17th of January 2017
I could reach this as well! It wasn’t my goal, but I could get drunk last night. Okay, to clear it, I wasn’t so drunk like I did not know my world, but I had a few drinks. “Thanks” to this, I’ve missed the breakfast pretty much, I woke up around 11:00 AM. Hardly I get out from the bad, and went to the bathroom. I put my head under the tap and let a few liters of cold water on my head, just to wake up somehow. It wasn’t so easy as it sounds, but I get ready in a really short time – I think.
Then, when I was sure who I am, where I am, what’s the day, I walked down to the nearest hotel to call home and tell them that everything is fine here. When I entered the lobby, the cold, nice weather hit me on the face. It was such a good thing, I could not be happier then. The interior of the place was calm, nice, relaxing, not like as you can imagine a Caribbean hotel. It was solid, white-grey-brown colored, metal and marble, not one colorful corner or a corridor, everything was in harmony. I walked to the front desk, where a nice, smiling girl welcomed me:
– Good morning, how may I assist you?
– Hello, good morning. I would like to have a phone call to another country, if it is possible. Can you help me with this?
– Yes, certainly. Just behind the corner in the end of the front desk, they could help you with the call. – answered the girl. And really, a few steps away, and another two ladies was sitting behind another desk. I went closer and asked them about the phone call. I just had to let them know about the country code, then step into a cabin, dial the number, and that was it, I can speak.
So, I told the lady, that the country code is 0036, and leave the rest for me. And for my biggest surprise, everything went smooth. Okay, there was 7 – maybe just 6, but maybe 8 – hours difference, but I could reach my mom just in time. She was so surprised, she did not expect any call from a house phone. – Oooooo, Darling, hey, how are you? How is everything out there? Accommodation is good? Food? Weather? Tell me, how is the ocean? Is it cold? How is the city – and all the rest of the usual questions in this time, I could not even say a single word for 2 minutes. When finally she stopped with the questions, and let me talk a little, I straight made my point, that the phone costs are extremely high from here, so just make it briefly. I told her in a few sentences my last 4-5 days: everything is beautiful, perfect, excellent, weather is better than I expected, everyone is nice and kind, the place is amazing, food & beverage part is also excellent, last night I was dancing, so everything is like in heaven 😊 I’ve also asked her what’s new at home. She told me everything is okay, winter is still on, cold, rain, and they have to turn on the heating big time, but luckily everything else is fine. We’ve discussed my way back home, when I’ll be in Budapest, when do they want to come to the airport, etc. After about 8-10 minutes, we had to hang up, I’m still not a millionaire unfortunately – not with time, not with money either. We’ve said hello to each other, and I walked back to my place. On the way home I stepped inside a market, bought some chocolate, water and beer. When I entered the apartment a few minutes later, Camilo was about to leave, but he asked me about my transportation on Friday to the airport. I answered that I don’t have yet, but I’ll catch a taxi probably. He straight talked me out of this idea, that it is not a wise option. He will call me a taxi, a friend of his, he’ll take me to the airport for a really good price. Okay, I said, thank you for the help. I should be at the airport at 4:00 PM, since an 8:00 PM departure was in my mind. And Camilo made just one phone call, and the taxi was ordered for 4:00 PM in front of the gate on Friday. I said thank you again, and went into my room. I felt way better than in the morning, so I’ve decided to have a run in the afternoon. It was after 2:00 PM when I started my session.
And to be honest, it wasn’t the best, the greatest run of my life, but still I can learn from this. If I could make this, I can do anything 😊 Why it wasn’t my best? Hmm, let say I had a few things what set the difficulty level higher and higher. One of them was the weather. 33-35 Celsius degrees, full sunshine, shades are nowhere. Then the wind joined the temperature in the party. And of course, only counter wind. And like if it wasn’t enough yet, it brought the salty water spray with him. But not by itself, he took some sand as well and mixed it on the way for me. So I had mainly everything here, and I was talking only about the weather. Then there was the quality of the road. I mean if you could call it road, or path. First, just smaller wholes, little cracks. Later on I could see wider holes. After a few hundred of meters, I had to take the actual road, the outside line, which was not popular at all, so I could run there – exactly to the other direction where the cars came from. So, if I don’t count these things, I had no serious problems with the running – until the American Embassy. There, I’ve already had too much sand and salt and wind in my face and mouth, so I decided to make a right turn and head into the city. And as it figured out later, I’ve been here before as a tourist. And just to make it right, to feel how is to be in Havana, everybody was waving and smiling, I even turned off the music – never done that before – because there was latin, local music all over. And as an additional good thing, one (not so) friendly dog chased me for a while, just to push me a little more. And it did work, the result for this hilly, windy, hot, stuffy, dog-chased run is: 5.27 km in 27:52 seconds, what means a nice 5:17 average per kilometer. From the bed – where I am now and writing these lines – it doesn’t seem like a good run. But if you add the circumstances, I can live with it. I haven’t run in this heat, or maybe one in Vienna, 2-3 years ago, but there was no wind and no sand. So, I think and feel, that this 5k was the hardest run in my life so far. The half marathon last year wasn’t so tough. But I just needed this, it made me finally tired, and again, I’ve learned to respect the nature, always!
After I went back to the house, took a long shower, and sit out on the terrace to read a little bit more of my Stephen King book. Guys, this man is a genius! He has such a sense for writing, its brilliant how he can show the things through the pages, as he grabs the reader and pull them into the book, like they’re part of it. After a good number of pages, I went back to the room, get my laptop and wrote a few more pages about my days and experiences here, in Havana, Cuba, and later I just simply fell asleep – like for an afternoon nap.
It was already 7:00 pm when I woke up with renewed power. I wasn’t sleepy, I wasn’t tired. My calves gave a few signs about the run earlier, but nothing serious. The loud screams came from my stomach, that “Hello, it’s already dinner time, and we didn’t get anything today, except one little sandwich! Don’t forget about us!!!”. After this little conversation – maybe only in my head, I’m not sure – I get out of bed, put some clothes on and went to search for some food. And just like this, I’ve found a restaurant called Brasilerismo.
As the name tells you, it’s more like a South-American place than a Cuban, but still okay. I have to try this one as well at least one, what could happen. The place itself is not so high-class or fancy, just a little covered terrace, a garden, a bigger room inside the building, and mainly that was all. The chairs and tables in the garden were made by iron, equipped with sunshades, facing to the street, so everything looks pretty good. I was about to step into the garden, but the chef and the headwaiter was already there to welcome me. Usual question: for one person, or someone else will join me? Inside or outside? On the terrace, or here in the garden? And which table looks good? I’ve chose one close to the entrance, so I could hear everything, what’s going on the street. I took my place, the waiter brought the menu and the drink card as well, and asked me, what would I like to drink. And just before I could answer his question, he offered me their specialty. I don’t remember its name, but it was freshly squeezed by mango, papaya and pineapple. I said okay, why not, we only live once! After that I chose the food as well, just to get something to eat – finally. For starter, I ordered a vegetable soup, and as a main course, I asked for some grilled chicken and beef with rice and spicy. The waiter said thank you – here, everyone says thank you for everything, a little weird – and took the menus from the table.
In a few minutes, I got my fresh fruit juice with a lot of crashed ice. I had a first sip of it, and it was surprisingly good and tasty. Meanwhile, I was staring out of the gate and checking the life on the street and in the neighborhood. On the opposite side of the street, on the terrace (which wasn’t a little sized place), kids were playing football with laugh and smile and pure happiness. They did not care, that they don’t have the newest Nike ball, or the latest Adidas model on their feet. For them, it was totally perfect, that they used empty water bottles, filled with small stones, as goalposts, that they could kick a ball, which one we had back in the times on the streets – yes, I’m already 25, but still I remember, how used was our balls – and they didn’t even wear shoes. They had flip-flops and socks on their feet, or without anything. None of them cared about it, you could hear it in their voice, you could see it on their face: they are happy, they are free.
That’s how I’ve spent my time until my soup had been delivered. First of all. What we call vegetable soup, is totally different than here. Cabbage, celery, pepper in huge amount. Tomato squeezed into the soup. The liquid part of it was excellent, but the rest, it wasn’t for Hungarians. So, I’ve drink-eat the liquid part of the soup, and left the rest in the bowl. The waiter come, as he saw that I’ve finished with the dinner, and asked me if everything was fine with the soup. I’ve said that of course, it was nice, but I’m not really that vegetable-person, but it was still nice.
Then he picked up the plate, and in a minute, he came back with the next one: one plate with rice, spicy sauce and two (huge) slice of meat: one chicken, one beef. It did look very tempting and delicious, so I waited a little until the food cooled down, and then! And I have to admit, it was really tasty. The rice was much better than in the previous places here, it had some taste at least.
During I was eating, the waiter come once more just to check if everything is fine. I said of course, all perfect, the food is excellent. I ordered a glass of beer and a coke as well, just to have something else to drink. Meanwhile, on the streets, the life was on fire. People arrived home from work, youngsters gathered together just to hang out, or check out each other’s car. The feeling, everything, the atmosphere was fantastic, I can’t describe it with words, or show it with pictures.
I’ve finished with my dinner, which was really delicious and filling. I paid the bill, and headed back to home, just to jump into the bad and fall asleep.
Somehow, I don’t know why, but I get very tired by the end of the day, and it wasn’t so late either. But I have to tell you, this running business is a hard thing, mainly in this 30 degrees Celsius 😊
But doesn’t matter, I do enjoy the time I spend here, all the minutes 😊 See you tomorrow, adios!