I just got back from Cuba.
Cuba…well, we will talk about that later in the travel section. Today I really want to bitch and complain to you guys about how I keep meeting the most amazing guys when I am OUT OF THE COUNTRY. Like, why can’t I meet an awesome guy when I am in, let’s say, New York? Key West? Orlando? Chicago? SOMEWHERE I CAN EASILY FLY TO FOR A WEEKEND VISIT.
You might recall how I met a sweet guy in May while in the Mediterranean. He was a total catch, but lives in the U.K. I wasn’t looking, it just happened! I never go “looking” for guys when I am traveling because I live in Miami and already plan to move to NYC. It’s pointless to look for a guy in Cuba of all places – it’s not like I am going to sell my house and move to Cuba.
HA HA HA HA
Can you even imagine the international headlines that story would make? “Third Generation Semi-Cuban-American Woman Flees USA for Cuba.”
Anyway, my friend invited me to join her and her coworker friends on a six day trip to Cuba. On day two, we took our taxi to Varadero, where we went out that evening to enjoy a thriving nightlife scene that included both locals AND tourists. It was totally awesome.
We stopped at Calle 62 for salsa dancing and a few pina coladas and mojitos, and saw a pretty intense fire-eating show…or some type of fire show, I am not sure what you would call it, but it was damn entertaining! There was a live band and also a Tropicana-style dance show, all for free – and drinks were really cheap, at $3.50 for mojitos and pina coladas.
By the way, that pina colada was the best one I tasted the entire time I was in Cuba, and I pretty much ordered one at every single bar I went to.
Then we headed to The Beatles Bar, which is a popular nightclub-esque spot where there’s a live band playing rock and roll every night and there’s plenty of outdoor seating. The band was on point that night, with the lead singer channeling Robert Plant in a way I’d never seen done before. The girls and I walked in and planted ourselves directly in front of the stage while he sang Whole Lotta Love…and we didn’t move until the song was over.
Then it was time to hit the bar and get our first round, while we scouted the patio for an open table. That’s one thing about establishments in Cuba – it seemed the same way across the country – once you have a seat, you can leave it and go dance and NO ONE steals your seat!!! So we had to wait for someone to leave.
The bar was pretty cool, drinks were cheap and the bartenders had a heavy pour.
It was just my kinda place!
So then it happened. I met a guy.
My friends and I were sitting at a table, singing along quite loudly and chatting with people near us, just having a grand old time in general. We were at that stage in the trip when all of the fun from our first two days coupled with generous amounts of alcohol and loud rock and roll music had us giddy and delirious with excitement.
I kept looking at the band, of course, because they were fantastic. I kept noticing a tall, handsome blonde guy standing directly to my right. He was SO CUTE. He had a warm, friendly smile. Did I also mention that he was tall. and blonde. If you know me, you are thinking, “Jenn’s perfect man.” Yep, that’s the one. I thought he was looking at me – you know those awkward moments when you’re not sure if a guy is checking you out, or your friend, or if he’s just blind and staring innocently off into space? Yeah, that. So I did what I always do, and I got up and went to talk to him.
He was totally age appropriate and a normal human being. Being good looking and NORMAL is a very hard thing for me to find since my divorce. Either the guys are attractive and total assholes, or they are really nice guys but I am not attracted to them. As soon as this man opened his mouth, I felt an overwhelming sense of disappointment…I heard it from the first word that rolled off his tongue: he’s not American. He was from….wait for it……Germany. Because meeting a nice, normal guy that lives in the same continent is just something that I am seemingly incapable of doing.
WHY, GOD, WHY?
We took a walk on the beach in the moonlight and it was so romantic, but of course he was leaving the next day, so we kissed goodbye and he asked if he could friend me on Facebook. That is what it’s like to meet nice guys abroad – yes, I am referring to Cuba as abroad, I had to exchange currency, I had to apply for a Visa and carry my passport. It counts.
I meet these fantastic guys and instead of asking to see each other again like you normally would when you meet someone, you exchange Facebook info or Instagram or Snapchat handles so that you can be “friends” and maybe arrange to see each other if you’re ever in their country. On that other continent. Yeah, because I am in Germany all the time! I totally go there every time I need to stock up on Riesling.
Meeting him was one of the highlights of my trip. I had more fun with him in those two hours than I did on all of New Year’s Eve, just to give you an idea of what the rest of my trip was like. That smile, those eyes, those sweet lips! sigh. So sweet, yet so far away…the story of my life!
So the next day, my friends and I spent the day on the beach in Varadero and did a little shopping, had an AMAZING home-cooked dinner at our Air bnb, and then one friend and I headed back out to the nightlife scene for the evening. We did a totally low key, throw anything on and don’t worry about make up kind of night.
I met another guy.
I am not evening kidding. Cuba was the magical land of tall handsome blonde dudes for me. This one was Canadian, which is a little closer, but still, it’s the same continent but it’s still ANOTHER COUNTRY!!!!!
He was sitting at the table directly in front of us, with his back to us, and he kept turning around and smiling at me. I smiled back. BECAUSE I AM NOT A MONSTER. Then he came over and introduced himself…fast forward to him sending me a rose. Then asking me to dance. Me finally obliging because he did send me that rose, and it was pretty and let’s face it: men normally treat me like absolute shit and it had been almost a year since any man had done anything nice for me.
Yeah. I said it. That’s what my life as a single 30-something has been like. Men are – in general – complete monsters to me.
Anyway, I got back from our slow dance – which he somehow turned into three dances while he kept trying to make me spin him, which I found very odd, but then he ended our last dance in a dip, which was actually pretty awesome because no one has ever dipped me before – to find that my friend had taken our chairs and moved them to his table and became Miss Fucking Chatty Cathy with his friends. I was gone for 5 minutes and she is suddenly best friends with a gaggle of French Canadians.
I gave her my biggest “I hate you” look and sat down and immediately began smoking a cigarette because no one else was, and I assumed he’d lose interest and we could leave. That didn’t happen. Instead he kept telling me how beautiful I was and how he was lost in my eyes and the favorite place he’s ever traveled was into my eyes, blah blah blah, some other things a French Canadian lover boy would say, and I was all “Ugh, this is why I don’t like French or Canadian men, let alone French Canadian men!!! So much game that it is evident that it’s game and you don’t mean any of it” and then he said something really sweet and it shocked me at how genuine it was, so I went to give him a kiss on the cheek and suddenly his tongue was in my mouth IN FRONT OF EVERYONE.
So that happened.
Our driver arrived, and I gave my new French Canadian slow dancing rose-giver my name and email, grabbed my rose and ran for my life.
I carried that fucking rose with me across Cuba, from Varadero to Santa Maria, through Matanzas and back into Havana…I protected it like, well, like a precious rose. ha!
Then our stupid Air bnb host THREW MY ROSE AWAY when we checked in in Havana. I put the rose in a glass of water, which was clearly a vase, and when we got back that evening, it was gone. So was my unopened bottle of sparkling water and my ham and cheese sandwich.
I didn’t tip that Air bnb host.
I am still pissed off that my rose was taken from me. It was something tangible, a little piece of the fun I had in Cuba that I could take back to Miami with me…but it’s gone and all I have are a few friendly messages on Facebook instant messenger to remind me of that sweet German guy. I accepted the French Canadian’s Facebook friend request too, but I am pretty sure he is busy telling some lady that he is lost in her eyes, because he hasn’t messaged me yet.