Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Travels thus far...

First, I want to thank Conductor for ALL the work that he is doing on his own. Te la comistes bro. Also, I recieved an email from a new Cuban website called www.Cubanology.com. Given my travels away most things Cuban, I found it very refreshing to get this email and browse the site. I highly recommened it -one more site exposing the truth of castro's corruption.

Now, I guess if I'm going to talk about my traveling, it's only fair to reveal a little more about me. I'm a Catholic Seminarian in a Religious Order. This trip is a class on the Holy Land, and it is part of my studies. I will still keep my name and order anonymous, because we have a small community in Cuba and I wouldn't want this site to effect their work in anyway (maybe I'm being too cautious, but better safe then sorry.)

There is a HUGE advantage to being Cuban and traveling the mediterranian/middle east. If you keep your mouth shut, people will think you're one of them. Many an Italian, Greek, Turk, Israeli and Arab thought I was one of them and as long as I can fake enough words in their language for small talk I went undetected. This is especially nice when walking into bazaars or shopping strips, while all the tourists get bombarded by merchants -I was left alone!

Travels thus far:

I went to Greece, the cradle of Democracy, and fell in love with Athens. The people there are like Cubans who don't speak Spanish and drink Cafe Carretero con la borra still in it. Even the country looked alot like a Miami -if Miami had mountains. Over all... I still miss it and will hopefully go back in the future.

Turkey was nice. Very warm and friendly people. After teaching this one shop owner some essential Spanish words to do business, he and his co-workers invited me to share their dinner, which was a non-sour version of Greek food. I also found their different brand of, what this one man called, "Modern Muslim" facinating and refreshing in lieu of fanatics like Bin Laden. BTW: If you are ever in Turkey, you have to see the ruins of Didyma, as well as, the ruins of Ephesis. BREATHTAKING.

Israel: The place that I am staying at is right next to the West Bank. Meaning that I am right on the border between Palestine and Jerusalem. I can see the ever growing wall creep it's way to my residence, and I can see the holes being in the back yard where the future extension of the wall is growing. Currently, I'm on the Palestinian side, but after the wall, I'll now be on the Jewish side. I am taking many, many, pictures and may create a seperate blog for them -or I might have them as a contribution to this other guy's blog here. Not sure yet...

The Old City of Jerusalem is a little dangerous and very cheap. Never settle for the full price of anything, and if the merchant is very willing to haggle then you may want to avoid the purchase. And as for the history, the sites are very profound meaningful -though don't follow the first person who claims he's a tour guide; you'll follow him right into his shop.

The New City of Jersalem is very hip. The city excitement is very high and their coffee shops have the best Espresso I've had outside of Miami.

I'll be in Israel for most of my trip, but when I go elsewhere (like Egypt) I blog a little more about that!

Access is scarce with one computer and 20 or so grad-students. Moreover, there is no TV in this place. Thus, I'm left without a constant news outlet. Nevertheless, I'll be around every now and then, even if it's just posting a comment. Several people here have family in New Orleans, and so Conductor guess well, we are praying for all the families affected by the storm.

(Oh Danny Boy the blogs the blogs are calling... OYE BAUER DONDE ESTAS?)

4 comments:

Robert said...

Songua,

Thanks for giving us that wonderful update on your travels. Please keep us updated!

Sorry I haven't contributed as much to the blog as I would have liked, it's been a little hectic here in Miami as you know!

Take care and stay safe.

Tremenda Trigueña said...

Songua,
Great to hear from you...good to see someone else can see the parallels between Cubanos, Miami, and Greeks. Now you know why I love you guys! :) Looking forward to hearing more about your travels! ¡Que te cuides mucho!
-TT

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