I’d like to title this one:
“Give us this day our daily bread… by flagging down a roaming salesperson from your balcony and dropping a bag with money in it on a rope down to the ground level so it can be filled and you can pull it back up to your floor”
Yes, this is how many Havanans buy bread and other goods every single day from as high as 7 stories up. There’s never a moment without someone singing “Panaderoooooo!” (Translation: baker/breadseller) or the name of whatever they’re selling. You can also half lower your basket and tie it off and wait for the appropriate seller to come around…. so it’s kind of like fishing.
The vertical, low-tech lifestyle also means the way you ring someone’s home is by buzzing the whole building, running across the street so they can see you from their balcony, yelling up, and having them throw you down a key. Our host preferred to stick it in a rubber duck. The entire building pops their head out to see if the guest is theirs, every single time, and no one seems to mind.
We were so fortunate to have our awesome Airbnb host Ana to explain all of this to us, so we could try fishing for bread ourselves! (Ana was invaluable to us as she helped us navigate and adjust to the city. For more info in using Airbnb to live with a local in another country and a $40 off coupon on your first stay, click here.)