I rarely try to capture anything on video in stores, or “tiendas” as they are called in Cuba. There is so much more I would love to share with you about the real happenings that go on here, and the way things function. Some things are prohibited, and while it is not publicly stated, it is personally enforced that video or photos inside of Cuban stores is prohibited. More than once I have been stopped from snapping a photo or running my phone on video. On this day I happened to be able to steal a little footage quietly in the back because the store was so busy. What you’ll see in the video is a typical day. When the stores get a new item in, they get slammed with buyers. Everyone wants the newest thing and at the best price available.
Buying something as simple as a rice cooker or a fan can be a process. Every item is opened, and inspected before the customer can purchase it. It is plugged in, run, and both the store clerk and the buyer have to approve it’s usage before the box is packed back up and the item is documented as sold to the new owner. When they have something new and exciting at a good price, sometimes it’s a bit like a swarm and everyone is scrambling to get the item before it is sold out because no one knows when it might be available again.