Monday, November 7, 2011
Food Field Trip Havana: Time Travel
Without question, Cuba is one of the most challenging international destinations to (legally) visit for a US citizen. Though the country possesses a rich and unique culinary tradition, the embargo has taken its toll on the country's cuisine and for the first time in a long time, I did not mind the fact that Cuba was not going to be a foodie destination. The country is still is so sensory, that the constant, pulsing stimuli you are surrounded by negated my urge for food finds. Plus, how do you critique a country that does so well with what they have, but lacks the resources of the rest of the world?!
Cuba lies a mere 90 miles off the coast of Florida, but amid the political environment it might as well be a world away. The government- imposed (on both sides) strained separation is immediately palpable. Upon landing in Havana or Miami, charter flight passengers erupt in applause--a unique occurrence on a 45 minute, incident-free journey. Such constant energy and tension fueled our Cuban experience.
classic cars, Havana is perhaps the only place on earth where you can time travel. The city is more or less the same as it was in 1959, but the culture has not stagnated; if anything, based on the people-to-people journey that we experienced with the Harvard Alumni Association and Distant Horizons, Havana’s art's scene is vibrant, even thriving in what can only be described as a very constrained environment.