A Chinese and Cuban Talk Choices

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The Chinese (Chi) and the Cuban (C) return for their second meeting.

Chi – Make money for what, was the question, correct?
C – Yes.
Chi – I think of money as freedom. It lets me do what I want. But you can get trapped by it, too,
C – Trapped as in…?
Chi – Thinking that money is life itself.
C – Hmm.
Chi – If money is all you think about, well, then, you’re a poor rich person.

C laughs.

Chi – Most of us want to do this, that or the other. Money can let you do that.
C – Or you can watch it pile up.
Chi – There was an American businessman who traded in silver, two brothers in fact, the Hunt brothers if I remember correctly, from Texas, who said, ‘Money is like manure, if you spread it around it does a lot of good, but if you pile it up it stinks like hell.’
C – (smiling) You can’t buy life with it.
Chi – Well, it can get you great medical care if you need it, but a pile of it does not mean life well lived.
C – If a person does what they want with their lives, then you could say they are rich.
Chi – I agree.
C – But there has to be a great pleasure to know that you can make money whenever you need it. And have some to spare also. Just in case.
Chi – Yes. Money equals freedom. If you’re not a slave to it.
C – I have done many things with my life… but there are more things I’d like to do. Living in Cuba restricts my freedom.
Chi – That’s too bad.
C – Have you done what you want with your life?
Chi – I have not.
C – Would you call yourself rich?
Chi – No, but I have some money saved.
C – What are you saving it for?
Chi – I’d like to get married to a very good looking woman.
C – I see. Do you think that the more money you have, the more beautiful a woman you will attract?
Chi – (smiling) Yes.
C – That may be a problem.
Chi – Why?
C – Because she will be marrying for money.
Chi – Maybe. But this is how I see it. Having money works to attract the woman, then it’s up to me to see if we have a good fit. But if I don’t have the money, they won’t come close enough for me to see if we have a good fit.
C – Maybe that works. I would worry, though, that the person would pretend to have a good fit just so they get married.
Chi – The woman would have to be a good actor.
C – Would you like to be married to a good actor?
Chi – Good question. I never did think of it that way. Are you married?
C – No, but I’ve lived with the same woman for 21 years.
Chi – How did you attract your wife?
C – I still don’t know what she saw in me.

Chi laughs.

C – But she sees something because she’s still around. And I don’t even dance.
Chi – Cuban and you don’t dance?
C – Don’t dance or sing.
Chi – That’s funny.
C – But I’m a good listener… and she likes to talk. So I’ve listened to her for the last 21 years and she still wants to stick around.
Chi – Is she beautiful?
C – I think so.
Chi – Interesting. She became attracted to you just because you could listen.
C – Yes. And I was all right in bed. That was the bonus.

Chi laughs.

C – I mean, she’s never complained… and neither have I.
Chi – That’s funny.
C – Believe it or not, it keeps getting better.
Chi – You’re a lucky man.
C – I am. Poor but lucky.
Chi – Can money buy you good sex?
C – I don’t know. People are so different. Some need more, some less.
One of the characters in a novel by the Colombian writer Garcia Marquez says that ‘Sex is a talent.’ Some have it, some don’t.
Chi – Money can’t buy talent.
C – I think being able to make money is a talent. Some have it and some don’t. Goes back to the hierarchies you were talking about, at our first meeting.
Chi – Yes. And we can’t have everything we want.
C – That’s true.
Chi – We have to live with that… no matter how much money we make.
C – My wife and I have a good friend, Esmeralda, she’s a brilliant filmmaker. Teaches at the university. One day she will be famous. Neither my wife nor I have that talent.
Chi – Is she beautiful?
C – I think so.
Chi – Hmm. I would like to meet her.
C – Sure. Next time you’re in Cuba I’ll introduce you.
Chi -Thank you.
C – So, going back to what you said at the start… thinking of money as freedom.
Chi – Well… it has limitations… like everything else.
C – Do we fetishize money?
Chi – We do… but while it will not get you all you want… it will get you things you could not have otherwise.
C – Is it worth being obsessed with it?
Chi – No. Let me ask you… do you like what you do?
C – It’s okay. Would prefer to try something else.
Chi – Money would allow you time and space to explore.
C – We’ve agreed on that.
Chi – It won’t change your character… but it can buy you time.
C – I want to think of money in that way… buy me time… and the opportunity to make other choices… so I can be all I can be.
Chi – I like that. So, next time I’m in Havana, will you introduce me to Esmeralda?
C – Of course.
Chi – Thank you.

To be continued. This article was written on 9/14/20 but never posted. Got busy with something else. Original title was ‘A Chinese and Cuban Talk Politics. Part II’

Oscar Valdes is the author of several books – all self published – available on Amazon.


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