Likewise, my Italian friend Julian is going to repeat for the umpteenth time: “But you’re soooo lucky to live in Cuba. If you spent any time in any other country, you’d have a better opinion of your island.
Both of these friends agree that problems exist in Cuba, and in all corners of the world, but they also believe this to be one of the best places on the planet.
Personally, I can’t say if that last assessment is true or not, I haven’t even been to Cuba’s capital, much less some other country – hell, maybe I never will.
What I do agree with though is that we Cubans do in fact complain too much. But I’m not saying this exactly for the same reasons that Granma editor Lazaro Barredo Medina did when he accused ordinary islanders of being like wide-mouth pichoncitos (dependent nestlings) sitting around waiting for food from the government.
It’s actually the lack of opportunities that has turned us into a nation of carpers, believing that if we describe our problems enough then someone will land from Jupiter or Mars to solve what we ourselves haven’t been able to.
That’s why I find it increasingly more difficult to write a post related to the thousand and one shortages I have – as a worker, as a woman and as a Cuban.
I feel that when I complain I am acting like some of my neighbors sitting on the corner all day wanting to be the owners of the world — not working, not studying — just spending all day talking about designer shoes or the latest reggaeton tune.
But today I’m going to forget about Paul and Julian. Today I’m going to let them call me a moaner-groaner, or let you readers think that all I do is wring my hands.
Today I’m writing about the 20th of each month, since for me the 20ths are the most terrible days of the year.
You know why? It’s because that’s the day I get paid for the month, receiving the same amount that never adds up when I do the math of my expenses.
Once again I’ll go into the clerk’s office and look at her with disgust, as if she were to blame for low wages in our country. There I’ll sit, wanting to strangle her with my bare hands, as if she were responsible for the high prices of pork, tomatoes, shoes and hair bands for my daughter Tania.
I’ll look at the employee and once again reach inside the envelope that holds that amazing figure of 600 pesos ($25 USD), and once again I wonder how we’re going to get by until the next 20th?