Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mopping Up in Cuba

Mopping Up in Cuba
December 21, 2011
Jorge Milanes Despaigne

HAVANA TIMES, Dec 21— In Cuba it's customary to mop the floors of houses
using a frazada (a medium thick, towel-sized cloth). This is one of the
most common and never-ending duties in Cuban homes, thanks to the dust
that inevitably blows in.

I've seen loose-stringed mops in only a few places here in Cuba (in the
houses of foreign families living here and in the offices of
joint-ventures companies, meaning those that receive some percentage of
their capital from foreign investors).

Fazadas — made out of a fabric that absorbs water well and is easy to
wring out — measures about three feet long foot and foot and a half wide.

During the hard-hitting Special Period crisis of the 1990s, these floor
clothes became very scarce, and those that were available were too

Instead, some people ventured to use old t-shirts on the end of their
mop handle, which is a tool that enables one to clean the house with a
frazada without having to get on their knees, like in the old Cinderella

It turns out that yesterday my neighbor came over to my house worried.
There is a rumor in the street that has her upset. "The frazadas are
going to disappear again," she said. "My sister's father-in-law found
one in a store," she continued, "but it didn't cost the usual 20 pesos –
but 35 pesos now!"

The news had me worried me too. Since if before I had to think twice
about buying a new floor cloth, now it seems I'm going to have to go
back to using my undershirts. Just think, now frazadas are going to be
more expensive than a pack of ground turkey.

No comments:

Post a Comment