Cuba = Reggaeton every day!

Hasta Que Se Seque el Malecón

At the time of Cuba’s opening, there will be an increasing amount of people flocking to La Habana – or Varadero, Cuba’s hot tourist spot – and an increasing fear that Cuba’s uniqueness would definitely belong to the past. Most tourists enjoy their time on the fine sandy beach, smoking fine cigars, riding open-top cars from the fifties, along with mastering the art of Cuban-style mojitos (understand a well-loaded mojito). But, as we – I and my then roommate – travelled through the 1250-kilometer-long island, we discovered that Cuba was much more than that.

Cuba Azul

Here are some insights on what made us really feel the Cuban lifestyle:

We fell in love with the Cuban vibes. Most tourists stay in the “Habana Vieja” district, which is as incredibly beautiful as crowded with tourists. I don’t have any problem with that, but keep in mind that a country has so much more to offer as well! By Cuban vibes, I meant the one you feel walking through the Malecón and the historic center – away from most attractions -, where you successively run into kids in uniforms going to school or playing soccer and adults chilling peacefully outside or watching telenovelas (Cuban-style soap operas). There is one constant: the reggaeton beats that follow you through your walk everywhere you go. And all of this takes place in a mix of freshly renovated houses and dilapidated old ones and I must say that the latter really makes the scenery unique.


Feeling the Cuban vibes also meant eating like a Cuban.

It might seem obvious, but since the society is divided between Cubans and non-Cubans, foreigners tend to eat at the places for foreigners or rich Cubans. Eating like a Cuban means converting your CUCs (convertible peso) into CUPs (national currency) and heading to a cafeteria, where you can eat, almost for nothing, tortillas, arroz congri (rice mixed with beans), Cuban-style pizza, and drink a home-made juice. After we talked to some Cubans and discovered that the average monthly salary was between 10 and 15 CUCs (10-15 euros), we understood that most Cubans eat at the cafeteria when they don’t eat at home. Cafeterias are usually in someone’s house and the transactions go through the window. Here’s a 4-ball ice cream that I bought for the equivalent of 0,25 euro!

Glace 4 boules.jpg

For us, a simple way to live the Cuban lifestyle was to do the opposite of the crowd.

When we took the now touristic soviet-style steam train at Trinidad and stopped in another city for the break, we saw everyone heading to the touristic attractions that were waiting for them all day. We decided to go the other way alone and we discovered, out of nowhere, a food stand that made delicious fried fish sandwiches. After we ate four of them, they thanked us for having made their day!

Street Art.jpg
Street art that we found after walking randomly, somewhere in La Habana

Finally, the best thing we did was to hitchhike: it really allowed us to understand the Cuban way of life and the separation between foreigners and locals. It all started when one day, we tried to book bus tickets to go to Las Terrazas but somehow, we ended up in a bus terminal that was forbidden to foreigners. We were told to go to the Via Azul terminal, for foreigners and rich Cubans. All right. We finally arrived at Las Terrazas with the Via Azul bus but decided to come back to La Habana hitchhiking. We first realised that many Cubans have to hitchhike to go to work, to school, or anywhere. Since the competition is rude, many of them prefer showing some money bills instead of their thumb! Our time finally arrived, and we successively got into a taxi (for free), a truck cart, and, best of all, a bus that was supposed to be reserved for Cubans!

Of course, there is plenty more to discover in Cuba. Talk to people, follow the unknown, don’t limit yourself to the main attractions, and you will understand how a Cuban live and think! (And of course try some mojitos, they are the best!)

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I’ve been raping Facebook and Instagram with pictures from Japan when I was there – but OUI OUI, in case you missed it; I was there for a couple of days. So all my money is gone🖕.

Let’s be honest, Japan is a FOOD PARADISE. You just want to try everything all the time, from the 7/11 unlimited fried stuff to the 5-euro-a-piece sushi (OK LAH BEST SUSHI IN MY LIFE). There are also so many weird but unmissable things worth throwing your yens at such as buying a sexy racoon dog keychain, going to the [input anything you want] café, feeling like Barbie in the photo booth or seeing live JPop (mostly the chaos that comes along).

Obviously, I implemented several strategies to spend less; but at some point, I tried to win a giant Pokeball teddy bear at the arcade centre. Anyways, as I’m a weird guy who drinks 3 ice coffees a day, it’s a bit difficult. BUUUUT…. I did find some smart solutions!

First tip: do NOT eat that 60-euro melon. Second tip: shut down your Hello Kitty fetish for a few days. Last tip: hitchhiking is pretty smooth in Japan! It also allows you to meet some (not a lot) Japanese peeps who treat you like deep shit (very interesting to experience here actually). But don’t get me wrong, Japanese people are AWESOME.

Last words: I will never look at cup noodles the same way again (I already miss you ramen)

DL-san OUT 🙃

Hong Kong (August 16 – January 17)



Kowloon side from the Sky100


🌃   HK’s skyline is truly outstanding; even more at night on a 0,277140€ ferry trip (approved by XE Currency) or on a 32,4km/h elevator trip that brings you on top of the ICC – the tallest building.

👣  But… Hong Kong is much more than this picture. It’s the cheapest MacDonald’s and most expensive coffee in the world, it’s the best social-tech start-up accelerator So In So Good, it’s not-house-but-rooftop parties, it’s random police checks because you are eating a donut, it’s foot massages with happy ending, it’s eating mountains of dim sums on Sunday morning, it’s Club 7/11 & M. Wong’s toxic beers, but most of all, it’s hiking a different trail every weekend.

🐍  Please, please & please, come to Hong Kong and realise that 75% of the country is nature & biodiversity; crazy monkeys, giant cockroaches, wild bamboo snakes, everything you can dream of! Of course, everything is reachable within 1-2h and it’s CHEAP (but it’s still more expensive than a BigMac menu). And then you can board a local Ferrari-bus or Ferrari-ferry (say it 8 times) to go back home.
🍔  But on the way home, your friend Alexandre calls you out for dinner and as it’s pick-randomly-from-the-Chinese-menu Sunday, you end up with fried fish bones. But (fortunately?) there is a MacDonald’s nearby (there is always), so you order a Hokkaido Salmon burger not to starve – and then realise it’s already the 5th time this week!
😘😘  Bye bye Hong Kong & see you next year   (because I forgot to spend my HKD)
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1 country = 1 playground

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