by Daniel Chavarria
We all know Cuba, the land of sun, rum, and Socialism, the only true worker’s paradise left in the Western Hemisphere. And it is true paradise, especially if you’re a Eurocapitalist on a tourist visa. Not only is the climate nice, the locals bend over backwards for that Yankee dollar, and there’s a pretty good sex scene for whiling away the sultry hours between Comrade Fidel’s exciting broadcasts. Take entrepreneur Alicia: she started as a lowly bicycle hooker pedaling around Havana showing her groceries. When a rich foreigner (one of the guys with new cars) slows down to admire, her bike pedal falls off, and next thing you know, she’s giving Cuban dance lessons in exchange for a fridge, a new A/C unit, or some Dom Perignone. And if the Juans are nice, it ain’t a bad job. She’s set her sights on marrying one and blowing Havana for somewhere a bit more bourgeois, like Madrid or Milan.
One day she snares horny Canadian, Victor King. Victor works for a Dutch company that wants to create some sort of ecotourism site that involves diving the sunken galleons littering the Cuban coast. Con man Victor’s boss Rieks Groot just loves him — not only did he get a “1” on his performance review, but Rieks likes to dress up and pretend to be Victor’s wife, Elizabeth. Little Alicia is raking it in providing sex shows for them — in front of a one-way mirror, she humps some lucky guy Victor chooses at random. Well, it’s a job. And while she’s having a career, poor drunken Rieks falls and pokes his brains out, leaving Victor and Alicia in a world of hurt. Can they kidnap the corpse and scam some cash from the bereaved and uninformed family? Or is it back to the pedals for Alicia and Mexican prison for Victor? He did seem to enjoy it, picking up some Yoga deep breathing techniques and a taste for transvestite love.
Adios is just about the perfect book to pack for a summer weekend at the beach. It’s suitably sleazy, has the most outstanding cover art, and combines a little suspense with some explicit but surprisingly unerotic sex scenes. Plus, there’s just the least little bit of self improvement — you’ll run into a few new words like “unctuous” and “macro cephalic,” but you’ll figure out how they relate to a penis just from the context. I’m not clear on how real the descriptions of Havana are, since it’s still not the sort of place I can visit, but it sounds a lot like Vegas without the slots, and everyone seems to have a car and a villa and food and booze. Hey, maybe it really IS a worker’s paradise.