I went clubbing in Cuba and partied like it’s 2001

A guide to clubbing in Cuba

Consider this Cuban club bingo. 1. Proof you can’t paralyse the boogie 2. ‘Persistent’ admirers 3. The uncomfortable tourist

A night out on the clubs in Cuba is perhaps best described as fun-ish (emphasis on the hyphenated -ish). You don’t party like it's 1999, that would be far too grandiose and enjoyable, instead it's more akin to 2001. Largely in the shadow of previous parties and more out of obligation than genuine happiness. Cheap beer and cheaper women might usually appeal to me but just as you must never meet your heroes you must also never be faced with what you think is your ideal night out. Always to fall short of your expectations.

We decided to take a cab to the club because why not, we’re both public school aren’t we? It’s the next best thing to an uber for Monday Night Cienfuegos. The only can we could find was already full but not to worry, Cuban girls are happy to sit on your lap and share the ride as long as they don’t share the fare…

Don’t worry if you forgot your ID or you’re underage, they can’t resist that sweet sweet 2 CUC (£2) entry fee and they’ll just trust you when you say you’re old enough.

Should you actually decide to spend more than 5 minutes at the club you’ll realise what most of us realise. Cuban ‘lit’ is not like other definitions of ‘lit’.



Adjective — An atmosphere of a particularly enjoyable mood usually associated with a party of sorts and the consumption of alcohol.

Synonyms: turnt, pumped, lit af

This however is not what Cuban ‘lit’ is. It is more akin to turning up the speakers to 11 and thats about it. Just loud, very loud. Loud enough you cant hear each other complaining how bad it is.

As for the clientele, it’s your friend’s dad that tries to hang out with you, he calls women ‘chicks’ or ‘hot babes’ and only orders the spiciest curry on a night out. The ones that don’t fall into this category are not much better. Usually it is someone who still listens to Soulja Boy and doesn’t understand staring and hip gyration don’t count as flirting.

When it comes to dancing, there’s actually some fairly impressive contenders. That being said, salsa is perhaps not so fitting with the house remix of yet another Pitbull song. Lower down the spectrum you have some uncomfortable twerking from the female portion. Jonny and I, being the humble and reserved British men that we are, don’t really have to react to someone aggressively grinding against us on a day to day basis and so when engulfed in a sea of undulating derrières we were stumped. I paid her a nice compliment, though she couldn’t hear due to it being so Cuban lit, and then instead I pointed to her rear and gave a thumbs up. I’m hope she got the message. Jonny meanwhile, clasped the bottom in front of him and tried to go with the flow. From an outside view it seemed as if he was wrestling this rear end into submission. The poor boy was just as out of his depth as I was. Eventually one particular female stopped, faced me and asked:

“You no like chicas?”

Quite frankly I do like chicas.

I wouldn’t describe my attempts at dancing as particularly homoerotic but I suppose I was not forewarned of this posterior attack and thusly my reaction was more of bewilderment than eager reciprocal grinding. Apologies to all of the Cuban ladies in that club, I was not in my element.

I guess my opinion is that it leaves little to write home about(disregard that I am in fact writing home about this), but all in all it was a moderate night with moderate alcohol consumption meaning no fights, or second hand kebabs returned to the streets. Always a plus.

This is no ordinary dancing, this is your dad’s dancing.
One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.