Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cigars? Dinner?

In a strange coincidence, tobacco tax has shot up just as Obama relaxed travel restrictions to Cuba. Not sure if the U.S. will impose purchasing limits, but according to the Cuban government's regulations, each traveler may leave Cuba with 25 cigars. That's a lot of cigars. I don't think I'm going take advantage of that offer, though.

Despite the The New York Times's report that Cuba is ready for a deluge of American visitors, expecting 1.5 million, um, guys, not that many of us want to go back, or have immediate family to visit.

I'd love to go but have no immediate family there. My mother, who remembers the vibrant place that Cuba was in the 1950's, doesn't want to see the sad derelict it is today. Me, I remember the playground, the kindergarten, the front yard and the swings on our porch. At four, my world was limited.

How many people like me have the many thousands of dollars that it costs to visit Cuba, especially when our own economy is in turmoil?

The exciting change, for me, is that now we can once again send money to our Cuban family members. As long as the government doesn't get too big a chunk of it, I think my relatives on the island are going to have a much rosier life in the near future. It depends on how the rules are laid out. I may go back, but it will be with a Habitat for Humanity crew, or a church mission. One thing's for certain: those 25 cigars are going to stay on the store shelf. I was never a smoker, and you can't eat cigars.


Pushkar said...

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Debbie Kaufman said...

I wonder how quickly there will be an influx of Habitat and other groups into Cuba.

Mrs. V said...

I just got The Secret of Dread Forest in the mail. I am so excited!

john said...

this is great. 25 cigars are not a very bad amount. i think it is reasonable. I will try to go there and taste the real taste of cuban cigars while camping in cuba.