Silvia Cisneros López
I flew with my 10 yr. old brother on KLM Airline. A Cuban lady with dual French citizenship that worked for Air France in Havana, one of my father's accounts there, was kind of like a chaperone to us. I think I numbed out to survive the inexplicable action I was undertaking. Yes, I have a fleeting memory of the fishbowl, but overall I didn't feel much drama; I don't think I truly understood what was going on. All I really remember of the flight over, was locking myself into the ladies' room and not being able to exit. I started pushing all these red buttons, and a slew of flight attendants came to my rescue just in time before I totally panicked. Arrived in Miami at nightime, and my aunt was waiting for us. I saw a PEZ candy machine at the airport that I had never seen in Havana, and she bought the candy for me. I kept the empty dispenser for years. My aunt and cousins were actually well-off, as she and her husband had foreseen the looming political catastrophe,and had withdrawn much of their capital before their accounts could be frozen. Six months later, my parents were able to reunite with us, and then the real exile existence truly began.