Given that my family and I went to Cuba in July, you might wonder why I’ve waited until now to post a blog about the trip.

 

The first reason is simple: Laziness.

 

But there is a second, more practical reason as well: It’s usually impossible to tell just how much of an effect something has had on your life right away. You need to give yourself a day, or a week, or a month to let things play out. Events can seem more important five minutes after they occur than five days after they do.

 

Now it’s been seven months, and I’m starting to think that the trip might have affected the course of my life a little more than I initially thought. It was an unforgettable week, to be sure.

 

Yet, though it was an unforgettable week, I fear that the small details will slip out of my memory over time, and as such it is necessary for me to set these events down in stone. That above all is the purpose of this blog: To prevent me from ever forgetting that week. But, though it is a blog written more for myself than for anyone else, I invite you all to read it if you are so inclined (and have the time).  

 

This blog will contain a flashback or two. It’s unavoidable. In fact, I think I’ll start with a brief one.

 

In August 2005, my family took a vacation to Cuba (which I briefly mentioned in a blog during that time period, for those of you with superb memories). The place was billed as a five star resort, so of course I had fairly high expectations. Alas, it ended up being a dump. The food was absolute crap, the beds were as hard as rocks, there was absolutely nothing to do, no one spoke a trace of English, and so on. Five star? Ha.

 

So of course I was a bit skeptical when my dad told us that we were going to Cuba again this year. Compared to the Dominican Republic vacation of 2004, Cuba had been a veritable hell-hole. I had wanted to go home after two days. Nevertheless, my dad assured me that this time would be different. "The food there is great," he said.

 

I took him for his word and made no complaints, even though this vacation would mean being sacrificing the summer job that I had wanted.

 

We arrived at the resort late on July 19th. The first thing I saw when I walked into the lobby was a crab, slowly making its way across the floor. While humourous, the appearance of this crustacean did nothing to improve my opinion of the place. Is it too much to ask that the floors be kept crustacean-free?

 

Perhaps the rooms will be better,” I thought. Alas, the beds ended up being even worse than in the other resort. And upon entering the bathroom for the first time, I heard a crunching sound beneath my feet. Lo and behold, I had just murdered some form of insect. Ew. But I tolerated all of this because I had been promised good food.

 

But guess what? The food wasn’t good. The "steak" tasted somewhat like cardboard.

 

This was the last straw for me. Everything that was supposed to have been good had turned out to be crap. There was nothing left to look forward to. Or so I thought.

 

I contented myself with an excellent book (King Dork by Frank Portman. Read it if you’ve also read Catcher in the Rye, whether you liked Catcher or not), and passed the evening away in that manner. It was difficult to sleep, on account of the rocky bed and evil air conditioner (and let me tell you, that air conditioner was a real piece of work. The room was always too hot or too cold. It took four days to develop a strategy for defeating it: The air conditioner had to be turned on about three hours before you expected to be uncomfortably hot, and turned off an hour before you expected to freeze to death. In spite of this strategy, we never did end up mastering the damn thing.).

 

Sunday, July 20th, passed in a similar fashion. I finished King Dork and moved on to The Boy from the Basement, which I recommend to anyone who is human. It was a boring day, except for one critical event. I went for a walk on the beach, and went I returned, I found that my grandfather (who had accompanied us on the vacation) was speaking with another gentleman. In English. 

 

The English language spoken fluently in Cuba has only two likely sources, due to the U.S. embargo:

 

1. A Canadian

 

2. A Brit.

 

So I did what any normal person would do: eavesdrop. Within a second I identified the man as a Brit. The accent made it obvious. He and my grandfather were talking about soccer, which was predictable since both Britain and Italy (the country of my grandfather’s birth) share a love of the sport. I never developed the same love of soccer as the older generation, but I tried to join the conversation anyhow. I managed to sound like a semi-educated individual while talking about soccer before hijacking the conversation and steering it towards subjects which I was more familiar with, namely Canada and hockey. Why would I be trying to converse with a middle-aged man from a foreign land? Because beside the Englishman was a boy about my age, who I assumed correctly to be his son. He introduced himself as Johnny. He kept fairly quiet during the conversation but appeared to be genuinely listening, and so I actively tried to work him into the conversation by asking him questions about his homeland. We had a decent chat before he and his family had to go. I figured that given the size of the resort, we probably wouldn’t see each other again, but I was wrong about that too. That part of the story will come later.

 

Lunch was crappy chicken. Dinner was crappy generic semi-edible material.

 

Alright. Monday, July 21st.

 

Two things happened on this day. The first of which was a terrible tragedy, and the second of which was a great stroke of luck.

 

I went for my daily walk on the beach, this time with my iPod in my pocket. The iPod was only there as a "just-in-case-I-get-bored-and-feel-like-listening-to-music" measure; I began the walk without the earbuds in my ears. After about five minutes, I completely forgot about the iPod in my pocket, and waded slowly into the water. Just as I felt the water touch my hips, I remembered the valuable electronic device and dashed out. I thought that I hadn’t gone deep enough to get the iPod wet, but in fact I had gone deep enough to completely submerge it. To make a long story short, I no longer have an iPod, and I have no one to blame for that fact but myself. Also, I forgot to put sunscreen on my left shoulder for some reason, so it got fried. Double whammy.

 

But, the day wasn’t all bad. At about 10:30 that night, I was getting ready to head back to the room when something (fate?) told me that I should walk one more time around the reception area to see if I could find something to do. As luck would have it, at a table right beside the bar was Johnny and his family. They called over to me. "Are you alright mate?" asked Johnny. At first I wondered if I looked injured or depressed or something, but I would later figure out that this was just Johnny’s way of greeting people. He invited me to sit down with his family, which I did. Since I was the only North American at the table, I became the centre of attention. Questions were fired at me from all sides: What’s the weather like in Canada? How’s your relationship with the Americans? General questions like that. Admittedly, some of the questions asked sounded incredibly stupid, but I think that some of the things that I asked them sounded stupid as well. Actually, I’m sure of it. I found out during the conversation that half of the people at the table were actually from another family. I still felt like the oddball though, since I assumed that everyone else was from England. This was not so, I was informed. The other family was from Wales. Apparently there’s a discernable difference between a Welsh accent and an English accent. I never figured out what the difference was. I might have blundered slightly when I asked if Wales was a province of England. Oops. Hopefully I didn’t offend anyone there.

 

Anyhow, Johnny’s father went to the bar to order drinks for everyone, and asked me if I wanted anything. I inquired about the drinking age in Cuba, to which Johnny’s father responded: "If you’re thirsty enough, you’re old enough!"

 

And now for a flashback.

 

***

 

March, 2008. I was at a local pub called the Regal Beagle for the cast party of Jesus Christ Superstar. If you know me well, you know that I was way out of my element in this place: A pub whose bartender was unafraid of serving to minors. Everyone else was drinking and having fun, and I was doing none of the above. I wasn’t feeling depressed or anything. Just very… meh, for lack of a better word. About halfway through the evening, my friend Troy approached me. My dad does his mother’s taxes, and so we’re practically brothers. Anyhow, Troy approached me and told me that I hadn’t had enough to drink. He didn’t ask; he told me. "My dad has a nose like a bloodhound," I replied. "He would kill me if he smelled anything."

 

That was always my reply. Some people would believe it, while others would see through the lie but understand that I wasn’t a drinker, and leave me alone. Troy did not fit into either category. His response was to take a small glass filled with a clear liquid from beside him and place it beside me. Perhaps he was completely oblivious, but I think that he knew that it was my first time doing this and he wanted to help me.

 

"What’s this?" I asked. Somewhere deep down I was praying that he would say "water."

 

"Vodka," he said. "Try not to taste it."

 

I sat there with the shot glass in my hand for what felt like five minutes, but couldn’t have been more than five seconds. More thoughts crossed my mind within those few seconds than I could possibly type down.

Am I really going to do this?’ I remember thinking. If this was a scene from a movie, I would have dropped the glass to the ground, causing it to shatter and spill its contents all over the dirty floor. All eyes would have stared in shock at me as I silently stormed out of the room. But, it was not a scene from a movie, and my unshakable morals proved to be a little less solid than I thought.

 

Have you ever felt a part of yourself dying within you? How did it feel for you? For me, it felt like a wildfire was eating away at my insides. I’m not particularly proud of my choice. I think I might have killed a fragment of the child within me on that night; a small piece of my Innocence, lost forever.

 

***

 

So there I stood with a man who I had met less than 48 hours ago. A drink? Sure, why not. What’s good here? A mojito? Sure, I’ll have that.

 

The mojito tasted like crap though. I wasn’t able to finish the whole thing. But I didn’t want to be rude, so I politely sipped away for the better part of an hour.

 

And then guess who passed by the table? My family. Mother, father, sister, brother, grandfather, and grandmother. Of course they did. I had forsaken my own morals, and thus the Law of Karma states that they had to pass by. 

 

I knew that I had been spotted. There was no way that they hadn’t seen me, since the table was almost smack in the middle of their path. But they just walked on by and pretended not to notice.

 

‘Predictable’, I thought. ‘My dad wouldn’t be rude enough to say anything in front of these people, but tomorrow morning he’s going to kill me.’

 

See, I wasn’t really lying back in March when I used the "father-would-kill-me" excuse. My dad does have a nose like a bloodhound, and he’s warned me repeatedly not to try anything stupid with alcohol. I wasn’t doing anything stupid, per se, but I was drinking with almost complete strangers. That would qualify as stupid in his books. Thus my execution date was set for the next day.

 

It was around this time that Johnny suggested that we check out the "Club" that existed within the resort.

 

I was initially repulsed by this idea. Not because I’m repulsed by clubs in general (though I am). My repulsion in this case owed itself to the fact that my sister had entered the club on the previous day and described it as lame. And if my sister thinks that something is lame, it’s probably uberlame.

 

But what the hey. I had twelve hours to live, so I went into the club with Johnny. Accompanying us was Camilla, one of the Welsh girls at the table. She looked about my age or older but turned out to be only fifteen. But age is just a number; she acted mature enough to pass for a seventeen year old.

 

Anyhow, we proceeded into the club. The first thing I noticed was that it was more of a small room than a club. The dancing area was half the size of my bedroom, maybe even less. The second thing I noticed was that the room was air conditioned, in stark contrast to 90% of the resort. The third thing I noticed was that the people there all looked around my age. No old people and no little kids. I decided to give this place a chance. After all, my sister is wrong about things on a regular basis.

 

And indeed, she was wrong about this too, as the club turned out to be where I would meet most of the other people who would become my friends.

 

It’s a funny thing, actually. When you’re an Anglophone in Cuba, you’re forced to lower your standard of friendship to a very base level. Essentially, anyone who speaks English becomes your friend. All other qualifications are dropped out of necessity. If you start worrying about things such as compatibility and shared interests, you’ll be friendless. It kind of makes me wonder if I would have given these people any more than a passing glance if I had met them in Canada. A little more on this subject later. For now, back to the story.

 

It wasn’t long before me, Johnny, and Camilla were approached by another boy. He had heard us speaking English, and was thus compelled to join the group. He introduced himself as John (not to be confused with Johnny) in an accent that I couldn’t quite place. As it turned out, he was a sixteen year old Argentinean. One of the first things he did after introducing himself was light a cigarette and offer me one.

 

And see, this is what I mean. In Canada, I would have turned away from such a person. I’ve never been a fan of smoking, and so any person offering me a cigarette would instantly go into my Big Book of Bad Human Beings. But this was Cuba, and so I politely declined the cigarette and silently forgave John. A good thing too, since he was to become one of my best friends for the week. Oddly enough, that cigarette was the only one that I saw John smoke for the entire trip. By the end of the week I completely forgot that he was a smoker. The second thing he did was order cokes for both of us. And you know what? I don’t even like coke. Never have. I only accepted the coke to be polite. And yet the coke in Cuba actually tasted better than the coke in Canada. Tucola > Coka-Cola. This coke drinking became a tradition of sorts. Every single time I saw him thereafter, he would order two cokes at the nearest bar. I found this amusing because although he didn’t seem to have any problem with smoking, I never saw him touch a drop of alcohol in the whole week, despite the fact that he was of legal age.

 

I met several other notable people that night as well:

 

Hugo of France – All night long he remained fairly silent with a melancholy expression on his face. When he did speak, I heard the French accent, and was drawn to it. As it happened, he was only silent and unhappy because he spoke English only sparingly, and thus could not understand anyone else in the room, most of whom were Spanish-English bilinguists. Seizing the opportunity, I offered to translate for him as best as I could. While I was by no means perfect, I was still able communicate with him, and in the end that’s the important thing.

 

Javier of Spain – His name was Javier. At least, I think that’s how it’s spelled. It might also be Xavier. With an "H" sound to start the name. His name alone made him cool. Out of all the Spaniards I met, he was probably the funniest. His voice was hilarious because it was so… Spanish. In a good way. It’s very hard to describe. Just imagine the stereotypical pure-blooded suave Spanish person, and you have Javier. Except he was a bit shorter than the typical "tall, dark, and handsome" model.

 

Fernando of ??? – He came to be known as the Mexican for some reason. I don’t know why. I’m fairly certain that he was Spanish, and yet I could be entirely wrong on that account. Standing in excess of six feet, he completely dwarfed me. But he was a friendly giant, and pretty funny too.

 

Various girls of Spain and Argentina – There were so many of them, and I can’t remember a single name. They seemed fairly intelligent though, and not at all bad to look at. The exact opposite of Woodbridge (my hometown) girls, in order words.

 

Another wonderful thing: No one in this club knew me. And it was a wonderful feeling, because it meant that I could be anything I wanted to. In Canada, I’m considered deeply flawed. People know my quirks, and some avoid me because of them. But in Cuba, the only things that these people knew about me were my age and country of origin. And I was able to talk to a ton of girls over the course of the week without feeling weird about it. I just tried to act like a normal teenager. Who knows? Maybe back in Spain these girls were considered sluts or nerds, but to me they were ordinary teenage girls.

 

And that’s what the night was about, really. Being normal. We were a bunch of teenagers from the four corners of the earth, all talking to each other, drinking, dancing, and doing normal teenager stuff. It was… fun. I really enjoyed myself. Yes, even when Camilla and another girl (Serena?) forced me to get Hugo to translate  "Please remove your bra" into French (which, for the record, Hugo could not do, as he seemed confused on the concept of "bra". The girls were unwilling to give him an example of one).

 

They closed the club at 2:00 am, and so we all retreated to the bar outside of the club. Johnny and Camilla left for their rooms, and unfortunately for me and Hugo, the preferred language of speech began shifting from English to Spanish, and thus we were both screwed. I couldn’t understand a thing, he couldn’t understand a thing, and so we both decided to pack it in for the night around 2:30.

 

I went to bed that night feeling as if I had accomplished something. I was in such a great mood that I wasn’t even bothered by the rocky bed or frigid cold room that night. I went to sleep fairly soundly.

 

Tuesday, July 22nd.

 

The previous night had changed my opinion about this trip. I spent most of my day looking forward to sunset, when the real fun would begin. But in the meantime I still enjoyed myself. That morning I saw Hugo at breakfast while eating what I believed to be toast. I decided not to disturb him, however, since he was with some friends(?) of his, and would probably prefer to speak with them rather than be interrupted by someone who could barely speak his language.

 

After breakfast, I went to the pool. By this point I had read three out of the four books I had brought along (The third was a book called Damage by A.M. Jenkins. Not as good as either King Dork or The Boy from the Basement, but still an interesting read, mainly due to the fact that it was written from the second person point of view). Not wanting to waste the fourth just yet, I put my reading on hold for a while and instead took to doing other things, such as swimming in the pool. As strange as it might sound, swimming is not something that I normally do on vacations. I generally prefer to stay dry. But I had fun. Me and my brother invented a simple jump-into-the-pool type game on this day (named "The Impossible"), which we would expand upon for the rest of the week.

 

In addition, I took a long walk on the beach, going a bit farther than perhaps I should have. About half an hour into the walk someone a few years older than me approached me and started a conversation. He introduced himself (I forget his name, but it was something fairly common.) and asked me where I came from. "Toronto." I told him politely. "Canada."

 

He then said something to me. I couldn’t understand him because of his accent. I thought that I heard him say "Americana" somewhere in that sentence, so I assumed that he was making a joke about Americans.

 

Now, when I can’t understand what someone is saying, I tend to smile slightly and nod my head. I was about to do this when something (guardian angel?) told me that I should instead say "pardon?" and so I did. And he repeated himself.

 

"You want marijuana, good price?"

 

I declined and continued on my way. Five seconds later I turned around and he was gone. Hm.

 

I came back at about lunchtime. I found this nice Italian themed place where you could order pizzas, and picked up a few of them for me and my siblings. It was some of the best food at the resort, which isn’t saying much. Nonetheless, this particular restaurant became my go-to place for edible food.

 

I saw John a little later in the day. He ordered two cokes and we planned to go swimming, but he had to leave before we could execute this plan, as his father was calling him. This wasn’t the last time his father would screw things up, either.

 

Righto, let’s fast forward to the evening. For dinner that night we went to some Japanese place. If you know me well, you know that I hate rice, and almost every meal at this place came with rice. I didn’t enjoy it much. But it was one of those places where the chef cooks the food right in front of you and cuts vegetables at warp speed with big knives, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

 

After dinner, I went to the lobby, where I expected to find Johnny and his family. Sure enough, they were at the same table that they had been on the previous day. Only Johnny was missing. I asked them where he was, and they pointed towards the other end of the lobby. They told me that he was with two girls over there. Johnny’s mother gave me two alcoholic beverages and suggested that I should go over there and give the girls the drinks. I protested at first, but she insisted.

 

I felt pretty silly as I walked across the lobby, to be honest. In Canada, I would never go out of my way to speak to girls. But I was a different person in Cuba, remember? So I walked over to Johnny’s table with what I hoped was a confident gait and sat down.

 

"Are you alright, mate?" he asked.

 

"Pretty good, thanks." I answered. Then I addressed the girls. I can’t imagine that I said anything extraordinarily smooth when giving them the drinks, but I don’t think I said anything dorky, either. We chatted for a bit. They were from Brazil, as it happened. We asked each other all the usual questions about our home nations, and then decided to go to the club. We made a pit stop at the bar, however, so that Johnny could order himself a gin and tonic. Not wanting to look foolish, I decided that I would have something to drink as well. After the previous day’s mojito, I was in no mood to experiment, and so I asked for a straight shot of vodka, for familiarity’s sake. Unfortunately, this bar was not equipped with shot glasses. As such, the barkeep poured me a halfway full glass, rather than a shot.

 

I knew I that I had to do it in one go, because that’s what all the cool people on T.V. do, but I didn’t really want to. There was so much of it. It took me about five minutes to work up the courage. Finally, I tilted my head back and took in the liquid. Again I felt the familiar feeling of fire inside me, spreading to all of my extremities. But there was way too much of it. I couldn’t get it all. And then my eyes started to water a bit. So much for not looking foolish.

 

Then we went to the club. And here’s where my memory fails me a little bit.

 

I distinctly remember Camilla being at the club with us at the same time as the Brazilian girls (because I recall her musing at one point: "[Johnny’s] gone for a wank!"), but I can’t remember ever meeting up with her that night. She might not even have been in Cuba anymore by Tuesday night. So either we met the Brazilians on Monday rather than Tuesday (although I can’t remember Johnny leaving my sight for long enough on Monday to go meet up with the girls), or else we met up with Camilla at some point (which I can’t remember doing). Either way, I’m telling some part of this story wrong. I know what happened; I’m just not sure what order everything happened in.

 

The club was a bit quieter on Tuesday though. And although we entered together, the Brazilians ended up talking to each other and to Fernando, while Johnny, Camilla and I had our own private conversation. Johnny left the club for no reason a few times during the evening, prompting Camilla to say "He’s gone for a wank!" I laughed, mostly because I had finally heard the word "wank" used in context.

 

We didn’t stay out much later than midnight on Tuesday. I think Johnny was tired, so we mutually agreed to pack it in a bit early. I didn’t really feel like sleeping right away, so I took a ten minute walk around the resort first. Then I went to bed. Remarkably, I survived the day without my dad even mentioning the fact that I had been drinking the night before. This was the first night where falling asleep was really hard due to stomach pains which would affect me for the rest of the week. I blame the bad food, since most of my family complained of stomach pains as well.

 

Wednesday, July 23rd. 

 

By this point, mornings were routine: Wake up, shower, dress, brush teeth, go eat a shitty breakfast, and head to the pool. Me and my brother continued our pool game of "The Impossible", and my uncle and mother also got involved this time. The game consisted of leaping from the deck onto a floating platform in the middle of the pool. The goal was to complete the jump from as far as possible. Failure to land on the platform meant getting soaked. And so of course when it was my mom’s turn, I moved the platform father away as she was in mid-leap, causing her to miss by a mile. It was fun, and it killed some time. 

 

For lunch that day, we had pizza. Again. But it was decent pizza.

 

I went for another walk on the beach later on, going even further this time. This time the walk passed by without incident, although one person did comment on my Calgary Flames hat. Nothing derogatory, just a quick "Calgary Flames, eh?", to which I replied "Of course." I was amused.

 

Dinner that night was had at the Italian restaurant where I’d been having lunch lately. I ordered some spaghetti alfredo, which was surprisingly good. Not decent. Good. That’s about the highest praise you’ll ever hear me give food in Cuba.

 

Shortly after leaving the dinner restaurant, I saw Johnny walking in the opposite direction. He asked me if I was alright, and I told him I was. But then he told me that his parents had come down with a case of food poisoning, and that he wouldn’t be able to stay out that night. “That’s a shame,” I said. “Wish them well for me.” He nodded and thanked me, and went on his way.

 

So, it looked like my plans for the evening had been ruined. So what did I do? In Canada, I would have called it a night and gone home to sleep. But not in Cuba. In Cuba, I headed to the bar and had a few drinks, until I began to feel that ever-so-slight fuzzy feeling wash over me. Then I headed towards the beach. At the beach that night was some sort of dance party type thing. Definitely not my scene. Not in Canada, anyhow. But in Cuba I didn’t mind it. 

 

It ended up being worth the walk, because shortly thereafter I saw John. He ordered two cokes at the beach bar. I sipped away at my Coke whilst pretending to appreciate the terrible hip hop blaring from the speakers. A younger boy approached John a few times over the next fifteen minutes and spoke to him in Spanish. I asked John about it, and he told me that it was his cousin, Valentino. Cool.

 

After about twenty minutes, John beckoned me to follow him. "We are going to see the Mexican," he said. In spite of the fact that I didn’t know who that nickname belonged to yet, I followed John. What else was there to do?

 

Between the beach and the Mexican’s room was the pool. John took his now empty plastic cup and filled it with pool water, which he proceeded to throw at the Mexican’s room when we arrived. John had a pretty decent arm. He pegged the second-story room from thirty yards out. I was impressed. I’ve got a good arm myself, but whenever I try to throw a cup full of water, the water falls out mid-flight and the cup goes nowhere.

 

We knocked on the Mexican’s door. It opened, revealing Fernando and Javier, as well as another person who I didn’t know. His name was Alberto, I found out. They were watching Superbad. In Spanish. Which was fine by me. Conversing would have been very difficult, since everyone else in the room spoke Spanish as a first language. I was content to keep my eyes glued on the screen and imagine that the movie was in English. I’ve seen Superbad enough times to know when the funny parts are, so for the most part I laughed at all the right times. Except for the part where Fogell/McLovin is about to screw that chick and whispers "It’s in!" In English, that part is funny, but the Spanish voice actors butchered it, and I was the only one in the room to laugh. But whatever.

 

When the movie ended, we all headed back to the beach. Now I was screwed, since they were all speaking Spanish. Not to spite me or anything, mind you. They had the choice between speaking the first language of 80% of the group and speaking the first language of 20% of the group, after all. Eventually I got bored and decided to head back towards the room. On the way up the stairs leading back towards the lobby, I saw the Brazilian girls. We chatted for a short time, and then they headed down the stairs to the dance party thing. I continued on my way back to my room, but I didn’t go more than another hundred yards before I saw my uncle heading in my direction. I looked to the left and then to the right. Damn, no bushes to dive into. 

 

So I went for a walk with my uncle. I was wary at first, wondering if my father had sent him to check up on me. But then I remembered that my uncle is the coolest person in my family, and the least uptight. So we walked and we talked. We ended up walking back towards the beach dance party thing, which I didn’t completely mind. He asked me if I’d had anything to drink. “Off the record,” he said. I trusted him, so I told him. It wasn’t much, and I had already cleared most of it out of my system, but in my family even a drop of alcohol is a Big Deal. But he wouldn’t say anything to my dad. He was cool that way. The only thing he refused to do was order any drinks for me, which was fine. I didn’t feel like having anything else anyhow. So he ordered a coke for me and a rum & coke for himself. This turned out to be one of the more laughable moments of the trip. The bartender couldn’t figure out what my uncle meant when he said "A coke, and a rum and coke, please." I can see where he might have gotten slightly confused, but the fact that it took nearly five minutes for him to figure it out was just ridiculous. "Holy fucknuts," my uncle exclaimed. "Shit."

 

(And that’s another thing. Along with alcohol, swearing within my family is strictly prohibited. Even the word "damn" is taboo. We don’t swear in front of each other. Ever. But as I’ve mentioned, my uncle is a cool guy.)

 

When we saw that there wasn’t much to do at the dance thing, we headed back to the rooms. By then my head was completely clear, and I got to sleep easily. Or at least I would have, if my stomach wasn’t killing me and I wasn’t freezing my ass off. Stupid air conditioner.

Advertisements