Monday, November 26, 2012

Two Amusing Statistics

Two Amusing Statistics / Rebeca Monzo
Fernando Damaso, Rebeca Monzo, Translator: Unstated

My husband, who is also a blogger, likes to gather stories and compile
statistics. On one of the many days I have to go to Immigration with the
son of a friend, whom I am representing, he decided to take us since he
had gotten a little gasoline for his new thirty-five year old Lada.

As the lines in that office are always endless and the clocks seem to
have stopped, Fernando amused himself while waiting for us in the car by
compiling two curious and impromptu statistics. In the three hours he
was parked on a stretch of 17th Street in Vedado, he observed that one
out of every three people who walked along the sidewalk on the left was
a woman of mixed race.

At the same time he was compiling another statistic. Of the seven
"buzos" ("divers" — men who collect recyclables from trash containers)
who passed by, one caught his attention. After removing all the
discarded items from a large dumpster designed for that purpose, he left
empty-handed, mumbling to himself. Fernando, who was beginning to get
bored, stopped him and asked what had happened to cause him to complain.

"The problem is that there is no trash to collect," he said. "If people
don't have money, they don't buy things, and if they don't buy, they
don't have anything to throw out."

My husband, who can be quite straightforward, then said to him, "If I
were you, I would go through the trash bins in Siboney*. I am sure you
will find what you are looking for there."

*Translator's note: A well-to-do suburban neighborhood of Havana.

November 23 2012

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