My Neighbor in Havana and Hot Dogs

Esther Zoza

Chicken hot dogs.

HAVANA TIMES – In a multi-family apartment building with thin walls, you share all kinds of noises, the flush of a toilet, moans of love and, of course, conversations, especially when voices are raised.

This week, something unusual happened in my building: my neighbor’s apartment, which is normally calm, became a madhouse. Her son’s arrival was always a reason to celebrate for the entire family, but this time, the normal celebration became a real racket, as people in the country say, because of hot dogs (sausages) making an appearance in our ration booklets.

My neighbor’s family dispute was over the sale of packets of hot dogs at the butchers’. Well, my neighbor’s son had no idea and he prepared a bread roll with two hot dogs each for his wife, his daughter and himself.

In Cuba, most young males are clueless about the situation of food items and delegate shopping duty to their wives or mothers. In Matanzas province, where the son lives, sausages still aren’t being sold via the ration booklet, plus it had been a long time since they were even sold at hard-currency stores.

When my neighbor arrived home, she began to scream bloody murder. In a family home with five members, you only get two packets of 10 sausages, that’s to say, four sausages per person.

The argument brought this matter to the rest of the neighbors in the building’s attention, while the kids began to sing in chorus: you get four, four sausages per person!

Of course, passers-by couldn’t have imagined that that hullabaloo had anything to do with naughty sausages, which had enjoyed so many years of freedom in our stores and now only come back to the butchers’ every three months, as a rationed item controlled with our booklet. 


Esther Zoza

I was born in the 60s. I love my country and its simple and sacrificed people. I like the arts, particularly literature. In music I enjoy traditional and contemporary trova, also opera and instrumental music. I respect all religions. I like esoteric and mystical subjects; I also enjoy the enigmas of the universe. I believe above all things in God. I am persistent and disciplined to meet my goals. I like the countryside. I live near the sea. I believe in relationships and love in all its manifestations.

4 thoughts on “My Neighbor in Havana and Hot Dogs

  • It is ironic that we in the developed world are in the midst of an obesity epidemic. I n the meantime humanity has currently 50 million people at the verge of starvation. Their farm land is gone, dried up.

  • I believe it has to do with Man’s tribal beginnings. Have Man left the proverbial cave yet?

  • I don’t argue with your view gerson gaoseb, but racism is not confined to that between white and black. The reverse can occur, or black racism towards brown people as demonstrated by the horrific butcher Idi Amin in Uganda. Nor is white racism responsible for the Indian caste system and the untouchables.
    We can only hope that the work of Watson and Crick, followed by the use of DNA proving that we are all 99.9% similar, will eventually end the mad conception of superiority of given “races”.

  • I think most but not all white people have racist thoughts towards black people.

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