In my planet, as in many others, lots of things are chased after.  But the difference here lies in the fact that we are pursuing much more and at the same time are being pursued ourselves.

For example, right now rice, that simple grain, has more people chasing after it than Jack Bauer himself.  The popular intelligence network constantly informs us about where we can find that grain.  Sometimes it’s in this supermarket, or that one, etc.  But if you don’t have a car (with a powerful and working engine), you will surely arrive late and there won’t even be a single grain left for you to take home.

With much hype, our planetary newspaper continues announcing the production of rice, but the truth is that only the press can see this.

Every once in a while I’m able to get some.  They tell me it was taken from Palco.  People, this is a diplomatic supermarket (at least in theory) where everything is more expensive than in other places.  Everyday Cubans (those who have cars are athletes or famous musicians) never buy there, for the journey of getting there consists of traveling through multiple provinces.  It’s located in the most intricate space of what once was the Biltmore Building, now known as Flores (which translated into English means “Flowers”- ironically, there are none anywhere around it).  It’s located very deep into the town, almost in the sea.  Despite all these difficulties, a diplomatic friend of mine told me that last week they had imported packs of rice and those Cubans who found out took 5 or 6 bags.  She couldn’t step out of her shock, she told me that only in the 8th season of 24 (the TV show) had she seen so many people chasing someone or something.

Translated by Raul G.