We finally made it from the airport to the house we would be staying in. We chose to rent rooms in a house as I had read online that this was the most cost-efficient way to stay in Havana. Given that Cubans don't make a lot of money but the government provides rations of food and other necessities, the average Cuban does not have much disposable income to spend on hotels, restaurants etc. As such, all such establishments are for tourists and prices are quite high. There was also something funny about having two currencies in the country - as tourists we only used and saw CUCs (Cuban Convertible Peso) vs. CUP (Cuban Pesos.) I'm still not quite sure why both currencies are used.
On our first day in Cuba, most of us had some work to finish. We had foolishly thought we would have wifi.....think again. Internet penetration in Cuba is at 25% (compare that to Kenya's 40%.) In addition to that, it's not really internet, but more like intranet. Everything is really tightly controlled and you can only access certain sites. In a police state such as Cuba ( anecdotally we heard that ~6M of the 11M citizens at the time were in some way policing on behalf of the Government), it is therefore not hard for them to control the internet. We ended up going to an upscale hotel to use their cyber cafe and were charged the exorbitant rate of USD 15/hour. Clearly at such costs, it is not hard to restrict access to internet for a population where the average monthly salary (after tax) is ~$25.
We had lunch at a quaint little place called El Cochinito (The Pig or piglet.) The meal cost around $20/person and was ok but definitely did not feel that a plate of homemade rice, beans and a bit of meat should cost that much.
After that we spent a bit of time walking round the city and in the evening we went to Casa de la musica for live salsa. The music was great. I loved watching people dance - I was really nervous about dancing as everyone was so good. After some time though we all gave in to the music and danced as best as we could. What did I drink? Cuba libres of course:-)