Thursday 28 November 2013

Getting into Cuba

Varadero airport
Before we could get into Cuba,
Our visas we had to complete.
They had to be written in biro,
With no errors, all perfect and neat.

We'd heard lots of horrible stories,
Of people turned back at the border.
We assembled our documentation
And prayed it would all be in order...

Through passport control we had made it!
Another long queue we then met:
Via security had to be processed,
As we might pose a hazard or threat.

We were frisked and our bags were looked into.
(Was "terrorist" writ on our faces?)
At length, having proved we were harmless,
We moved onwards, in search of our cases.

The carousel belt was in action:
There was plenty of luggage thereon,
But ours clearly wasn't amongst it,
So where in the world had it gone?

It must have come out very early:
Our bags had been dumped to one side.
My friend made a quick bid for freedom,
But I (sad to say) was denied.

A woman, quite big and officious,
Thrust a very long form in my hand.
She insisted it must be completed,
(Though quite why, I did not understand).

Baggage reclamation

For passport...pen...glasses I fumbled,
(This was all going to take quite a while),
Then I noticed her collecting some others
Which were stacked up, unread, in a pile.

So I filled in some meaningless numbers,
On this tedious small-printed page.
I wrote down my name - "Roger Rabbit" -
And knocked twenty odd years off my age.

Were these forms part of some kind of survey?
Were they wind-ups, deterrents or pranks?
Well "Roger", my mythical tourist,
Just imported a million Swiss francs!

I proffered this great work of fiction,
(Accepted with barely a glance),
Then I headed at speed for the exit,
And escaped while I still had the chance.

On the bus, found my canvas bag missing:
It contained almost everything vital.
"Stop the coach!" - it was there with the cases -
Now I'd earned "hopeless witterer" title.

Had been organized - all now is chaos.
I begin to be very afraid.
My suitcase's padlock has vanished,
And my visa has twice been mislaid.

Yes, I've finally got into Cuba,
But am haunted by worry and doubt
That I'll somehow fall foul of "the system"
And find that they won't let me out.

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