WHO: Marlene Valdivia

RESIDENT OF: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

WHAT: Cuban Blanket

WHERE FROM: Trinidad, Cuba

WHEN: 2008

At the start of a warm winter day during October 2007, in a small town in Cuba called Trinidad, an announcement was made that there was going to be a sale of blankets.

Because of the economic crisis we were experiencing in the island it was almost impossible to obtain any products from the establishments authorised to sell them and despite prices being at an exchange of 25 Cuban Pesos for 1-dollar people rushed to buy as soon as the sale of new merchandise was announced.

I went to do the line up at 5 AM. The store opened at 9:00 AM. The number on my ticket was low so I had high hopes of walking away with some bedspreads. When the doors opened at 9:00 AM there was a huge rush. People were pushing against each other hoping to be the first inside in total disregard of the numbering system given to those that had been there first.

I was able to finally make it inside with a shoe in my hand, completely uncombed and rushed for the second line up in front of the table where the blankets were being sold. Finally, it was my turn and that is when they told me that there were only 3 left. I needed 4.

Every time that my husband, our two children and I wanted to use the blankets the one of us that was the last in had to beg the others to share a piece of it because with only three for the four of us none of the blankets had an owner.

And so it was that in April of 2008 the blankets came with us when we emigrated to Canada. We preferred them to keeps us warm when we sit down to watch TV at home. Sometimes we can feel the cool air penetrate through the many holes that time has made in the blankets but we still preferred them because they are soft and smell like CUBA.


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