fun! And the cool thing about taxis here is that you work about the price with the driver ahead of time. "How much to get me to the market?" "Five bucks." "Deal." Or you can haggle that I guess. I'm not a good haggler.

Cuban graveyards kick our graveyards asses.

Here's a stature, I'm guessing, of Neptune. The best thing about him, is that he's so much bigger than Jebus!

By the end of the week, our bus fire was pretty famous. If you met someone and mentioned it they'd be pretty pumped to have met someone from the bus fire. I was glad to talk to people who knew who George Costanza was and would laugh at my friend. Havana!

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