HelpSystems Blog

Musings on Technology, Cuban Cigars and Mojitos in Havana

For the last two weeks I’ve been on vacation to Cuba with my family. I thought I would share some experiences on life over there from an IT guy’s perspective.

It wasn’t a great start. We had a problem with the aircraft so we had to land in Orlando first to fix it as there would have been no chance of the plane being repaired in our first Cuban destination, the resort of Caya Coco.

It was very late when we finally checked into our hotel later and we discovered the power was out – a regular occurrence in Cuba. But we couldn’t let it dampen our spirits as we went to bed for only 4 hours “shut eye” before continuing our journey to Havana!

The plane this time was an old propeller plane, never before have we been placed so carefully in our seats to ensure the balance was perfectly equal. Awesome flight!

After being awake for almost 24 hours I started my fifth glass of wine and started to chill out. (Did I mention I was on holiday).

Havana was amazing. It felt like I was appearing in the TV show “Life On Mars” (where the protagonist awakes from a coma in the 1970′s and experiences the cars and music from the era) – except this was more like the 1930’s with an abundance of classic American cars.

And it wasn’t just the cars that were vintage and old fashioned.

The internet technology (14kb/S) initially frustrated me and I’ll even admit it came close to making me angry.  I couldn’t download emails, catch up on news, use the VPN, or even check my bank balance; things we simply take for granted back home. Their mobile data network was a lot quicker, although at $9/MB I decided to pass on that!

It was about this time I started to go a bit native … mojitos were fabulous and cheap (less than $4) and I could relive my misspent youth by smoking huge Havana cigars and pretending I was a film producer or Winston Churchill.  The sights and sounds of Havana were really quite intoxicating and, with the 1 million (yes, you read that correctly) tourist police in Cuba, one of the safest places I have stayed.

As the holiday progressed however I noticed that I became as mellow as the cigar smoke and as chilled as a frozen mojito. I became calmer and happier. After musing about the situation I arrived at a carefully considered conclusion.

At dinner one night I leant across the table and told my 17 year old son, “Technology should make your life easier and help you relax, not take over your life making you completely dependent on it.”

I think he got the message. It was a father and son moment.

But I must admit he couldn’t hide his joy at getting back to 50Mb/S and vehicles from his generation.

And if I’m honest – neither could I. But all that peace and quiet was good while it lasted.

Anyway, now I’m back at my desk, let me know if I can help you solve any IT challenges to make your life easier.