La noche del apagon
When I'm opening up my baggage at the guest house room, suddenly the light
goes out. Out side is already getting dark. Even though I fully open up
the door, can't see anything in such a dim light.
So I go to living room with some anxiety.
Madam Carmen is there and says "Yeah, It's a power failure (apagon),
isn't it?" Then she brings up a fired candle from kitchen and passes
it to me carefully. She looks so accustom to this kind of situation. Actually,
in the local towns of Cuba I often got power outage beside I had not had
such experience in Havana.
There is a nuclear power plant here in Cienfuegos. But it's under construction.
No, actually the construction has been stopped by shortage of funds because
the Soviet Union was collapsed. Nothing is more useless than unfinished
nuclear power plant. To be worse, I heard the reactor already had small
amount of nuc. fuel. The power failure happen almost every day in the town
which has unfinished power plant. It's a world of sure realism. Umm ...
but I think the solution is quite simple.
Carmen tells me passing the candle "Fumi, I wanna introduce you to
my relatives cos' you are our first Japanese guest. Could you come with
me after dinner?"
- Well, that was before "the Buena vista movie". Cuba hadn't
been popular destination for Japanese yet. Almost no Asians in the city.
I got many unpleasant experience because of this curious eyes to Asian.
But on the other hand, I got also great hospitality in same reason like
"Sure. That's my pleasure" I accept the offer.
The city is totally blackout. Pedestrian way has big holes here and there.
So we have to be careful for walking down. I hold a flash light with one
hand and take her hand with the other. Even in the down town, I can see
thousands of stars when I look up the sky.
"I envy Japan. You yearn big money. So you can have a rich life"
Suddenly, Carmen said. "But even if you make the big money in Japan,
you have to spend a lot for living. Maybe you have to take the fully packed
commuter train every morning. You like such a stressful life?" I ask
her. "Neup, I don't like it" She answers clearly.
That's unexpected answer. I've had these conversations hundreds of time
all over the world. However usually, they cannot understand my sense of
life value. The conversation was always ended up the words "It's the
best making the big money" But Carmen's answer is not like that. It's
"Yeah? You understand? It may not be called Rich Life, I think"
I told her with pleasure.
Cuba was the first Socialism country for me. So I was very nervous. I have
thought the social systems, and of course the people, is too far away to
me. So I didn't have any confidence getting across my idea to them. For
instance, to explain my life value or job, from which point should I get
start the description? If I have to get start with explaining "What's
the capitalism? Or what the rich means?" But that's totally my misunderstanding.
They knew about it. I got know "my ignorance" to Cuba after all.
I say to Carmen jumping big hole on the street. "But we seldom have
power failure like this in Japan" "Well, I know. Here in Cienfuegos,
power supply is unstable. So it always happens""But Carmen, the
blackout is not always bad thing. See? We can see such beautiful stars"
"Yes. surely" "Oh. You make sense this happy feeling, Senora
Carmen?" We laugh under the beautiful stars.
The laugh maybe includes satisfaction for understanding each other and
some cynical meanings to our society.
"Domino" Cienfuegos, Cuba 1998
3A player China, the rising dragon