Gary takes me up to his room and I explain everything. He says he’d love to help but that he might not be able to do much. You see, Gary has himself run low on cash and there is no way for him to withdraw money until Monday (at this point it's Saturday evening) because he has to physically appear at a bank to do so. And he’d run into a problem using his credit card because, he suspected, the bank was partly owned by Americans and thus barred from doing business in Cuba.
The bottom line: He doesn't have enough cash to loan me to buy a new plane ticket, get a cab back to the airport and pay the tourist tax that’s required for departure. Plus I’d probably need some food and water in the ensuing time it would take to make all of this happen. But as my relief quickly turns to further panic, Gary reveals the wild card: Wi-Fi access.
The Saratoga is a gorgeous, palatial building in the center of Havana, just off the old town. And in 2012, it was one of the only places in the city with reliable Wi-Fi. Sure enough, when I turn on my otherwise useless iPhone, it detects a signal. This is huge, because I can use my credit card with a Mexican airline. In a matter of minutes I have a flight the next day, Sunday, at 15:45 hours (won’t make that mistake again!). And just like that, for all the hemming and hawing, I am going to make it off the island after all.