Doorstep life in Cuba is the best way to take in the world, keep up with your neighbors, and to pass the time. The life of Cuba is in the streets and for the most part the streets come to everyone’s doorstep. The scenes are a little different as you pass through different cities in Cuba, but the purpose is the same. What got me thinking about this is a friendly tap on the shoulder from Lazaro Fernandez who offered me a bit of his rum in exchange for his autograph. Yeah, he gave me two things and I didn’t actually give him anything back. Lazaro spoke a little English and felt compelled to tell me that since they can’t improve their financial status in Cuba, why would they spend their time on personal pursuits like us silly Americans. He and his friends enjoy watching life on the street while they drink rum and smoke, and according to Lazaro, this is how most Cuban’s spend their time.
Well, I don’t know if that’s true, but the Cuban’s sure do come out to their doorstep to meet you. Every street I walked down, people were sitting on their porches or standing in doorways just to see and hear what was happening in the neighborhood.
With no television or internet to be engrossed in, it’s easy to see why the action in the streets is the most interesting thing going on whether you’re looking for friends to join in a game or…looking for something else.
Even when there is little to see in the streets, the doorstep is the hub of comings, goings and activity surrounding family life as well.
The scene changes a bit when you get outside of the cities. People still come outside to see who’s passing by in the street and to catch up with the neighbors. The porches are bigger or at least people seem more at ease when you pass by a Doorstep in Trinidad and Viñales.
And perhaps my favorite moment watching people on the streets and Doorsteps of Cuba was from a back road in Vinales. I saw the scene unfold from down the street as the young man rode up, the girl came out of the house, they exchanged knowing glances and he leaned over to receive a kiss.
I really enjoyed the fact that my cell phone didn’t work in Cuba. As of 2016 that may soon change. Seeing life unfold where people are interested in the activity outside their front door rather than on the screens inside their home was refreshing. You may or may not agree; but for me, visiting a country like that is always a bonus. The humble doorstep. Don’t discount it, for it sees the world passing by even if we aren’t looking.