HAVANA TIMES —What Cuban doesn’t know that popular and eminently Cuban saying, “the squeaky wheel gets the oil,” and who hasn’t put it into practice at one point or another?
I use the expression when I’m alone at home and need the help of a neighbor for something. When I have to install a water pump, carry groceries or move building materials around, for instance.
When I don’t have a penny to my name (which happens often) and urgently need to buy something important (like a medication), I mention this in front of a young man who lives on my block, someone who, in addition to having a lot of money, is a very kind person who immediately offers to lend me the money until I get paid.
We Cubans have become experts in complaining and sniveling so as to arouse sympathies and get others to help us. That is simply the way we are and what we do, just as we bother neighbors, interrupt others without asking for permission and arrive at places unannounced.
Though this is part of our everyday, I am put off by those who snivel non-stop, and do so not to ask for a hand at a time of need or in a moment of despair, which we can all have, but to beg for money and pretend they are poor, when they’re not.
I am not referring to those who truly need someone’s help to survive, mind you, or those who live in extremely bad conditions (which are many). Generally speaking, those people are the ones that bother you the least.
I am referring to people who have a salary that is higher than average and (of course) is not enough to get by on (no one’s is). All they do is whine about this to every foreign friend they have in order to get some money out of them, money they then spend on the latest cell phone or to maintain a standard of living they know they can’t aspire to.