Visiting the U.S. Consulate and Diman our "black market" friend - Wednesday, August 21, 1991

Wednesday, August 21, 1991

Everyone fell asleep last night pretty late. Anne wrote in her journal and did word searches the whole night. She kept me awake and it was quite uncomfortable, but she was worried so I didn’t care. The reason we were up late was because Anne, Leo, Ralph, Conchi, Chiqiu, and I stayed up talking about everything (school, Cuba, the situation, and just bullshit banter). It was funny because all of a sudden someone threw something at the window and we just shitted, but we figured it was someone upstairs who wanted to sleep. We were very loud and making too much noise.

Anyway, we finally woke up and went to breakfast. Breakfast was an experience. We had arepa-like things that were not too good, but Ana got there late so she didn’t have one…at first. This loca vieja with pony tails from Michigan (we’ll refer to her as just loca) had like five on her plate. I turned around and asked her for one and she said fine, but in a pissed off mood. I gave it to Ana and the loca was complaining that she paid for the food. So, I turned around and said, “Excuse me what did you say?” She acted like an innocent victim. Ann then gave the arepa back to her and the loca took it back. What an asshole!!!!!!! The loca then had the nerve to take all the tables’ Pepsi bottles, bread, and other items to take to her “guest.” I’m telling you this woman was crazy.

After breakfast, Anne, Leo, Chiqui, Conchi, and I took a cab to the U.S. Consulate so they could register us and then we went to the Pan Am office to check Friday’s flight. The woman was nice and the flight was booked 70 out of 131 so we weren’t too worried about not getting out. After Pan Am, we went back to the Astoria hotel to change money. We went back to the hotel at about 1400 to each lunch. Lunch was good, but the same as the days before: meat and potatoes.

After lunch, Anne started talking with Diman, a black market hustler kind of guy. He is 19 years old and all he does his hang out in the hotel lobby to sell to tourists and trade things. He spoke street-English and he knew exactly what to say and sing. He did a rap song for us which we have on videotape. Politically, things were still bad and he expected fighting in LED this weekend. He was real nervous and Ana asked him why.

He said, “I am worried about my mother, civil war, and most importantly my future. I will leave this place with communism prevails. I cannot stay in the Soviet Union. Why are all of you so worried about this?” He couldn’t understand why we were so worried about what’s happening because we were going back to the U.S. and we had nothing to worry about. He was the one that had to stay because he couldn’t just get the right visas to leave the country. He asked Anne if he could go in her suitcase. The conversation with Diman was funny at first, but then it turned cold and serious. He left an impression on us because he was a little bit younger than us, funny, nice, and he was deeply affected by what was going on.

In the afternoon, we continued with the city tour. We had to go to the same sites in the beginning because there were a bunch of new people. Of course, the city tour sucked because of Helen. She was driving us freaken crazy. She is one moody bitch. After the city tour, we went back to the hotel for dinner. We spoke with Diman and others for a while and then Anne, Ralph, Vivian, Cristina, and two Worldspan (WPS) ladies went to the Astoria Hotel. Ana called her Mom and she said everything was fine and that everyone back home knew that the coup had failed and that they had arrested the six people who organized the whole thing at the MOW airport. We found that out during the city tour. In St. Isaacs Square near the Astoria, there was a democratic rally and the place was packed. We stayed for a while and then Anne, Leo, Ralph, Vivian, and I went back to the hotel.

Leo hung out in our room and we started to talk about everything. It was funny because our neighbors started to fight. The guy works for Pan Am in Miami for the Cargo department and he was mad. Anne, Leo, and I started to listen closer because they were really loud. Well, it turns out that wife got mad because he had talked to Leo and Anne and because the wife was late getting dressed and they missed the city tour. So, she left him and went on another tour. He was hurt and she didn’t care. We all agreed he was right and she was an inconsiderate bitch. After that, we videotaped a make-believe news update talking about the coup and the neighbor’s fight. It was stupid, so we erased most of it and went to bed.

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