“The Cuban stores as a mirror of the socialist revolution” – the title came down from the editorial “Truth” of two decades ago. At about the time stands on Liberty Island. This fact could not be better illustrated by the Cuban shops – first of all, happy shopping for citizens of Cuba, who built many years the home of socialism.
Source: Eugene Buzuk
But to start is to make a retreat. Many people know (but also many do not know) that are in use in Cuba two currencies: the locals are content with simple Peso (1USD = 30 Pesos), the citizens of the rest of the free world are calculated convertible peso (they are “cookies” – from the reduction of CUC). Formally, the cookies are tied to the dollar, but in the exchange of money from the American enemy, you will always take a commission – 10%, and in particularly arrogant and all around 20%. So it is more profitable to change the Euro. Have access to the cookies and those Cubans who are fortunate enough to have a relation to tourists – the main source of hard currency on the island.
As a consequence of the two currencies – the two types of prices, in simple and convertible pesos. The first is most often indicated by the dollar, but with a vertical line, the second – with two. For regular pesos you can buy fruit, vegetables, bread, meat, etc. They are paid in the markets and in the “cafe” for local (but they are in a different time.)
Stores that sell for pesos, evoke bad memories of the nineties – the queue for scarce commodity (and in short supply almost all), coupons for salt and oil, food stamps and eerie kind of interiors:
In these shops you will not find tourists, but you can easily change for large bills (if you have a non-convertible pesos), including the famous coin with Che Guevara, three pesos.
Typically, the vendors are friendly and willing to communicate with a few foreigners. And the level of patriotism is through the roof – the terms of the portraits of national heroes duhopodemnye slogans.
In Havana you can find not only small shops where they sell for pesos, but the similarity of our grocery stores. Staff at them much more nervous and shoot does not allow. Interiors – greetings from the eighties. Range approximately from the same place.
For the cookies you can buy imported goods. That is, almost everything. But the prices are unpleasantly surprised. Home appliances is a half to two times more expensive than in Europe. Products about as much as we do. Ordinary Cubans who do not have income in the cookies, do nothing in such shops.
And a few words on the market – they are very picturesque, prices moderated, and sellers are not very happy tourists. There is to go particularly nostalgic for the scoop and thirsty exotics. And that, and other bulk.
I would like to finish a reminder about safety. Many tourists are afraid of pickpockets and beggars. They really are. But in my experience, they are much more in tourist areas. In the quarters for the local where it seemed much nicer and quieter.