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– Gratitude… or the lack thereof

As I’ve said in my other posts, Cubans in general are very generous and appreciative. As a rule, I don’t give presents to people who ask for them. Anyone who wants a job in Cuba can have a job (more than we can say in the US, huh?). If they can’t work because of disability, the state will take care of them. So beggars here have chosen that as their profession and I don’t choose to support that. They are rare. But a woman approached me and I realized that I still had an overabundance of gifts to give (I had filled half my suitcase and I’m not taking them home!)

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OMG, I am never breaking my rule again! I gave her soap and some toys for her grandkids and she pushed me aside looking in my bag of tricks and said her mother needed the reading glasses. I gave them to her and then she said, what do you have for ME? I need something for ME! I said, “The soap is for you and, by the way, you’re welcome. Do you realize that you haven’t even said thank you? You are a very greedy person and I wish I had saved these presents for someone else.” She continued to follow me, not getting it. I had to stamp my foot and tell her to leave me alone.

Right after that, a girl walked up demanding sweets or toys. I told her I had lots of presents for kids but not little girls who demand them without even a hello, that I am a person with feelings, not just a ‘present-giver’. I don’t know if she got it, but I felt better for saying it. I went back to the casa and gave a bag of toys to the daughter there who works at a day care to distribute to the kids there. Like all the other Cubans I’ve encountered, except these two brats, she was lovely and appreciative.

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Trinidad, Cuba

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