Plaff: Eggs in Today’s Cuba

Jorge Milanes Despaigne

HAVANA TIMES — Plaff, o demasiado miedo para vivir (“Plaff, or Too Afraid to Live”) is a Cuban film from the late 80s starring Daisy Granados, Luis Alberto Garcia and Thais Valdes, premiered at the close of Cuba’s decade of material abundance.

Concha (the main character), who is in love with Tomas, is afraid of giving in and recognizing her feelings. Tomas insists he loves Concha to death. Faced with this situation, Concha’s family and neighbors pressure her to make a decision and to move in with him.

The tactic used by her loved ones in order to convince her strikes me as curious: around ten eggs are thrown at Concha’s door during the film (hence the film’s title, “plaff”) so that she will believe these are part of a witchcraft ritual and interpret it as a sign that she must move in with her suitor.

Eggs have always had varied uses. This is particularly true in Cuba, where eggs were used to bid farewell to those who decided to “crawl” their way to Miami in the 80s.

Today, I can get my hands on some eggs only when I have the money, and you can find them at the market. Someone said to me recently: “Be grateful you can put something on your plate,” because there are people who can’t even do that.

I don’t believe it would be ethical to make a film portraying such a wasteful use of eggs today. It seems, however, that some people manage to scrounge up some eggs and leave them a street corner after rubbing them over their bodies, part of a cleansing ritual of the Yoruba religion; the same religion alluded to by those who threw the eggs at Concha’s door.

Jorge Milanes

Jorge Milanes: My name is Jorge Milanes Despaigne, and I’m a tourism promoter and public relations specialist. Forty-five years ago I was born in Cojimar, a small coastal town to the east of Havana. I very much enjoy trips and adventure; and now that I know a good bit about my own country, I’d like to learn more about other nations. I enjoy reading, singing, dancing, haute cuisine and talking with interesting people who offer wisdom and happiness.

6 thoughts on “Plaff: Eggs in Today’s Cuba

  • Correction…I meant to say 45%

  • This is a public service announcement.

    I wish to clarify and correct the unfortunate misrepresentation made by JG. The NPR story he is referring to, “Cuban Americans and the Elusive American Dream”, actually said …”5% of Cuban Americans said their finances were no so good”. The story did not say they lived in poverty.

    Actual poverty rates in Miami Dade and Broward counties, defined as an income of $22,811 for a family of four (not including eggs), is 21% and 15% respectively ….and they have plenty of eggs to eat !

  • Have you ever been to Miami? The 47% of the Cuban population that live in Miami may wear summer whites after Labor Day but they are not poor. You misunderstood or are being intentionally misleading with the facts presented by NPR. You can make your points without lying John.

  • Miami has a 35% poverty rate and 47% Miami Cubans themselves according to National Pentagon Radio ( NPR) report yesterday said they suffer from poverty .
    Of course NPR is supported by the very wealthy through their foundations and can be relied upon to minimize those sort of statistics in order not to antagonize those supporters. .
    It is not exactly comparing apples to apples when you compare the richest country in the world with a much poorer one under economic siege for 54 years but that is the kind of mindless and hypocritical propaganda that is to be expected from anyone who hates the Cuban people for standing up to the United States.
    Perhaps once the U.S ends its 54 year long economic war on the economy of Cuba and all Cubans, the Cuban people will enjoy what flows from normalized trade relations with its natural trading partner to the north.

  • Somewhat poetic justice when you think about all those so-called ‘gusanos’ in Miami who now must decide whether to eat scrambled eggs, fried eggs, boiled eggs, deviled eggs, eggs benedict, egg whites, etc. and their former neighbors left behind in Cuba who once chose to use their eggs to throw at other Cubans who decided to leave the country. I am guessing those egg-throwing Cubans wish they had eaten a few more and thrown a few less of those eggs when they had the chance

  • I don’t know about Che’s New Man, but it seems that his New Chicken forgot how to lay eggs. Why is it Cuba can produce tens of thousands of “doctors” but never enough eggs?

    I guess you can give anybody a diploma that says “MD” but and egg still has to be an egg and a chicken still has to lay it.

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