A Prison, a Paradise

Not long ago, there were smart people who doubted that such a thing as a post-Fidel Cuba could even exist. What comes after the Castros is as much of a mystery as ever.
  1. On the plane, something odd but also vaguely magical-seeming happened: namely, nobody knew what time it was. Right before we landed, the flight attendant made an announcement, in English and Spanish, that although daylight saving time recently went into effect in the States, the island didn’t observe that custom. As a result, we had caught up — our time had passed into sync with Cuban time. You will not need to change your watches. Then, moments later, she came on again and apologized. She had been wrong, she said. The time in Cuba was different. She didn’t specify how many hours ahead. At that point, people around us looked at one another. How could the airline not know what time it is where we’re going? Another flight attendant, hurrying down the aisle, said loudly, “I just talked to some actual Cubans, in the back, and they say it’ll be the same time.” That settled it: we would be landing in ignorance. We knew our phones weren’t going to work because they were tied to a U.S. company...

The complete text of “A Prison, a Paradise” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.nytimes.com.

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