A Month in Havana-Part IV

An apagon* and a rana**

A few days after we arrived, there was a particularly fierce late afternoon thunderstorm. You know the kind-all of a sudden dark grey clouds appear seemingly from nowhere, and before you know it, they start dumping enormous amounts of water. It was getting dark and it was too humid to sit outside, so we were happily sitting in our living room, listening to music and playing cards. And then it happened-our first apagon, which was really not much of a surprise as the power often goes out during or after summer storms.

Part4-2I came prepared with small flashlights and tea candles and we soon continued our card game. It wasn’t all that enjoyable, since we could barely see the cards in our hands and it was getting hotter by the minute. But, there was nothing else to do and going for a walk was not an option as it was still raining pretty hard. And then, my son announced he needed to use the washroom, not surprising considering the amount of juice/water/iced tea he is capable of gulping down. He almost immediately came back and in a quiet but alarmed voice said: “Mom, come quickly.” What could it be? I thought to myself, but as soon as I turned the corner and joined him in front of the washroom, I saw it-a huge frog sitting on the toilet seat cover, looking back at us. We took a couple of steps back and our uninvited guest took a leap forward-right on top of the washroom door. By now, we were joined by my daughter who immediately started screaming and yelling: “Oh my god, what are we going to do, oh my god!” We started with closing the doors leading to the bedrooms, which the mildly hysterical teenager actually slammed, which startled the frog, which jumped onto the wall in front of us. More screaming. The frog was obviously scared of us, and we were obviously not scared of a small, harmless, hop-loving animal, but rather of the thought of spending the night with it inside the house. I was already sweating profusely, and the image of the frog jumping on my head in the middle of the night, made me sweat even more. As if trying to make us decide what to do next, the frog jumped on the floor in front of our feet, with the loudest splash, almost as if it landed in a puddle of water. More screaming. I will possibly go deaf tonight. The little man then took matters into his hands-he grabbed a broom from a broom closet and with a very serious face started gently nudging the creature towards the back patio doors, where I stood waiting. Every time he touched it, the frog would jump-first on the fan, then on the phone and pretty much every other piece of furniture in the living room. Should I even say it-screaming and more screaming, followed by: “I’m never touching that phone/shelf/fan again!”, although I noticed that a similar comment was not offered when it came to the TV remote? The frog was getting closer to the wide open door and it soon hopped outside and into the dark night, and I’m sure, immediately forgot all about us. A few minutes later the power came back and that was that.

* blackout, power outage
** frog

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