I have recently spent a week in Cuba and was looking forward to getting away from the disgusting summer we’ve been enjoying (not) in England. I had a pretty stressful time getting to the airport as I was taking a ludicrous amount of stuff for the family I stay with and also for the family of a Cuban friend of mine. In my hold luggage alone, I had 24 pairs of shoes, none of which were for me to wear. My hold luggage weighed in at a massive 21 kilos – the maximum allowed is 23 kilos – and I struggled to even lift it at the check-in desk. It would seem to me that most people take a similar amount of stuff on holiday just for themselves. I don’t think I even own 23 kilos worth of clothes and shoes and even if I did, would never take that much on holiday with me.
My hand luggage was filled with my poor selection of clothes and even more gifts for my Cuban friends. It weighed eight kilos. The maximum allowed is six kilos. I hope you readers are paying attention and noting these various weights, because it might come in handy sometime. The woman at the check-in desk tutted and claimed that I’d have to put two kilos worth of stuff in my hold luggage. I knew that even Paul Daniels would struggle to ‘magic’ a further two kilos into my bursting hold luggage, so I fiddled about in front of the check-in desk, took out a bit of stuff and put it onto the floor in front of the desk. The Clerk then re-weighed my hand luggage, said it was OK and dismissed me, so I returned the same stuff to the hand luggage and disappeared before she could realise what I’d done. Now that’s magic…
“I looked forward to stepping off the plane and into the steaming tropical sun”
With the luggage issue satisfactorily resolved, I looked forward to stepping off the plane and into the steaming tropical sun in nine and a half hours’ time. It was not good news when, on our approach to Havana, the Captain announced that he was going to have to hang around a bit because of torrential rain in Havana. In fact, not only was there torrential rain in Havana, there were similar deluges all over Cuba. Every Cuban I spoke to claimed that it was really unusual to have rain all over the island at the same time. I had plenty to discuss on the subject of rain, as we have of course been suffering a similar inundation in the UK for the past three months. The difference with Cuban rain though, is that I’ve still miraculously managed to return with a suntan. Now that really is magic.