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  • the doorbell rang
    before opening it I felt a bit unsure, I wasn't supposed to be there, it could be someone from the city council of someone else whose caribbean spanish was too far away for my ears
    then it quietly rang again so I unlocked the pad and peered outside

    there it was, a tall man, suit and necktie, a suitcase in his right hand, his arm still up near the doorbell.
    Havana in August is not that easy for that kind of attire but he could manage it well, I thought.

    It occurred to me that "he's from the Government, checking on us: foreigners trying to dodge cuban regulations"

    "is xxx here?" he asked, he meant the tenant, a mid aged woman, nice enough to rent her apartment for a reasonable amount, for a reasonable time.

    "no she isn't, she went to the market" too briskly I thought, I should be more careful with my broken spanish

    "well, you know" hanging his suitcase before my puzzled gaze, "I got her stuff" and he smiled

    You know when you desperately try to buy time, exploring all of the corners of your brain scrubbing any possible thread, link in order to understand what is happening around you, wishing to make any sense of it.

    "sure, you want to come in"? I said stepping a little back, opening the living room to his unexpected figure.

    A few paces in, dropped himself near the table and flipped the suitcase open in no time, all at once, showing the content. It was fish, fresh-almost-alive fish. Gorgeous caribbean fleshy fish. I couldn't believe my own eyes.

    I smiled, he smiled back and the room changed its light. I thought about the price realizing that it was so odd, so unlikely but it was ok. We found a fair agreement and the fish was ours, but our outlawed fish would feed another family as well, in a different way.

    "It figures" I thought. He is going to fill his suitcase with other food on his way back home, magically changing currencies in his suit and necktie, no sweat.

    Cuba is a unique country, people there have many things to say and learned to do it in a different way, they truly represent a different way of living, probably not good for everybody but 'different' sometimes matters.

    The door closed behind his shoulders, lighter, happier maybe. Funny things happen on this caribbean island, best of all people can enjoy their lives here. They will find their way out.

    sooner or later they will.
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