On Friday I got up very willing, had four errands to run and fortunately, they were all close to home.

The first was to go to a specialty pharmacy, where one could buy the prescribed medicine. Arriving there about 10.30 am, what was my surprise to see everyone in a white coat sitting on the curb of the sidewalk, conversing lazily, but some other people who seemed to be waiting. On seeing the doors of the establishment in question closed, I asked, addressing one of white-coated ones, what’s going on?

Very dismissive, barely glancing at me, he replied: The pharmacy will be closed at least one hour, because they just fumigate. Protesting quietly, knowing the futility of it, I moved on to the Bank of Credit, my next stop. Upon arriving and noting that there was no line, surprised, I asked the doorman. “It’s that there is no electricity throughout the area,” he said gently.

Determined to resolve some of the planned errands, I directed my steps to the offices of the courier Aerovaradero, near the area, to investigate a package sent from Miami, which has been lost for two months.

After queuing for nearly an hour, just for information, they sent me inside and made me wait another twenty minutes while I watched the employees in their coming and going, living it up and joking with each other and discussing their personal affairs. I left upset because they wouldn’t give me any details.

Then I dropped by the fruit and vegetable stand, which faces the Polyclinic, to buy a product that I needed. I waited more than thirty minutes for the employee’s arrival, whom I was informed had gone to lunch couple of hours ago.

The sign placed in front of the stand says it’s open to the public from 9 am. to 5 pm. Nowhere did it say anything about lunch time. I left there, you can imagine how.

Also, on my way home I saw the reason for the lack of electricity: the tree murderers, forgive me, the personal who chop them off, saw in hand, was destroying the entire grove on Tulipan street.

At the time those verses of the mournful stanzas of November 27 came to mind, and paraphrasing them I recited to myself: The corpses of trees which, one day, were the ornaments of my country.

I returned home as swiftly as I could. I swear, never have I felt so happy to get inside. That popular maxim was ratified once again: Getting off on the wrong foot.

February 7 2012

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