Even though living standards in Cuba have improved, there is still a big gap between it and the West. As a guide recounted,
“Funny story, I had a friend from Canada who came over to Cuba, and I told her that I could apply for a license for her to stay with me so that she could save money. She was saying ‘oh no, it’s okay…’, since she actually just didn’t want to be rude, but she agreed.
“She lasted for 2 days.
“I drew the bucket for her when she wanted to shower, and after 7 minutes, I heard no sound of water. So I went to ask if everything was okay, and she said ‘I don’t know how to do it.’ I had to scoop the water and pour it for her.
“My mother asked, ‘how can she not know how to do it?’ But, I said, it’s not hard to understand. ‘She was born with a shower over her head, she’s never used a bucket before.’
Most guesthouses have shower heads now, but a lot of locals, like my guide, still use bucket showers.