Friday, September 15, 2006

The Analog Tourist

Actually, I take that back. There is one time I was happy to have a film camera. It was in Cuba a few years ago. (Yes, it was a legal trip. Please stop tapping my phone.)

The hotel we stayed in was ridiculously nice—far more luxurious than what Pipi and I usually stay in. I had brought a flashlight, and my own soap and shampoo, thinking this poor benighted country couldn’t possibly provide toiletries and 24-hour-a-day electricity. I also packed a tiny portable radio, because baseball playoffs were on, and I wondered if I might be able to catch a signal out of Miami to see how the Red Sox were doing. The hotel turned out to have ESPN and high-speed Internet. That was humbling.

One other thing surprised us about the hotel. We’d all read that electrical sockets in Cuba were just like ours. As it turned out, though, this particular hotel was a Dutch/Cuban joint venture that tended to attract a mostly European clientele, and they had European style sockets. As a result, everyone with digital cameras spent a lot of time at the front desk trying to borrow the few available adaptors the staff kept on hand. On day three, one guy on the trip cannibalized my flashlight batteries to run his camera on. It was a good time to be analog.

No comments: