By German Piniella (Progreso Semanal)
HAVANA TIMES — There was a huge commotion. “The Yanks are leaving!” This is what many people were saying who, God knows how, found out when the Mister who isn’t needed at the embassy anymore is going to return to the USA.
With his quick return home comes the diplomat’s concern for his excess baggage, or the things that he doesn’t need around the house, or that getting health documents are going to be too much of a pain to take the dog.
Therefore, the best thing to do would be to import a tradition from the US – well, it isn’t a completely new discovery because there are already some Cubans who have done this before them. Let’s have a garage sale!
It’s the solution when you want to get rid of things cheaply so that people can take all of your useless and out-dated things in one day. So let’s liquidate our belongings, except for the clothes on our back, even the dog, with the exception of some cigars and bottles of rum that you normally have and one of those funny souvenirs that some mass-producing craftsmen make (dolls dressed up as Orichas and some plaster decorations, the really typical kind).
Anyway, getting back to the story, God knows how but there are people who have found out that there’s a Mr. who is going to have his garage sale and people will turn up in front of his house, where the US diplomat has even put a security guard from the embassy to keep order, so they don’t stampede over him when he opens up shop.
I didn’t find out from any rumor or announcement, I was just going to the neighborhood kiosk with my wife when I came across the line in front of the diplomat’s home in the Atabey neighborhood, the same diplomat that I used to see walk right by my house every afternoon calmly walking his dog (the same one we don’t know if it’s also for sale), the former not showing the slightest symptom of having suffered a “sonic attack”.
I must confess that I was curious to see what he was going to sell (damn, maybe he’s going to sell the Scottish whisky – not the Brazilian fake version – cheaper than in the store), but nobody knows what time the diplomat’s store is going to open and people kept gathering (on foot, motorcycles and in cars too) while my wife took some photos on her cell phone. I didn’t wait for the Yank to open up his business. I will find out later how it went and whether some inspector from the ONAT (tax office) came along to ask him if he had a license. Will they demand that he pay tax on the things he’s selling before he leaves forever?