By Francisco Castro
They choose to make fun of me, while others -unknown and more irresponsible- might choose some other method to express their disagreement.
On Havana’s widely used P-16 bus, while riding along the route between the Sport’s City, and the Cerro and Boyeros bus stops, I quietly witnessed three of the many possible acts of irresponsibility that can be committed on a bus.
First, an older, quite robust woman -who looked like she worked in the country- peeled an orange, dropping the shavings and dripping the juice on the floor.
Then, a man –also older but carrying a briefcase and accompanied by a younger men who both looked like office workers- spit on the floor; he then proceeded to smear the gob away with his shoe.
Lastly, a young guy, with his underwear hanging out and wearing a way-too-tight tee-shirt, tranquilly lit up a cigarette, blowing the smoke into the already crowded vehicle.
Nobody seemed to notice, only me, who observed silently thinking of the fines that I could impose if I had any physical or legal authority. Once again, I felt ashamed.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I feared the reactions I could have triggered if I’d called attention to their conduct. I imagine the same thing must have been going through the minds of the other riders, though maybe they thought this was normal, or they even didn’t notice the behavior.
Nevertheless, there’s one thing that comforts me. In that I oppose and will continue opposing such crass conduct, maybe this will serve to make someone think of how and when to stick their own neck out. Then we’ll be advancing along the path of transforming Cuba into the most cultured country in the world.