Sunday, 9 February 2014

Am home, with apologies for blog silence.


A whole month in Cuba and only two blogposts!! That’s not like me …
Cuba is a complicated country, and I’ve much to write about. But today – and I’ve only been home a couple of days so my brain is still somewhere over the Atlantic, even though my body has made it back safely – today I’ll just explain the blog silence, and leave my musings for another time.
Computer access is limited in Cuba – the Cubans themselves can only use the internet if they show they need it for business or educational reasons. They realise that most of their visitors see things differently, and access is possible for tourists, though it is slow and expensive, and almost always involves a queue. It also involves buying a scratch card – which is fine, unless the scratch cards have run out, in which case it’s unlikely anyone will have any idea when more will appear.
(Wifi? – only in one or two, select hotels. The sort of place I only slink into to use the toilets.)
Most computers are flat-screened and look efficient, but many of the keyboards have letters missing – which is fine for those used to writing but a problem for anyone who needs to look at the keys. They have to resort to guesswork. I got into a muddle the first time I met a bare keyboard – my precious internet seconds ticked away and all I could write was gobblegook.
And then sites can take so long to load you’ve finished your tea before they're done. Than there seems to be some arbitrary decision-making regarding which sites are acceptable. To begin with I could access this blog but not write on it. Then I could write but not publish it. Then it published it, but wouldn’t let me check what I’d published.
Email access was equally random. On two occasions I was able to open my inbox, try to reply – and everything was fine until I actually wanted to write a message. On that occasion I put the message in the subject line, and sent it that way.
So I decided to keep internet access to an absolute minimum. Nothing terrible would happen – those I know and love had my phone number and everything else could wait.
Now I’m home, and the blog-ball will get rolling again before long. For Cuba has given me much to write about – I’d hate you to think that it was nothing more than internet randomness!

11 comments:

  1. I hope your brain lands safely and soon, because I'm dying to hear all about it.

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    1. Brain is catching up, Miriam - but thinking, well that might take time!

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  2. Good to have you back. Loads to hear about. Loads happened... xxx

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    1. You have been busy, haven't you!!!

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  3. A fascinating start to your Cuba blogs, Jo. I missed your other two blogs, so finally worked out how to follow you so that I don't miss anything. Like your experiences with the internet in Cuba, I'm a bit slow!!! I know you're going to take us on a wonderful journey, so can't wait! Good to have you home!!

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    1. You're not slow, Lynn - you're just thinking creatively!

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  4. I'm so glad to see you back here. I've missed you! And as the others have said, I'm dying to hear about your travels. You said internet access might be iffy, so it seems you were proved right. All part of the experience though! Looking forward to the next part!

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    1. The next part - please be patient, there is much to think about!

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  5. Welcome home Jo.You sound as if you've had a good time. Looking forward to reading about it all.

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  6. I completely understand your post. Well, I was born and raised there, wasn't I? :-) When I go back home I switch off completely and that means completely. I forget about the blog, e-mails, the whole lot. Only once have I tried to use the internet regularly and I failed miserably. Used to broadband in those first early years, I went back home and was faced with.... a modem. Like you said, it took forever to load up so I just gave up.

    I look forward to your future posts about Cuba.

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  7. As ever, I'm looking forward to hearing, Jo! I have to say I am sorry for Cubans having to put up with this lack of internet access - I wonder if they mind being deprived of modern tools.

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