POSTCARDS FROM CUBA: a boat is not a boat

For Peter. Do you still remember that ferry ride from hell? I do…


That’s Ender on the Havana ferry dock, looking in awe at the cruise ship that dwarfs the city and the harbour… and asking… “Is that our boat?”

No, son, no it isn’t.

Flora: “The Havana ferry was basically a board with an engine.”

It wasn’t quite that bad. There was a roof.

Also… it was $0.20 centavos (moneda nacional) a person.

Non-sequiteur: The sight of that cruise ship in the Havana harbour was obscene. I have no other word for it–its size, compared to the size of the dock, the harbour, the city… obscene. Wrong. If you ever have a chance to take a cruise ship to Havana–don’t. OK? Please?

Coming next: the boat theme continues with listening postcard from  Marina Hemingway.


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:

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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 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!

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