Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year! When these lines appear, the train is leaving for Havana. Like last year, we cannot take part in a big New Year's party, but are on the way.

The situation with the Internet has not yet changed, but there is always a solution to a problem in Cuba. That's why I can write a few more lines today, I've found a real computer that is connected to the Internet. You ask your way through, you help yourself. The people here are great and helpful.

We visited El Cobre with Eddi in his little yellow taxi. The traffic in Cuba is fascinating. On the one hand, Eddi curves us around potholes where you could park an elephant, on the other hand everything is friendly, you help each other around the potholes. The landscape is a dream. Everything is green, no comparison to the desert in Aruba. The view to the left and right of the road is a view of the jungle. In addition to the fully occupied buses and a few taxis, there are many horse-drawn carriages and donkey carts on the street.

The animal-drawn vehicles have their advantages, they simply fill up with the grass that grows on the roadside. There are long lines in front of the petrol stations for the cars. Trucks waited half a kilometer for their diesel at a gas station. That is Cuba too. There isn't much and for what there is you have to stand in line and wait for hours.

El Cobre, unfortunately I can't link it, is probably the holiest of all churches in Cuba. Several kilometers beforehand, vendors on the roadside are offering sunflower wreaths and candles that can be set up in the church. The closer we get to the church, the more stalls there are. Eddi stops at a point where we have a great view of the scenery.

Right at the church we first have to exchange fists to greet Eddi's friend, the new Covid greeting instead of a handshake. We still leave the religious knick-knacks on the shelf, no matter how nice the seller is. Instead, we turn our steps to the cathedral, where both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict (Papa Ratzi) have already read mass. It is impressive. Unfortunately, I still can't offer any photos. The fact that we can use the computer with internet access is a sensation. That's Cuba. With their internet connection, people only have 40 hours of internet a month, but they share that without compensation.

After we have left the church, Eddi drives us back. We drive through the alleys of Santiago to find the fruit of Zapote somewhere. We recently got two of them that taste great. They only exist in the Caribbean and only on islands with high mountains, such as Cuba or Jamaica or something. According to hearsay, they are not exported to Europe, are sweet, have a peculiar texture and taste that Jens and I have never known before. Great. Unfortunately we can't find the delicious fruits. Eddi promises us that if he finds any, he will get us some. It doesn't seem that easy.

We will continue to book him as our “personal” taxi driver, he never disappointed us. Photo stops, shopping, and the broken English clues about the sights make it what it is. Plus his taxi works, that's not the rule here.

It may be that there will be radio silence again in the next few days, I have no idea how things are with the Internet and the access options in Havana. We don't want to carry too much luggage with us, the computers stay in Santiago.

Digital detox

This is exactly how the Internet should be imagined in Cuba. It's not going well. I can send this blog post via a smartphone that a friendly Cuban gave me. The Internet Cafe in Santiago was closed.

We continue to feel at home here, we lack nothing. Only the connectivity leaves a lot to be desired. The WIFI in the marina is currently not really usable. So I just want to say briefly that we can read books and not paddle around on the internet.

The landscape is a dream, the people are friendly and the food is of great quality. Today we went to Santiago on the ferry together with a pig. I guess it was the last trip for the pig. In contrast to our food, everything is natural here. No industrial products, everything grows somewhere in the garden. We got to know a great fruit, they call it Zapote. It only grows in the mountains of the Caribbean and tastes totally interesting and delicious. I've never seen this fruit with us.

Now I'll give the phone back, buy the owner a beer and get in touch when we're back online. Maybe Havana is doing better with the internet.

Gran Piedra

In the morning we order a taxi from Norbert, the harbor master. He should get us a taxi with which we can visit the Gran Piedra. Eddi arrives at the marina almost on time in his taxi. Norbert hands us over to the taxi driver, who speaks a few words in English, a few words in French, a few words in German and also in Russian. It is enough for the conversation. On the road we pass many monuments. It feels like there are at least one or two monuments to every Cuban revolutionary.

Selfie with Eddi, the taxi driver

The selfie is created during a short photo stop. The small, yellow car holds up bravely on the steep road towards the summit. On the way we see the other Germans in their taxi, which is parked on the side of the road with the hood open and which probably lacks cooling water. I ask Eddi for a stopover, but he refuses. The road has an easy slope of over 20%, somehow I can understand that he wants to keep his car going.

Eddi's little yellow taxi

But we only have to wait a quarter of an hour, then we are all together at the foot of the stairs that lead the last few meters to the summit. Allegedly there are 400 steps, I didn't count it, my bruised knee confirms the size. Every single step is worth it.

Ferns on the way to the summit

On the way the landscape changes, suddenly we are walking through vegetation that could also exist in Germany in the forest. Ferns and deciduous trees shape the landscape.

One tree stands out in particular, here the bees are humming and humming wildly. I'm trying to capture that with the camera. Unfortunately the sound is a bit quiet.

Gran Piedra

Gran Piedra means "the big rock" and it is. When we climb the last flight of stairs, we are already a little chipped.

The last few meters

My knee is looking forward to the descent. In the meantime we are shooting wildly with the camera. Unfortunately we can only guess the sea on the horizon, it is too hazy.

View of the hinterland

But the view of the hinterland is breathtaking. Shame it is so difficult to get there. There are no designated hiking trails and no infrastructure for hikers. One would have to walk down the streets.

Vulture (Photo: Jens)

A vulture circled above us for a few minutes in search of its lunch. Jens manages a wonderful shot at the bird.

Stupid selfie on the summit

Of course we'll take another stupid selfie. Our family in Germany will be happy about that. What is the weather like in Germany? Up here we can't complain at all, the temperatures are very pleasant at high altitudes.

Fantastic views everywhere

We're hungry when we're back down with the vehicles. That's why we ask our drivers to drive us to a restaurant. First, there is a discussion among the drivers about which of the restaurants to go to. Driving downhill, I ask Eddi to stop for a photo at the next donkey. This stop takes place at the point where the taxi of the other German group refilled cooling water on the way there. Here drinking water is filled into canisters at the source, the donkey patiently waits for its load.

The donkey is waiting for its load

The restaurant preferred by Eddi is closed today, we are waiting in front of the door. Eddi makes everything clear for us, a few minutes later we can sit down at the table. It is worth opening the restaurant for a group of seven people. While waiting, I can record this street scene.

Street scene

The further you get from Santiago, the greater the density of horse and donkey carts. There are also a lot of pedestrians on the streets. The size of the potholes that Eddi has to avoid also increases with the distance from Santiago. While we are sitting in the restaurant, the drivers wait outside by their vehicles.

The taxi of the other German group

There is fish in the restaurant. It was available in all private restaurants that we have tried in Cuba so far. Of course, you can pull the fish out of the sea for little money. There are only a few cattle that are needed for milk production. Our German companion, whose funny name is also Eddi, explains the draconian punishments for the locals in Cuba. If a farmer slaughters his own cattle (public property), he is jailed for 25 years.


While we wait for the meal, our salad is freshly harvested in our own garden. We think that's great, but the Cubans might prefer to go shopping in the supermarket rather than cultivating them themselves. Maybe not, that's just speculation on my part.

Grilled octopus

After dinner it is dark. Eddi drives us carefully through the darkness, driving around donkey carts, bicycles and pedestrians, all of which are unlit on the street, without neglecting the dance around the potholes. I'll get his phone number, we'll go on the next trip with him again.

Cayo Granma

Today we visit Cayo Granma. Granma was the name of the boat Fidel Castro was traveling in. Today an island is named after the boat. Mostly fishermen live on the island, we can watch their boats every day from the marina when they start fishing at dusk.

Tracks from Hurricane Sandy

While we wait for the ferry, a resident explains to us that this house was beautiful until a few years ago, when Hurricane Sandy swept the island. Not only was this house destroyed, many of the broken houses in Santiago de Cuba were also dismantled by the hurricane.

Cayo Granma

From the ferry we have a wonderful view of the island, which is idyllically located in the sun. After several stops we arrive and take a short walk around the island. It's not far, it's less than two kilometers all around.

One of the many footpaths on Cayo Granma

On the way we see children who carry a chicken under their arm like a football is carried in our country. The chicken doesn't seem to mind, at some point the children let it go on the floor.

Fishing boat

A couple of children are sitting on the jetty next to a fishing boat. Even in winter, the water temperature is perfect for swimming. We climb to the highest point of the island, there is of course the local church. Unfortunately it is locked.

Church on Cayo Granma

When we went back down, we saw children playing by the water. I am sure that the parents here do not have to be afraid that the children will drown them in the water. All children can swim here. The remains of the former concrete pier are perfect diving platforms for the older children.

Children and teenagers play by the water

This island is actually a paradise for the little ones. There is no danger from cars here, a few motorbikes are occasionally brought to the mainland by ferry and back again in the evening. Nobody would leave something as valuable as a motorcycle on land overnight. This MZ ETZ 250 from GDR production costs around 12,000 CUC or 290,000 local pesos on the street, which is only 48 annual salaries with a usual monthly salary of around 500 pesos.

MZ ETZ 250

We stop in a small private restaurant and get fresh fish with rice, fried bananas and salad for little money. Everything tastes great, Jens even tastes the fried bananas. I have to mention that, because otherwise Jens is a banana hater. The green stuff in Cuba, whether tomatoes, cucumbers or peppers, is of the very best quality. The difference to industrial production in Germany is clearly noticeable on the palate. We have a lot, but it's not always good. The Cubans can hardly believe what we tell them about our food. The little eggs from the little chickens that can be found all over the street are also delicious.

Street in Cayo Granma

In the restaurant we meet two Germans, one of whom lives as a pensioner in Cuba. We learn a lot about the local problems, customs and traditions, and we are filled with rum. We arrange to meet for the following day to visit Gran Piedra, one of the highest mountains in Cuba. We're supposed to get a taxi, but a new one with a good engine, because the path is steep and not every taxi driver would go up there.

Shortness of breath at night

No, this is not a post about Covid-19 or Helene F. The avid reader of this blog will have seen one or the other picture that shows the smoking chimneys of the refinery near the marina. They determine the image of the landscape that can be seen from our side of the bay or from Santiago.


I wake up in the middle of the night and my lungs feel like I've just deeply inhaled the thickest Havana cigar. There is a terrible smell of exhaust fumes in the bunk. I can't even smell Jens’s dirty clothes. The next morning Jens says that it was like a film on his lungs.

Chimneys seen from Cayo Granma

This brings me to the great problems of real socialism. I know the smell, I haven't had it in my nose or on my lungs for a long time. In the early 1990s I was in the Bitterfeld area and it smelled the same or something like that. Exhaust gases are blown into the air unfiltered. Is it because filter technology is not available or because it is not on the agenda? I have no idea, I don't really care either. I'll be out of here in a couple of weeks. I feel sorry for the people who have to live in this plume.

Art in downtown Santiago

The above photo is a photographed work of art that can be seen in a central square in Santiago de Cuba. In the GDR it was said at that time “chemistry brings bread, prosperity and beauty”.

We are happy when, like today, the wind comes from a direction that blows the exhaust gases away from our boat. On the freshly painted deck, more and more yellow spots are forming every day. We will remove them on the next island or here the day before our departure.

Evening ferry in Santiago

Too bad that environmental protection has no place in the local plan. Too bad, because the landscape in Cuba is incredibly beautiful.

Merry Christmas

We wish everyone at home a Merry Christmas.

Castillo del Morro

Entrance to the Bay of Santiago de Cuba

During the nightly voyage to Cuba we sailed the whole time to the El Morro lighthouse. Right next to it is the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, also called Castillo del Morro. When we enter the bay, we have a beautiful view of it in the morning sun.

During our little tour by car we could easily visit the fort. This is impossible with public transport. First we pass the lighthouse on the land side.

El Morro

The Cuban army still has barracks here, we see a lot of soldiers. In Cuba it is mandatory for men to serve in the army for two years. The women can do it voluntarily.

Castle from the land side

On the land side, the way to the fort is rather unspectacular. We can get there easily. It's even easy for Jens with his foot problem.

Fortress walls and moat

After crossing the moat, we first have to pay 4 CUC entry. Our local guides pay 4 CUP. One CUC is about 25 CUP, so we as tourists pay 25 times the entrance fee. Thats OK for me.

Out and about in the fort

Room by room, floor by floor, we work our way through the system. Always nice and slow, Jens is out and about with a crutch borrowed from the harbor master Jorge.

Bearings for cannonballs

Here we see the warehouse for the cannonballs and the ramp through which they were transported to the cannons. These things are pretty heavy. Back then, people had to work hard. L


From above there are always great views of the sea and the entrance to the bay. Attackers from the sea could be kept under fire here. Today we're firing from all lenses.


The view from the very top is phenomenal. We can take a look at Sissi from a completely new perspective. While walking through the castle we suddenly hear bits of German words. Two vacationers are out and about here and enjoy a Spanish tour they don't understand a word about. But you are happy to have escaped the situation in Germany for a few weeks.

Look at Sissi, the arrow marks her.

If you click on the picture, you will get an enlargement without the green arrow. The view of Cayo Granma, a fishing island on the other side of the bay, is also beautiful. Our guides tell us that there are a few good private restaurants on Cayo Granma. That means that we already have a new destination.

Cayo Granma

The sound of a bell sounds, Jens couldn't help it. But he doesn't want to buy a round, it would be canceled anyway, because there is no bar in the fort. A recommended excursion destination, UNESCO World Heritage Site and Cuban national monument. Great.

Alarm bell


I have to write about beer now. In all of the Caribbean islands, I've always tried to try the local local beer. In Barbados and St. Lucia, it was more of a watery, yellow liquid with a beer taste. The beer in Martinique came from Alsace or was brewed in the Alsatian style and therefore actually quite delicious. There was a local brewery in Bonaire, but they didn't brew or serve any beer during our stay. The Amstel Bright was touted for this, a beer from Holland that is brewed for the Caribbean and has the same watery taste. The Amstel was also available in Aruba, but there you had decent alternatives with balashi and chill. After all, the recipes are from a German master brewer.

Cervezeria Puerto del Rey

In this respect, my expectations were not particularly high when I found the Cervezeria Puerto del Rey directly opposite the ferry terminal on the harbor promenade. To shorten the waiting time for the ferry, I stopped by and tried out the offer. First, shoes and hands are disinfected at the entrance, then you have to show your ID and the information is noted. The good woman despaired of my German ID and finally waved me through without seeing me. Hehe.

inner space

Due to the Covid-19 measures, there are very few tables in the huge dining room. The waiters, who usually carry the beers to the customers, now have to deal with the disinfection and registration of guests.

There is light and dark, I feel that Dorfbräuhaus remind. With that the plan is clear. The ferry leaves in three quarters of an hour, so I can taste both types.

Light and dark

The beers already look good. They are naturally cloudy and don't look like pisses. The waiter carries them to the table, well chilled. A 0.3l beer costs 1.20 CUC (or US$), a little more than one euro.

The light tastes fresh, has a fine hop note and hisses immensely at the local temperatures. The dark produces a wonderful malt note, more intense than the long-missed beer from the Rhön.

Brew kettle

Yes, the beer is brewed here on site. I'm excited. It's the best beer I've had Sines got. Better than anything that could be bought between Portugal and Cuba.

So it is clear that I have to drag Jens to this bridal temple the next time I visit Santiago. He is also enthusiastic. We want to take beer with us. There is no bottling. Due to the Covid-19 measures, the staff is not allowed to fill the customers' take-away bottles directly from the tap. But Cubans are creative when it comes to solving problems. We get a funnel.


In the evening we enjoy the beer in our cockpit. Even if there is only a little carbon dioxide left, there is still enough taste in the delicious drink. Cheers to Germany!

In the cemetery


Yesterday we had a local guide who organized a car with a driver for us. So we were able to see some sights that we cannot easily reach on foot. We visited the castle above the entrance to our bay and then in Santiago the cemetery where the grave of Fidel Castro is located. I will write about the fort soon, today I will write about the grave.

Flag in huge size

On a flagpole in front of the cemetery is the largest flag I have ever seen in my life. One could wrap Sissi in it completely. Next to the mast there is a small house where the guards do their duty. A changing of the guard takes place every thirty minutes.


At first we believe that Fidel's grave is in the monument in front of which the soldiers are parading. A security service ensures that the guards are not bothered by the tourists when they stand at attention and march at goose-step.

José Martí

In the monument there is a statue of José Martí, probably the most important Cuban writer, poet and national hero. The coffin, covered with a flag, contains the ashes of one of Fidel Castro's campaigners against Batista during the revolution.

Father of all Cubans

In the evening I learn from the harbor master that Fidel's grave is not in this monument at all. His ashes are in a hole in this stone behind the sign with his name. He just wanted a very simple grave.

Fidel Castro's tombstone

One of the fighters in the memorial is referred to as the father of all Cubans, then another fighter is buried there, who is referred to as the mother of all Cubans. If only I had a better memory for names. With a little internet you can find out, for me it's too expensive at the moment.

Next door is the memorial for the other revolutionaries. A place steeped in history to which we have been taken.

The other revolutionaries

I was able to shoot a little video of the changing of the guard. Unfortunately, this is a bit shaky because I didn't have a tripod on hand. Should I have the opportunity again, I will take a tripod and, if possible, come back in better light, i.e. in the morning. But I think it gives the impression quite well.

Santiago de Cuba

This post is brimming with images that don't match the text. In the next few days there will be more pictures. So many colors, so many impressions.


The alarm clock rings at 5:20 a.m. I get up quietly so that Jens is not woken up. Unfortunately, he cannot accompany me today because he has stretched his foot and has to take care of it. After a few minutes I'm sitting with my morning coffee and trying to empty the pot within an hour. I do this while watching the sunrise.


The ferry is punctual to the minute and takes me to downtown Santiago de Cuba in a good half an hour. I have planned a lot there. I want to buy fresh vegetables, maybe I can find a butcher and I'm also looking for a SIM card for the Internet. The first impressions overwhelm me.

Taxi carriage

The horse-drawn carriages are taxis for the port area, where the mountains are not that steep. In addition to horse-drawn carriages, there are also horse-drawn carts for transport, for example here for building rubble.

Cargo horse

Since the shops don't open until 9 a.m., I take a long walk. That is very good for me after the sails and the days of quarantine.

Old sledge

I don't want to give the impression that the streets in Santiago are all driven by ancient cars, but it's no pleasure to photograph a current Renault Berlingo or a Peugeot 405.

Motorcycle gang

On my way to the train station I met a motorcycle gang. Yes, these motorcyclists are all in a group. Every single one of the motorcycles would violate our noise regulations, and the guys honk wildly.

Ferrocarriles de Cuba

I can't go into the station itself, but I manage to photograph the train in the parking area. Only the locomotive is missing, no idea where it was parked. Finally rails in front of the lens again.

Parking facility

Santiago is built on hills, so I walk up and down a lot. That would have been poison for Jens' foot. On Monday we want to go back to town, then I can do a little tour. The formerly pretty colonial buildings are shabby or very shabby. Nevertheless, the atmosphere is harmonious and I like it very much.

Steep streets, old sleigh

In contrast to many other places, I notice positively that the streets are licked clean. There is no rubbish lying around on the street. By the way, the mask wearing quota is about 100%, in Cuba you have to put on a mask everywhere in public. Until I learned that, the rate was a little lower because it never occurred to me to wear a mask on the street.

Former rails

Remnants of tram tracks can be found in a wide variety of places. Apparently there was also a tram in Santiago in the period before the revolution. Unfortunately it no longer exists today, otherwise I wouldn't have to crouch my legs.

Old buildings, young horse

I find the sales office of ETECSA, the local mobile operator. There is a long line in front of the door. You shout "persona ultima" into the crowd and the person who is currently the end of the queue answers. When the next potential customer comes, the game repeats itself. Opposite the sales office is a park, the queue is not only on the sidewalk, but also on the park benches in the park.

A cat at the counter

When my turn finally comes after 45 minutes, the clerk wants to sell me Internet vouchers, which we can also buy in the marina. I refuse, I want a SIM card with the correct data volume. She doesn't sell them to me. I don't get it and leave the shop.

This car is a taxi

I find the fish market and move through the stalls. Almost three and a half hours back to my ferry, I don't want to carry the fish around in the sun that long. Then it is certainly no longer fresh. I make up my mind to come back later.

Various supermarkets shine with empty shelves and long lines in front of the door. The locals look through the shop window to see what is currently on sale. If it's interesting, get in line. I don't see any fresh vegetables so there is no reason for me to queue.

View of the cathedral

There are very long lines in front of all bakeries, except for those who have run out of bread. We are well positioned in this regard, because we have our own bakery on board and a huge amount of flour that we can bake.

I noticed positively that, as a rich tourist, I am not addressed by the locals. If I speak to someone and ask where to go to the ETESCA, a cigar shop or the supermarket, I get a polite answer and directions. I experienced it very differently on other islands.

View of Santiago from the ferry

Unfortunately the fish market is sold out on my second visit. I've learned that I have to go shopping when something is in the store. I cannot expect the goods to be available two hours later. That's okay, we can survive for weeks with the supplies on board. That's all of the stuff we stashed for the crossing to Australia.

On the ferry

All day I haven't seen a single policeman on the street. A soldier rides on the ferry for this purpose. The ferry makes a little detour and goes directly to the marina, where the soldier disembarks. The captain, the chief disinfector, the machinist and the soldier looked rather stupidly out of the laundry when I wanted to get out too. The marina security man gives permission and I save myself going home.

I have to process so many impressions first. I can't even remember the last time I was in a big city.

The first walk in Cuba

In the early afternoon, Norbert brings us the written confirmation of the negative Covid test. We now have to put them in our passports together with the visas and always carry them with us when we are on the island. So it's official - we're allowed to leave the marina and visit Cuba.


In the midday sun I set off straight away and take the first walk. I take a look at the ferry terminal from which we want to go to Santiago tomorrow. The ferry leaves at 6:20 a.m., I'm curious to see if we'll get out of bed in time. Jens stays on board, he doesn't feel like walking around in the midday sun. The knowledge that he is allowed to run around is enough for him. The ferry terminal can hardly be recognized as such without a ferry. Only a small roof that provides shade indicates public transport.


I keep walking, looking for the bus stop into town. I can not find them. Instead, I find a place from which the refinery can be clearly seen, which has delighted us with its exhaust gases for days.

Fully occupied 125 Suzuki

There are practically no cars on the road. The little individual traffic is carried out with small motorbikes. I see an MZ ETZ 250, a motorcycle from the GDR that I haven't seen for years. It looks beautifully in good shape and before I can lift the camera it is through. To do this, I can take a picture of a small Suzuki climbing a hill fully occupied.

Tricycle from a Schwalbe with a tuned engine

In accordance with the cliché, there is also a whole prefabricated housing estate here in Punta Gorda, the place where the marina is located. Or something like that. Socialist unitary architecture. There is a water tank on the roof of each building that provides the water pressure. We know from the marina that the water from the aqueduct only trickles.

Uniform architecture with Lada

During my walk, an old Lada passed me. He is also in very good shape, if the Cubans own a car or a motorcycle, they keep their vehicles in tip-top condition.

The Lada still looks great

The truck wreck is certainly not parked here to rust, it looks more like the car should be rebuilt. You don't just throw a vehicle on the scrap metal in Cuba.

The other bastard

Two little cats are scared of me. As soon as I lift the camera, they disappear into their hiding places.

No scrap

In the small shop I find a bottle of rum from Santiago de Cuba, which I definitely want on board for only 7 US$, I'm doing her a favor. Rum is a really cheap drink in Cuba. The rum even tastes pretty good, Jens and I tested it right away.

Completely different point of view

From above, the view of Sissi and the ferry is very different from that of the marina. I enjoy seeing other perspectives and enjoying the new view.

The downer with the whole story: As soon as I left the marina and closed the gate behind me, a local immediately stood in front of me and asked me if I would like to change money. He would give me a rate of 1: 1.30. The official rate for converting pesos to dollars is 1: 1. Black market, you can't get enough dollars here in Cuba. He also offers me a taxi service to Santiago, which would be cheaper than the official taxi price. Besides, his mother had a washing machine, so he could offer me laundry services. We will definitely come back to that later.

If we have old cell phones, computers or other electronics on board, he offers me a good price. But we only have new cell phones, computers and electronics on board. Note: When you travel to Cuba, take all electronic waste with you that would otherwise end up in the recycling bin in Germany. The stuff is still worth something here.

Rum from Santiago - good and cheap

While Jens and I enjoy the rum, Norbert comes to the boat. Unfortunately we cannot go to Havana over Christmas, the train is fully booked. We will be on 31.12. Get on the train to Havana and stay there until January 6th. Norbert was able to get us a reservation for this connection. By the way, there is only one train. It drives every four days from Havana to Santiago and every four days from Santiago to Havana. Tomorrow I will go to the station and look at the train, because tomorrow a trip from Santiago is planned. I'm curious.