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Jamaica, April 2016

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The wheels project » Lada, Cuba

written by owen, yesterday at 8:48 am

I doubt most of these cars have original engines but in either case it is suprising what people can maintain when they have limit resources, tools and the will power. The thing with cars in Cuba is that they are all family cars passed down to children from parents so few of them are bought or sold. In which you had better take care of your car and its harder to pass off your problem child to someone else!

Drive train pop out?

Drive train pop out?

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Clean Code, Refactoring, Real world Example (programming)

written by owen, yesterday at 8:02 am read 1 times.

Traveling without moving » Cuba: A tale of 2 currencies

written by owen, 2 days ago

I often buy a newspaper when I am in a foriegn country but since they speak Spanish in Cuba there was no point to buying a paper since I know very little spanish. I bring the paper to work to share with a co-worker who's always interested in the paper news.

The only reason I ended up buying this paper is because I had bought cake and pizza at a local bakery in Havana and ended up with 2 Pesos change.

Cuba has 2 currencies and some shops have prices in 1 or both. Pesos are the old Cuban currency which is 24 to 1 CUC. A CUC is the currency used tourists and government businesses. A CUC is worth $1.15 USD. So 2 Pesos is like useless and I had to get rid of them quickly. For fear of getting stuck with money that I could never spend or exchange.

Most times you can tell something is in Pesos if the Cost is very high like say for instance $50. In other cases if all the prices are low then the menu is in CUC. A bottle of water is $1 CUC and a flask of white run is $2 CUC. A fancy dinner is $12 CUC. A small pizza with pepperoni is 30 pesos.

The cheapest thing on the menu was 5 Pesos which means I was stuck because of my careless spending in a country of two currencies.

As luck would have it I saw an old man selling newspapers by the hotel for 1 Pesos so I bought 2. And for a even bigger twist the co-worker is studying spanish! A 2 birds with 1 stone scenario!

Some kinda cake pastry

Some kinda cake pastry

5 Pesos

5 Pesos

10 CUC

10 CUC

One of the many newspapers

One of the many newspapers

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Traveling without moving » In the streets, Cuba

written by owen, 5 days ago

Havana, Cuba is an unusual place. Everyone works for the government, some people do not work at all. Everything runs and works like you are stuck in 1950s Florida - except with iphones and WIFI hotspots on the street. The people are calm, collected, and like to sit by the ocean with their families. There is a tunnel under the harbor that was built in the 50s why? because bridges are ugly.

Public spaces for people to sit are everywhere. Monuments and historical art is around every corner. Havana is like walking in a museum where people live and work. You not only can feel the oldness but you can touch it as well. It is hard to tell whats new and whats old. Some buildings are freshly painted, most are not but they are all occupied by multiple generations of families. It is pretty awesome.

Young girls as young as 14 are very fashionable wearing heals and multi-coloured tight cloths with fish net stockings that are in contrast to the more reserved western culture. Young men rock mohawks with creamed hair and tight pants. They sell pop-corn in bags in front of the movie theater. They seem to love popcorn, sandwiches and cigarettes - everybody smokes; women, old men, young men. Alcohol is almost as cheap as water.

For this trip I shot pictures in 16:9 widescreen super vivid. Widescreen is annoying because I lose so much of the top and bottom of the pictures. I get good pictures with super-vivid once there are no people in the shot. With people; everyone looks very red skinned - lesson learned. Unfortunately its not an effect I can undo. I should try to upgrade my point and shoot in the near future. I will post more pictures when I can.

Fishnet stockings are an essential part of the work dress code in Cuba

Fishnet stockings are an essential part of the work dress code in Cuba

Stoplights and cross walks have count down clocks to red, to green and even to amber.  Cool feature.

Stoplights and cross walks have count down clocks to red, to green and even to amber. Cool feature.

Very little graffiti or advertisements.  Gives Havana a really clean look.

Very little graffiti or advertisements. Gives Havana a really clean look.

A movie theater

A movie theater

Small businesses all around, markets in buildings

Small businesses all around, markets in buildings

There is a bridge there but underground

There is a bridge there but underground

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Logbook » Trouble

written by owen, 6 days ago

Somewhere at some place in time my favorite 90s alternative rock song is playing but I am not there to hear it. All that exists is the moment in which you stand. The now, and then.‎   There may be things in the future but only on my todo list.   Sing with me just for today.  Wallow in your emotions of now, in your little corner. If it makes you happy?

‎It is a foreign feeling to be in a foreign country with a foreign language.   A place that doan know my name.  Down any street you walk by people going about their business while I watch and wait. Party like it's 1999. Soon it will be time to go home and all I will have are suveniers of a foriegn feeling in a foreign place in time.

‎There are some experiences that you can only have once. Experiences that live with you forever and float out into space like beams of light. It is too bad that there is no way to transfer these experiences to other people. Maybe other people would not want to be troubled with your stale experiences. So why do anything at all?‎

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