Monday, November 23, 2009

Home is where the kettle is

Cuba was awesome. I highly recommend it to those of you who are able to visit (sorry, American blog buddies!) I'm sure I'll bore you all to tears with my planned series of upcoming posts and photos*, but I'll try to intersperse them with other random ramblings intelligent insights.

First, though, I have to deal with a logjam of digital information that is threatening to unleash a flood of epic proportions upon my poor jetlagged** head:

>250 work emails to read / file / answer / delete
>350 grant opportunity announcements and work-related Google alerts to pick through
>400 "proper" blog posts to read (not including LOLcats etc)
>1000 journal article alerts to browse (in Google Reader - I recently switched all my TOC alerts from email to RSS, which makes things sooooo much easier to manage).

I hate feeling like I'm missing out on anything, so if there have been any major announcements, developments, or fights in our little corner of the blogosphere, I'd appreciate a wee linkie to take me to the action! I'll do my best to catch up on everyone's news over the next couple of weeks or so, but until then:
  • why is it so fucking dark and cold?
  • why did the local sandwich shop not have a band playing when I went to get my lunch?
  • why did no-one try to sell me cigars or lead me to their brother's restaurant on the walk there and back?
  • why have I not had a single drink yet today? It's, like, after five!
Mind you, I've been back for only 27 hours and I've already done lots of wonderful things that weren't an option in Cuba:
  • watched hockey
  • arsed about on the internet
  • had a really good cup of tea (actually, three)
  • eaten sushi
  • drunk wonderful, tasty, refreshing tapwater
  • snuggled under a blankie in a cold room
  • rubbed Saba's belly and Google's chin
  • slagged off the government
Home. There's no place like it.


*um. Our new "waterproof" camera did great on its first field test - we got some great shots on, in, and under the nice calm water - but it turned out only to be waterproof if you don't take it into crashing Atlantic surf that picks you up and smacks you back down into the water. It might just be a shorted-out battery. The photos on the card might be salvagable. Luckily, we'd taken our old camera (literally held together with duct tape and an elastic band) with us, with the aim of giving it away to a school or university, so we used that for the second week (dodgy Cuban batteries allowing - I'd forgotten to recharge the ones in it). But the awesome photos we took on the most beautiful beach either of us has ever seen, and in gloriously photogenic Habana, might not be recoverable. Boooooooooooo.

**Doesn't it seem like three hours shouldn't be enough to bother you? And yet, every time I visit the East coast, it gets me.


  1. YAY! Welcome back, Cath! Can't wait to see some pictures!

    No huge news on my end, although I've had a job offer and I'm contemplating it at the moment!

  2. haha, it is indeed after five, now where is that gin and tonic (in your case I guess Cuba Libre or Caprhina?)

    Hockey... well... ok, it is fun. (can you tell this week wasn't good?) WELCOME home! I look forward seeing those photos and hearing (reading) those stories:

  3. Whoa! You went to CUBA?! I totally missed this! (I've been behind in blog reading, too).

    Welcome back, Cath. Jealous of your time in the Caribbean sun and looking forward to those pics!

    (And congrats on the job offer, Alyssa)

  4. we went to cuba for our honeymoon. Absolutely loved it, but it was a long time ago. I am sure much has changed. When we went Havana was not a very safe place, but there was a ton of construction going on so we knew it would be a great place to visit in years to come.

  5. Glad you enjoyed it. Wife and I are seriously thinking of going back.

  6. Welcome back! Very much looking forward to the pictures and posts!
    Most important news from my side: Will do a telephone interview with New Zealand!

    And even I wonder why it is so dark and cold, although I haven't been anywhere lately ...

  7. I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip, and I can't wait to see your photos!

    Announcements on my end: finished my thesis, booked a vacation. :D

  8. Yay, Cath is back! I missed you....and I can hardly wait to see all your photos :).

  9. Thanks all for the welcome back! Mr E Man is trying to sort out the camera situation today, so I'll know soon whether I should just start posting the photos I do have, or wait for salvage of the others.

    Alyssa, congrats on the job offer! Keep us posted!

    Chall, I mostly drank beer, mojitos, and Cuba Libres.


    Bean-Mom, I'm glad it's not just me who's scrambling to catch up!

    ScientistMother, I never once felt unsafe anywhere in Cuba, even though we got a bit lost once or twice and ended up in the back streets of some towns. Even the hustlers were friendly! The renovated part of Havana was looking great, but there are still thousands and thousands more run down buildings there and in other towns that obviously have tons of potential. I hope the UNESCO money keeps flowing so they can finish the job!

    Massimo, thanks! I'd like to go back, too - there were places in the East (Santiago, Baracoa) that we wanted to visit, but didn't have time for. I think we'll go to a few other places on our list first, though.

    Nina, that's exciting! Good luck, and again, please keep us posted!

    The cold and dark aren't so bad really. The clouds are a bit higher today and I can see snow on the mountains. That always helps!

    EcoGeoFemme, awesome news! Congratulations on both fronts, but especially the thesis!

    Mermaid, I missed you too! Coffee on Friday?

  10. When you get your photos uploaded, please feel free to bore away -> I mean, I'm looking forward to seeing the Cuba I can't visit! And did you bring me any cigars? :)

  11. The first photo post is up now - we did manage to get the photos off the damaged camera, which we've sent away to the manufacturer for an assessment of the repair cost.

    We've got some cigars, but you'll have to come up here to get one! I aint risking my new freedom to cross the US border without (too much) hassle!

  12. I am jealous that I can't go to Cuba, but I will settle for reading your blog and looking at your pictures.
    Also, I don't know why it's so dark and cold, but it's starting to happen in my neck of the woods too.

  13. Sorry dude. Here's hoping that antiquated law gets overturned soon (although maybe gimme a chance to go back one more time first ;) )


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