Saturday, October 28, 2017

Cuba Chronicles: Relearning Patience with Dial-Up Internet

So I’ve never been a particularly patient person. I know that I like the fast life precisely because it is exactly that: fast. No tedious hours of waiting and waiting and oh so boring waiting. So. Imagine with me the agony I feel even as I type this blog post, and wait patiently for the characters to appear on the screen long after I have typed them. Imagine what I feel when I cannot make a WhatsApp call and stay on the phone all night with my beloved because - well - that's just not how it's done here. 

To be honest, the Internet in Cuba is not bad. It's just slower than what I'm used to. And they say you never know what you've got till it's gone - even temporarily.

I have taken deep breaths, messaged my people to let them know I will be more out of than in touch with them for the next two weeks, and come to terms with the fact that old-world charm is not always all that charming.

Funny thing is, I knew that I would not have Internet for most of my time here. I just hadn't stopped to truly appreciate the full implications of that thought. I somehow still expected to be able to WhatsApp and Insta and tweet and blog to my heart's content. I hadn't formed a concrete concept of what 'no Internet' or very little Internet would look and feel like.

There's so much to learn from this revelation. I realise I'm probably as spoilt as any other millenial. And even though I have prided myself on not being attached to all my worldly trappings, apparently I still have more than a passing love affair with some. Cuba is proving that - and showing me some heretofore obscured aspects of myself.

I almost got miserable at the prospect of no readily accessible Internet yesterday. I wanted to share moments from my day with others and couldn't. I wanted to do a blog and post immediately, but couldn't. Eventually, I put down the phone and opened my ears and eyes to the beautiful wonders of this foreign land. 

Cuba is aesthetically amazing. Its rich architectural history has been painstakingly preserved. It's reputation for revolution and rebellion is heralded in every story tourists are fed. They are a simple people, and yet they are a proud people. They have an identity forged through separation from the rest of the Americanised world that has also manifested in a sense of national pride. I like that. I'm enjoying hearing about that. And seeing the relics of times I have only read about.

And I can't help thinking, thank goodness there is no phone or Internet to distract me from absorbing and fully engaging all this marvelous country has to offer. There is a calm that can come with disconnection. Funny. I'm just learning something the Cubans already know.

No comments: