Last minute shopping trip! For those of you uninitiated in family trips to Cuba, Valsan (“los que vienen no se van,” roughly translated to “those who come never leave”) is a magical establishment were a Cuban can find affordable items for the Cuban home, including “gusanos” (the worm-like suitcases for light travel and maximum stuffing). We needed another gusanito for our overhead bin and decided to get some more things that were on sale and did not add significantly to our pound limit. The last picture is of “pomada china” (“Chinese cream,” the Chinese version of Vick’s, also coined by Cubans as vivaporú,
aka VapoRub), a brilliant and famous invention across all Cuba. No Cuban child has grown up without experiencing the benefits of this menthol-like paste to open up the chest and ease nasal congestion.
And here is why I keep talking about our weight limitations: we have the normal U.S. airplane weight restrictions, plus the ones in Cuba. Each person can arrive in Cuba with 66 pounds and a non-weighted personal item (the purse I will carry with some heavier jewelry) before we have to pay per pound to the Cuban customs. These weight restrictions have been simplified over time. Some years ago, last time we went, we had to separate food and medicine from clothes and all else, as food could be brought in without a weight cap. Now we can combine everything but pay above 66 pounds (with unlimited, non-weighted medicines kept separate). Confusing? That’s probably because I’m still trying to memorize the crash course my mom has been giving me this evening. #cubantravel #valsan #cubanhustle #enlalucha #pomadachina