taxi driver in Havana won’t shut up about Varadero. CANCUN? NAH, Varadero is
the best beach in the world. Wow, such pride. I’m from the Philippines, Grandpa.
I’m pretty hard to convince when it comes to awesome beaches. But he was right
to some extent. I mean, I am not raving about Varadero, but I did enjoy my stay
there anyway. To me it seemed more like Boracay, but without the crowd and the
party people. It was chill like that. The sand is white and the water is clear.
Picture perfect, it was indeed.
the visa issue that left me a hundred dollars poorer, I finally managed to get
on a plane and add that pink immigration stamp to the collection on my
passport. Or so I thought. I was stopped by the nurses at the immigration
counter because their thermal scanners thought I was so hot. I wasn’t flattered
because I felt literally hot, and with a bad case of sore throat. Maybe I
indeed took home the Zika as a souvenir from Guatemala a week ago. Really,
Cuba? After that visa stunt, now you think I’m too hot for you?
happened is that a week or so before my flight, the Cuban government changed
their regulations regarding the tourist card. The norm before is that you only
needed to get one at the airline counter right before your flight. The rule
change came in the form of a list of countries that are no longer eligible for
that, and that list includes the Philippines. Basically, you are still getting
the same tourist card, but with the seal of the Cuban embassy at the back. In
my case, it was the Cuban embassy in Mexico City.