Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Public Transportation, Cuban Style

Everywhere we went outside of Havana we saw people needing a ride. Few people have their own vehicles and depend on the kindness of others to get them there and back.
Our guide assured us it was safe to hitchhike in his country.
It has to be as everyone does it.
While hitchers were everywhere we saw gathering areas with dozens of hopefuls bound for home in the late afternoon or off to work in the morning.
It doesn't matter what you have to offer, a car, a tractor, an oxcart. If you've got a spare seat or a place someone can hang on, you offer and it is accepted. Our bus driver,with our blessing, even offered a ride on occasion. An old women with an armload of groceries along a lonely road one time, a police officer the next.
It is the upside to poverty, I suppose, people still help one another.
We saw many examples a day of beggars not being choosers.
I regret I didn't get a photo of these staging areas, but I did get the above picture of commuters sardined into the back of a truck at the end of a day.
I wasn't quick enough to get a picture of them scrambling up the back and sides of this truck to fight for a place in the box.
This was by no means full. I am sure a few more could squeeze in if they had to, and from what I known of Cuba, they do have to.


David Cranmer said...

That man in the green uniform seems to be keeping an eye on you.

the Bag Lady said...

I suppose that sense of camaraderie is an upside of poverty - they all help one another.
We have much to be thankful for in this country, but also much to be learned from less "fortunate" countries.

the Bag Lady said...

Oh, forgot to mention - love the new header photo!

Leah J. Utas said...

David, I think you're right.

dfBag Lady, they do as they can. You're right, we have a lot to learn from them.
Thanks re: header pic.

messymimi said...

I think that type of camaraderie is common among the poor everywhere.

Friends of mine, who are rich by the rest of the world's standards but poor for our culture, never lock their doors. The mom says it is because they have nothing to steal, and really they don't. They share what little they do have freely, and are always willing to lend a hand, or give a ride in whatever broken down jalopy they happen to be driving at the time.

Mary said...

These photos and blogs are great. Americans forget how great we have it.

Leah J. Utas said...

Messymimi, I think many poor people are like that. They are more willing to share what little they have than people who are well off.

Thanks, Mary. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of contrast.