Here is my first of many posts about being back in the Real World. Hopefully I'll be back on track soon.
|There's a crazy bird in that Cuban tree.|
I'm missing the banyans while in the U.S.
Being in a small, isolated base means that you have to travel to the United States for certain services you can't get in GTMO.
In just the first week I was back on US soil, I managed to get fitted for two pairs of glasses, got a much-needed haircut, and had a much-overdue mammogram.
You can get a haircut at GTMO, by the way, but the other two things I cannot do there.
Any time you go into a place for an appointment, you have to fill out paperwork. It's just part of dealing with insurance, etc. I will never, ever take for granted again how easy it is to fill out said paperwork once I have moved overseas.
You know that section you have to fill out about your address, employer, etc?
Try explaining to a stranger that you live in Cuba.
The conversation on my end goes something like this:
Well, my address is FPO, AE, which is Fleet Post Office, Armed Forces Europe. I actually live overseas.
Yes, Americans can live in Cuba, as long as it's on the military base there. There is a small Naval base that's been there for over 100 years.
No, I'm not military.
It's funny you asked. I am a librarian and teacher. I work at the school.
Yes, there is a school there. There are hundreds of families on the base.
No, I haven't met Fidel.
It is safe. Seriously. It is the safest place we've ever lived, hands down.
No, I don't get to speak Spanish everyday. I do, however, speak it.
No, I can't buy cigars there. There is still an embargo.
Yes, I hear that Havana is beautiful and there are many old cars there. Again, there's that crazy embargo. And no, I cannot ever, ever leave the base to go to the rest of Cuba.
At this point, either the person catches on that I live at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, also known as "Gitmo," or I have to tell them. Then things sometimes get rather funky. For example:
No, I don't work at the prison.
My job has nothing to do with the prison.
No, there are no children at the prison. When I said I teach at a school, I really meant a school. Like for children. Not for adult prisoners.
No, I haven't been there. Like I said, I don't work there, and you can't just randomly show up for a tour or anything.
I really don't have an opinion about it.
I really don't know if it is Obama's fault that it is still open. You may want to contact your Congressperson over that one.
Like I am going to have a conversation about politics and give my personal opinion about Gitmo with a total stranger. . .
It is bizarre. And it happens EVERY TIME I have to go to an appointment that requires some paperwork.
So for my last appointment?
I'm from Mississippi. I'm just visiting relatives.
And thankfully I didn't have to give my Cuban address.