English Translation

Canberra Lake Sunset

English is not my first language. I was born in Havana, Cuba and I was two-and-a-half years old when I came to the United States with my parents and sister. We came on the Mariel boatlift just like Tony Montana except that none of us of went on to rule a drug cartel.

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Dangerous Australia: 12 Animals Out to Kill Me


There’s always a sequence during “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” where they show clips of the rest of the world ringing in the new year. When they showed the fireworks over Sydney Harbour, my father said, “Oh, that’s Australia. I’d never go there. They have the world’s deadliest animals.” My mother and sister burst into laughter.

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Travel in Victoria

Last week I wrote about some of the places that make for great day trips from Melbourne. It appears you can go to places like the Yarra Valley and Daylesford in an hour or two. Beyond these, there are some other areas in broader Victoria that I want to visit. Heading northbound, there’s Ballarat, a Victorian era boomtown that drew people from all over the world when gold was discovered there in 1851. “The Golden City”…

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Immigration at Home and Abroad

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! Anti-immigration has a long history in the United States. Even our great Founding Fathers were, at times, hostile to immigrants. Benjamin Franklin was hostile to Germans in colonial Pennsylvania. President John Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798 which…

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Cuba to Australia

Theo asked me where I would love to live. I’ve visited a number of beautiful places. London stands out, New England is gorgeous, and, given a bazillion dollars, New York City would be hard to pass up. Ultimately, however, I always say, Miami. There are things about Miami that I don’t like. It’s expensive, congested, dirty, loud, and violent. The people are rude, superficial, have big egos and an even bigger sense of entitlement. Despite boasting…

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Les Miserables

WLRN, our local public television station, is showing an anniversary concert of “Les Miserables”, which is my favourite musical and novel. If you’re unfamiliar with “Les Miserables”, it’s complex and contains several plots, but the main thread is the story of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption. It explores many themes such as the nature of law and grace, moral philosophy, religion, justice, and love set in a tumultuous France during the early…

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My Mom Goes Online

My mom is awesome. My mom turns 65 next month. She doesn’t speak English, doesn’t know how to drive a car, or operate a camera properly. She brings me the telephone to delete the numbers from the caller ID. She loves her big TV and playing music DVDs very loudly over it, but that’s the extent of her tech knowledge. Well, it was until a purchased a laptop a few months ago. I bought a laptop…

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Side Trips from Melbourne


I think Theo and I will be able to get in the car, drive in any direction, and we’ll hit some beautiful place that he’ll struggle to tear me away from. That is, of course, until I spot some harmless critter that I’m sure to be convinced is the most toxic creature on the planet and wants to kill me. Then I’ll be running towards the car and crying to go home.

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