Saturday, March 25, 2017

Cuban Beach Boy's

My "No Problemo" attitude has a wee hitch in it's giddy up. A Mariachi band has invaded my afternoon slumber party. Although not the usual mariachi group  that consists of as many as eight violins, two trumpets and at least one guitar. This Cuban beach boy band has two mariachi  guitars including  the vihuela:  high-pitched, round-backed guitar that provides rhythm, one trumpet, and a bass guitar called a guitarrĂ³n, which also provides rhythm. The bongo and the Morocco's add to the rhythm section. They have visited us, on this quiet afternoon,  to bless David and Mary's beach time with a few choruses of "Guantanamera". A famous Cuban song, and probably it's best known and noted song. It is of course from the the poem by the Cuban Poet Jose Marti. So just as Mary has nodded off into afternoon slumber land, the horn player hits a high C or b flat at a few decibels louder than a Miles Davis riff. Siesta is indeed over and this completes our Cuban experience" for the afternoon. We offer no CUC (Cuban tourist money), so in mid third chorus,  they move quickly on, sans ending, to ply their rhythm on other more  (hopefully)generous patrons of beach music.

Vitor is a native Cuban that greets me daily as the sun rises on the beach. At 6:30 daily, he sets up our beach chairs on his own inclination and unasked. Gives them a good sweep with his beat up half broom, then gives me his trademark Thumbs up. Vitor is a small happy native Cuban. Rag tag clothes, bare feet in old beat up clogs, weathered skin (is he forty or seventy? I can't tell), and a smile as wide as the Caribbean sea. He tells us that he makes 250 Pesos a month. He has a wife and four children. "Two small, two older" He is as content with his tranquil life and happy as a yellow bird is, up high in banana tree. 

Vitor tells us that he and his family have a wonderful life, His Children have free and very good health care/medical, free and excellent schooling, and housing is looked after. He loves his life and it shows. I tip him a CUC when I have one on me. A CUC is the equivalent of 25 Pesos, which is what he would make in two days salary. He does not demand or expect it, but he is as grateful as a school boy receiving ice cream on a hot day.

Vitor's gratitude for what life offers him gives me great pause today. Especially as I consider my belly aching last week when my Buick Regal was cold and I bitched silently that my car does not have a heated steering wheel. Sheesh. Vitor has no envy for us in vacation land with our unlimited EVERYTHING!  He walks the beach back and forth all day, every day,  5 am to 5 pm giving us all a thumbs up as he passes, as if to say "It's a tranquil  life" he tells us with his smile!

It is indeed

4 PM on the Beach "Stage left". The Cuban Beach Boy Mariachi band has long retired a few Pesos richer. Vitor ends his long shift stacking up the three or four hundred beach chairs, to make way for the Night Beach cleaning crew. I promise him a pack of "Hollywood" cigarettes when we arrive manyana, and I will make good on it,

He is our new friend.




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