Yani Canetti
  Three Toys a Year
I Hate Books
The Other "Me"
Mess Ups
Mi House, My City
37 Times
They Say Tt...
Bad Worhat I Was Racisds
Unfinished Songs
Oh, Freud
Tres juguetes al año

In Cuba, we could only buy three toys during the year. They were toys
imported from big countries like Russia and China. These were small
toys, like small Matriuskas and Chinese sticks.

These toys were only available for six days. The government would issue, through a lottery system, some numbers to let you know when you could go and purchase these toys.

Every year, my mother would go on a quest for these lucky numbers. But
luck was rarely on her side and she would be issued "high numbers" for
the sixth day. The few stores would be invaded by hordes of children and their parents. Those lucky enough to buy anything on the first day, in
the morning, would come out clutching Russian dolls, Polish Teacup sets,
Hungarian toy cars, Peking clown figures...as the hours and then days
went by, children would start coming out with defective cars, tin
soldiers and such. By the sixth day, you could see children with their
noses tuck to the glass windows trying to see what was left. Among all
those noses, there was mine.

"Don't worry, you'll see that we can still find something nice for you.
The window displays don't always have the nice stuff inside the store"
my mom used to say, consoling me.

Of course, by the time I made it in the store, I would quickly find out
that there wasn't even anything close to what was displayed on the
windows. My mom never gave up on the idea of getting me those three toys that would entertain me for 365 days. I never really got a doll. In its
place, I managed to get my hands on a bow and arrow, cheap inflatable
balls and other toys, very much intended for boys. These I would quickly
adorn with flowers and bows, and everything "girlie".

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