POSTCARDS FROM CUBA: the playgrounds kill me

For Sara, Valli, Lilia, Charlotte, Lachlan, Meredith, Nova, Faeryn, Indigo et al. Who would have fun there anyway.

The playgrounds kill me. Each time I see one, rusted through, abandoned, virtually destroyed, I am hit by a wave of suffering so intense, I almost vomit. I do not feel this badly when I walk past the shoeless drunk curled into the doorway of a building owned by the government that’s supposed to provide for him. Nor when I walk past a mansion that was a thing of beauty in 1858, 1959, and is now a heap of rubble.

But the playgrounds—empty, rusting, so fucking unsafe… they kill me.

Do you understand why?

My children don’t mind. They find the places that work, and have so much fun:

Yes, my children don’t mind at all…

Do Cuban children?

So many of the playgrounds are… empty. So empty. Because they are—well, not just depressing but dangerous.


And sometimes… they are put to different, more practical use:

Playground5 Laundry

I try to see beauty and purpose in that.

Playground4 Laundry

I see it as the most powerful indictment of Castro’s revolution.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

…and wait until I show you what the schools look like…


LANDED here for the first time? Let me catch you up:

Series 1 of Postcards from Cuba is now fully live. Check out the annotated table of contents for a tour, or, if you prefer, hop over to the chronological table of contents.

And if you like what you read/hear/see, please consider expressing your delight by becoming a patron of this project via PayPal:

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

You: Why?

Jane: Because you’ve always wanted to be a patron of the arts, and you know that artists can’t pay for groceries with exposure.

You: How much?

Jane: Buy me a cup of coffee, a Cuba Libre, or a counterfeit Cuban cigar.

You: That’s all?

Jane: My avarice is happy to match your affluence. But I get $1 in royalties for each copy my other self sells of a traditionally published book. It is impossible to disappoint me.

If you would like to make a contribution, but have PayPal issues (I get it), please email me at nothingbythebook at, and we’ll work something out.

Thank you!

“Jane” / Tweet tweet @NothingBTBook / Instagram NothingByTheBook

Playground5 Laundry

(This is one of my favourite photos from the trip/project)


One thought on “POSTCARDS FROM CUBA: the playgrounds kill me

  1. Pingback: POSTCARDS FROM CUBA: sketchy | Nothing By The Book

Made you think? Made you laugh? Made you scream? Tell me.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.