I think one of the things that I most enjoyed about touring Cuba is that it is one of the few tourist destinations left on earth that is unspoiled by the ugly American tourist. You know who I’m talking about, talks too loud, wears socks with sandals and a hawaiian shirt. Okay, that might be too stereotypical. Still, they just simply aren’t in Cuba and thats one of the greatest things about it.
Perhaps I just enjoyed that people assumed I was anything but American. I was asked where in Canada I was from, and other nationalities I was mistaken for were German, French and Spanish. Some people may have been alarmed by this, but I found it rather refreshing that everywhere I went people weren’t pointing out the ugly American tourists. One German man I met even told me that he whole-heartedly supported the embargo because it kept Cuba free of Americans and that was one of the things he liked best about it.
Although shock was the primary l reaction when I told people I was American, their second reaction was curiosity. They wanted to know all about how I was able to get to Cuba, and occasionally the conversation led to questions regarding my opinions of US-Cuban relations (a whole other topic for a whole other day). Although I didn’t have many interactions with everyday Cubans, I did have a few, and all they were able to talk about was how highly they thought of American and how much they wanted to be able to travel there and see what it was like for themselves. It was awesome to hear from them that, even after all the shenanigans the compromise diplomatic relations between my country and theirs, that they still thought highly of my country and only had positive things to say about it.