🇬🇧 Cuban dating customs

I know I’ve been married to Cuban for more than 3 years but a lot of you are still in the first stage of dating (or maybe thinking about dating) a Cuban.

There are some things you should know before you start to date a Cuba. It is so different and just more dificult than just dating a guy from your country.

Why is that? Well the logistics ain’t easy. If you’re lucky and live in Miami you can go pretty often but flights from Canada or Europe are expensive. Not mentioning that if you have 9 to 5 job you don’t get that many days off per year, and it doesn’t make sense to go for less than a week. My shortest stay was 9 days.

Are Cuban gentelman?

They actually like to show they have some money. So if they have some they will invite you out. Probably not to the most expensive place out there but they will. They will pay for rum, will invite you home to eat with their family. If they can’t afford it they will invite to the beach or for a walk. Anything that they can afford. At least at the time they get to know you… Later it changes (not always) but if you met Jinetero guy you will be suprised how quickly “i’ll invite you” becomes “send me recarga or 300$”).

Yes they like to invite you to go out. But they have absolutely no problem when women pays. If they don’t have money they will admit that. In Cuban society being poor is nothing to be ashamed of. Most people are poor. So he will not say anything when you’ll pay for dinners out or plane ticket. Oh maybe he’ll say he feels bad once or twice. But most Cubans don’t really have realistic value for money.

They will though do things we forgot existed. Like opening the door for you or picking up the flowers from wherever they see it or dancing in the rain. And we will think “guys in my country don’t do that anymore, how cute”. And we’re lost lol.

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Meeting mum

Oh meeting mum in Cuba it’s a good sign. Not saying that only by meeting his mum you’ll live happily ever after, but nobody invites a girl home (Cuban or Yuma) if it’s not serious. Why ? Because Cuban mama does not have time to meet girls who don’t matter. So in the other hand, if you’ve been to Cuba few times and he didn’t take you home – red flag for me 🚩🚩🚩. So if you were taken home and had a meal with the family you are one lucky girl. This doesn’t change the fact some families are worse than jineteros themselves and cover everything to get their piece of cake.

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Staying home

Yep. Staying in a cuban home is not for everybody. First of all, Cuban houses are in 90% packed. Now Fidel’s mum lives alone but when we met there were 4 people living in a 2 bedroom house. No place for me. So I would stay in Casa Particular and Fidel would stay with me and when I moved to Cuba we rented a small, yellow house. So when your bae says he does not have conditions to have you it’s probably true. Another thing is that you need permission to stay in his house before you get married. For me it’s not a big thing, more time alone at the beggining better you’ll know him. Most Casa Particular will register him/her with you. If he doesn’t want to do that >> 🚩🚩🚩.

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Gifts

Are there any gifts possible? Not as many as in a “normal” country. So I remember receiving flowers (probably taken from neighbour’s garden) and a dress! Yes, a dress. Fidel bought me this Cuban style green dress that i really like actually. Of course all family was involved. It was like 15$ so they had to make sure it fitted. Fidel’s mum came to our house and said her niece (yea right) was having the 15th birthday and had body exactly like me…and she made we wear all the dresses and stuff and tell me to pick I liked the most for her. So I said that I like the green one because I’m pale but there was a nice pink dress that would suit more a latina girl. She said “the green one then” and left running. I was like “Teresa, can you tell me where all these clothes are available, maybe I could buy me something?”. “NO!” -she screamed. That was so funny. I knew it was for me the exact moment 😀

So don’t expect too much. Maybe a souvenir so you don’t forget Cuba, a bottle of rum or some juwelry with no packeging. But there isn’t much more they could give you, not because they don’t want to.

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Going out

That’s a big part of Cuban dating. At least when they date a Yuma. Why? Well because first of all not everyone have money to do so, so Cuban-Cuban couples stay more at home, they walk together or go the park when there’s a free party. But not too many people can actually eat out.

But Cubans love music so don’t be suprise they want to be out all the time. Of course it depends a lot on the city he’s from. In some places sitting on the street with one bottle of rum does for the party. Soemtimes it can be even frustrating because we would like to be alone with them sometimes and there are people around all the time.

You can always take him to Varadero or similiar but you invite – you pay my dear.

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“I love you” thing

You will hear this one very soon. And this may be for two reasons : 1) he’s in love with you, 2) he is not but wants something for you. How to be sure? No idea. For sure do not ignore all the red flags and don’t torture yourself too much. If it’s meant to be, it’s going to be.

And talking of that, I was thinking to write about the positive stories for a change so if you would like to share your happy end with me, please send me a photo and a short story of you two 🙂 I will be waiting for it on fidelsgirl@gmail.com. 🇨🇺🇨🇺🇨🇺

 

 

 

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🇬🇧 Are we splitting up?!

No we are not!!! 🙂

But I felt kind of like a celebrity when one old friend of mine from Havana told me that he heard that. From the people I never even spoke to (also living in Havana)! That’s the funny part.

Of course it’s not all roses. No marriage is but where did this gossip come from? No idea.

The other day we have celebrated my another thirty something birthday 😉 We also have holidays booked for next one year and half. So no break ups until then 🙂 We want to drink that Greek ouzo together 🙂

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But a lot of breake up situations happened in the last few weeks.

Also here in Poland. Fidel came back from work the other day and apparently one of the Cubans who was working with him left with no words. He and his girlfriend (Polish) were in a long distance relationship until one day she decided to invite him. For us here in Poland it’s quite an investment. Besides all the paper work to get the visa, the plane tickets are quite expensive. In a lot of cases it might costs a person’s monthly salary. It also costs a lot of nerves. The journey is long especially when we have to send our love through one the biggest Europe’s airports like Frankfurt. Not all of us have time and money to go get our man. But anyway, they went though all of that and they were living happily in Poland for few months. Until one day she woke up, went to work and when she came back he was gone. As well as all his stuff. He left for another woman somewhere in Europe. 🤯🤯

Also a good friend of mine, Polish as well, sent her boyfriend back to Cuba only 5 days after he arrived. Aparently there was a young Cubana waiting for him back home. Of course when he got back and realized what opportunity he has just lost he tried to get back with my friend. Like…seriously?🤦🤦

But there are some happy ends. Our friend and another Fidel just got married in Canada this weekend 🙂 All the best guys. Fidels (but one) are good company to spend your life with. 👰

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And you know what? Having good people around you it’s a key. My family has always been supportive but there are people out there waiting for you to fail just to say “you see, he only wanted Europe/USA/ Canada visa”. Ignore them and do what you feel is the best for you.

🇬🇧 It’s been 3 years

I know i didn’t update the blog lately and sorry for that!

And now it has been 3 years since we got married in sunny Pinar del Río and bit move since I left Portugal and moved to Cuba.

Those 3 years weren’t easy, trust me. All the paper you have to go though when you’re marrying someone from the other side of the world is insane! I think you guys know it. It is just worse for US and Canada folks I think (with the interviews held in 3rd countries). Crazy shit.

During the 3 years we living in all posible configurations.

We had a rented house in Cuba. The yellow house you all know ❤20160428_16392920160428_160433

We were living with Fidel’s mum.29340543_1673658042727132_2000992853383184384_oIMG_20190130_073446.jpg

We had a rented apartment in Cracow.

We are now living with my parents to help them out.img_20190115_1223112602900653902760998.jpg

And we survived it all. So that’s definitely a good sign.

These past 3 years have past so fast. We do miss Cuba a lot but the the quality of life there is not quite what we want. I am also getting to the point where I don’t want to travel to Cuba every time I have holidays and want to go back to exploring new places. The past 5 years were all about Cuba and I really want to go somewhere else. Cuba is family now so I don’t consider it 100% of a holiday. You know what I mean. We don’t stay at rented rooms anymore. So we spend pretty much the same as if we went to Thailand for instance. But my all inclusive does not have continental breakfast and running water lol. So we made a deal with Fidel what we will go to Cuba once a year to be able to see other places.

Fidel has now several part time jobs here but they all includes speaking Spanish rather than Polish so his Polish is still quite basic. He can communicate well already but for me it’s far from perfect. He says that if we have kids he’ll learn together with them. Yea, right.

We also started to renovate my parents house which is where we plan to stay. So far we have changed the kitchen and made ouselves a nice cozy bedroom. We also bought a scooter to drive around on sunny days. This definitely reminds of holidays in Cuba. The views are different but I don’t mind. Poland in the spring/summer time is awesome as well. img_20190414_070912664456709563275497.jpg55619186_1534305313372592_2212929912979849216_n

I have now an office job that I like and it’s roughly 25km away from where we live. I really like the city here and I get a mountain view every day 🙂

So we are kind of settle down now and investing more into the house than trips to Cuba. If we plan to go back to live there? Well, you never know but I don’t think it will be before we retire 😉 Cuba is a perfect place to live when your bank account if full of dinero. Otherwise is a full time struggle.

And for this wedding anniversary we decided to visit Lisbon. I forgot how beautiful this city was. It’s really cool to walk around and show Fidel the place I have lived in for 8 years and I heve left it for him.

And how is everyone going?

🇬🇧 Cuba in 2019

Another trip to Cuba behind me. And let me tell you one thing, more I travel to Cuba more I miss it. My last trips were much longer but since we are kind of settled in Poland now, with good jobs and everything, we decided to make a short 3 week trip. We stayed only in western part of Cuba.

I can see changes in Viñales everytime I go there. Some are really easy to see, some not.  So let me give you a short update on what´s going on in Cuba.

Young people are leaving more and more. We were laughing with Fidel, that there´s no one left there! Ok, it´s not that bad but there are at least 10 people we knew closely that had left in the past months. I think that´s quite a number in a small town like Viñales. And that’s only people I know that I am talking about!

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I didn´t pay for the family Visa this time! Big one. I wrote a separate update on this one here. I know there are a lot of you in similar situation. Big plus. No more 40CUC fee for staying in my husband house. Yupi!

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Viñales is changing. I am used to see cafes and restaurants on the main streets but now there are hundreds of them! And most of the places … are empty because I don´t think Viñales is getting that much tourist traffic to fill them all. I think soon some of those establishments will have to close. That´s how it goes. The good part of it is that a lot of old colonial buildings got renovated.

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The shortages. As you all know there was no flour lately in Cuba. And no flour means no bread. There were mornings I had just coffee and fruit for breakfast, but since Viñales is so touristic and visitors shouldn´t know this stuff,  it wasn´t so bad. The fact is that when rice and chicken arrived to the shops, the police had to intervene. People in those extreme situations lose control.

The prices. I found the prices higher that before. The rum in the shops costs the same but some cosmetics, food and beer! got more expensive. I still remember having Cristal for 1CUC, now (if you find it!!) it´s 1.50CUC. Also my “trago” of rum for 1 peso got smaller than last year.

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Our house is still far from finished but we have already slept in our room. It´s not painted yet and it doesn´t have the shower installed but it already gives me a sense of privacity. Even the nights we had our niece over 🙂

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Apululu got really skinny after giving birth to 7 puppies. Dogs in Cuba don´t have easy life. Chains, small dog houses and homeless animals are something normal here. I bought some jamonada (weird Cuban jam) and was giving a part of meals to Apululu. She gained some weight after the 3 weeks we were there. I also found her happier 🙂

 

 

 

 

🇬🇧 Family Visa Update (2019)

So I just got back from another trip to Cuba. Bit depressed as always 😀 but we will be back this year again.

I just want to share with you the update on the family visa. After I don’t know how many trips, this was the first time I didn’t have to pay 40 CUC fee for the family visa.

When got to the immigration office in Viñales I was told the rules have changed and since I´m married to Cuban I can now enter as many times as I want just holding the tourist card.

The guy didn´t even look at our marriage certificate. He just put my passport number in his system and it was all there (together with my lovely photo from the airport of course).  He just said that every time I enter Cuba I have to shop up at the immigration to confirm the adress I will stay at. He also told me this applies also if I ever travel alone.

I am not sure if I would have to pay if I wanted to stay more then 30 days. This time it was kind of short trip. I guess next time I stay for longer I will have to pay for “prorroga” but it´s ok. I already feel like I have won 40 CUC on lottery lol.

Maybe you have any update on this one? Is the same in your province?

And that’s how my going back home was for me 😀

🇬🇧 The mind set of the Cuban man

Will this post be full of stereotypes? Yes

Is this unfair to some Cubans? Yes

Are all the Cuban men the same? No

But if you live with Cuban man, probably you can rely to  some things. And after few years of observation I can definitely confirm that there is something like “Cuban state of mind”.

” I can do anything” thing. 

You all know it right? If you are dating a Cuban and thinking of taking him home you must have heard this one. Cubans think that, they are some sort of chosen nation.

They think that once they get to your country they can do anything. Like anything. He has a driving license? He will be a bus driver for sure. He finished 12th grade? He can work in any company. He is 50? For sure the companies will fight for him. He doesn´t speak your language?  He is not that good dancer? No problem he will just go to any school or company and say “hermano, yo soy Cubano” and will be sorted, he says. Since getting job in Cuba is quite easy they don´t even think about recruitment processes here. And when you try to get them to be realistic about that, they get offended and sometimes you even hear you don´t want them to work.

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Money is not everything.

And I know it’s not. But Cubans just look at money differently. And when they get here it doesn’t change that much. They keep comparing prices with the Cuban ones – “honey look, it is so cheap”. You will hear that stuff so many times. And usually it’s stuff they don’t really need. They want to spend while you want to save. And I really learned a lot with Cubans and I think I started to enjoy life more but I still keep that credit card away from my husband lol.

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“Mami, yo soy Cubano!”

This is explanation to everything. Cubans really think that they have gone though so much and think that everything will be a peace of cake for them. And I know they have hard life and crazy low salaries. I know the life there. However I come from a country with communist past and I was raised few kilometers away from Auschwitz. So when I hear Cubans claiming that concentation camps were nothing comparing to private Castro’s camp I am getting mad. Really mad.

The truth is that even if they feel so special and think that they will be able to do everything abroad, in the end they have problems with simple (for us) stuff like using credit card or opening gmail account. In the end Cuba hasn’t prepared them so well for the life ou there.

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New rules in da house

That´s another common one. Cubans tend to compare everything with Cuba. And it applies to basically everything from cooking to education. Cubans will always defend the “Cuban way” of doing things and if you start to argue with them, you´ll hear the famous “¿quién dice eso?”.

Family

The family is everything for Cubans. It really is. And when you’re marrying a Cuban, you’re marrying his whole family. Cubans will often put his family on the first place and will not see anything wrong with that. A lot of Cubans want to leave the island only to be able to send money back home. For us non-Cubans it’s really hard to understand. We help our parents and family but rarely we send any money or that much stuff as they do. I know people who send 100-200$ back to Cuba and invite their parents. And they argue a lot with their SO’s about it. When you’re marrying someone from country like Cuba you have to be ready for that part. And if you’re not think twice if you want to be with that man. More Cubans abroad I know more normal it all becomes. And I want to invite my mother in law to Europe as well. It’s family in the end.

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🇬🇧 The “money thing”

Money was, is and always will be something that we and Cubans look at differently.

Maybe it´s because they don´t have money. Maybe because we work hard to have them. But money is something that will eventualy come up in the conversation. And it doesn´t matter if you´re just the visitor or if your SO is Cuban. At some point you´ll get stressed about it.

If we argue with Fidel, and we rarely do, it is about money. I come from the family with not that much money. So my parents taught me how to save. And ever since I always have had savings. From the other hand, Fidel´s family spend their last 5 pesos if it´s necessary. Or even if it´s not, they will spend it. So every time we go to the supermarket i hear “it´s so cheap! let´s buy it! do you know expensive this stuff is in Cuba?”. And we never do because yes…I hate spending money.

But people in Cuba learned how to survive without money so I think they are just use to no to have them. They even say “money goes, money comes” and spend everything easily. Maybe that´s why they don´t get attached to money so badly as we do. They just never have them. And when they don´t have them they recommend a restaurant to the tourist, show them the way, help to find a Casa Particular and maybe take for the trip. And the money actually comes. Not quite like here where if you spend your money, you have to wait for a month to have them again.

And we on the other hand are very attached to money. We get mad at our husbands and boyfriends for sending too much cash to Cuba or buying too much gifts for people who barely deserve it. We spend 150$ for another pair of shoes and we get mad because they want to send 50$ back home. We get mad over the prices. Like, how the hell an old, ugly, used and not working well fridge can cost 350$? Well, in Cuba it can. As well as and old 30-40 year old car can cost 15k-20k. No es fácil. The prices is actually one of the things that stress me the most in Cuba. Not mentioning that to get this price Yuma has to stay out of the picture. Otherwise the prices goes up. We have so much money right?

Other thing that stress us out is people asking for stuff. Those Cubans who have never left the island and have no idea how the world works out there think it´s ok to ask for things.  Especially if they have relatives or friends abroad. They don´t ask if you can bring them something, they just assume you do. And very often they will ask for specific stuff like iPhone or Converse snickers. Stuff that sometimes we don´t even buy for ouselves because of the price.

Our family in Cuba rarely ask for things and if they do it´s usually something small and necessary.  But I know Cubans who don´t go to Cuba for years. They feel they don´t have enough money to go. Not the money for travelling. But the money for gifts and drinks and other stuff everybody expects them to pay for. Because when you´re coming back home after years, everybody knows you won´t come with empty hands. The other thing is that this it the time to show your new “I live in Yuma” status.

I think I envy this light approach they have. Some say the life without money is a stress but the life with money may be even worse. Cubans have this “you only live once, you can´t take the money to the grave with you” rule and I must say, they tend to enjoy life more.

Some time ago we decided we wanted to invite Fidel´s mum. I really think this woman deserves to travel and experience something different. This is quite expensive since the flights from Cuba to Europe are not the cheapest thing. And some of my friends were just so surprised. Suprised that we want to spend all these money for someone. She´s not someone to me and trust me, to feed me from her 9CUC pension is much more of an effort than for me to buy her a plane ticket.

But I think, one thing we have in common. Here and there money rules the world. We have just invented different rules.

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