I joked about the fact that I had no Diet Coke for over a week, but some quick math told me that I drank 2L of the delicious stuff the afternoon we got back from Cuba – I missed it, okay. I survived without it and didn’t complain at all, but it would take nothing short of a miracle to keep me off the stuff when I got home.
There WAS Coke available at the resort – they had some cans for sale in the gift shop, along with some Sprite. No Diet though, and I hate the taste of regular Coke so I ignored it. What’s a poor addicted girl to do?
Cuba is not without a national soft drink – everyone drinks tuKola:
It’s .. not bad. I mostly missed the fizzy bite of pop, so I would ask for a cola at dinner. It took a bit to figure out that diet cola simply wasn’t available in the restaurants; they were bringing me regular cola regardless of what I asked for. In retrospect, I’m enormously glad because THIS tasted like ABSOLUTE ASS:
I assumed that Cubans would have access to aspartame, which was foolish of me. They had their OWN non-sugar methods of flavouring things; a combination of three different sweeteners all with ominous names like “Sweetener 953”. Diet tuKola is fucking HEINOUS. I couldn’t come close to finishing the can; it sat in our room until the day we left and it made me hiss every time I passed it. It’s horrible. It’s an abomination. Never. Again.
I mostly drank water at the resort – a necessity, because it was very hot and I’ve HAD heatstroke with no desire at all to return. Shan stole me a lime on Day 2 so I could flavour my water, and I would troll the buffet several times a day and relieve them of their lime supply. I made use of dehydrated lemon packets and even some Crystal Light drink tubes I brought from home when I couldn’t find any limes to steal. Then, of course, there was the rum:
The Pina Colada was the drink of choice last week, being delicious and baffling – it didn’t matter how many I drank; I would not get drunk. That was all fine and good, but I was drinking so much more than I ever do and not feeling the effects so it was time to step things up. I tried a bunch of different drinks – the Mary Pickford (rum, pineapple juice, maraschino, grenadine), the Rosa de Something or Other (rum, coconut milk, grenadine), and my ultimate doom: the Mulata (rum, creme de cacoa, lemon slush). I had grown used to not being drunk regardless of the number of drinks I had, so I downed three delicious Mulatas in rapid succession – and was amazed to find myself quite unable to walk or talk or make any sense. That night was an early one for me; I passed out right after dinner in a drunken stupor. I don’t feel so bad as it was my ONLY drunken stupor the whole trip, but damn. That be some crazy powerful drink.
Finally, I was thrilled to see Diet Coke on the plane’s drink cart on the way home. I eagerly asked for it, only to be served ..
Coke Light is a curious cross between Diet Coke and Coke Zero, and tastes nothing like Diet Coke. Stranger still was the can, which came from the Belgium Coke Plant and was all weird and German:
It was not my drink. I did not like it. Resigned, I had more water (and then had to pee 80 times) – but I would make up for my liquid indiscretions the instant I was through customs, and then some.
When we go back – and we WILL go back – I will be drunk ALL THE TIME off my new favourite drink, the Mulata. If I had access to a lemon slush machine at home, I’d drink them all the time. Delicious!
And that’s how I survived a week without Diet Coke while in Cuba!