I’m now in Guatemala but I still have a post or two from Cuba to go and I thought I would write down a few of the things that I will never forget about Cuba, the good, the bad and the downright ugly:
watching dancers spin and swirl as if unbound by bones or physics.
laughing at museum ettiquette – all too often someone would come and tell me to go back if I failed to pause for the appropriate length of time at every display.
the weird command and control technique that means only 2 or 3 people are allowed in some shops at any one time.
the things people do so tourists will take photos and pay for the privilege – the ladies who prowl the streets in riotous dresses carrying plastic coconuts and bananas, the bearded elders who pose in berets with oversized cigars, the man who seemed to spend all his days posing with a chicken perched awkward and indignant on top of his head.
those awesome old cars….
the astonishing efficiency of Cuban queue-less queuing – you ask ‘quien es ulitimo?’, eyeball the person who was last to arrive and then you can come and go, sit or stand where you like, just as long as you make sure to squeeze in after your el ultimo has gone.
the careless exuberance of size 18 women squeezed into size 8 lycra-tight clothes.
the bloody awful toilets, where stern faced women extort more loose change for than a few sheets of paper can possibly be worth. Faced with brimming bowls with no water and no way to flush, I actually found myself getting nostalgic for some good old hole in the floor jobs…
rum drunk in plastic cups watching the sun slip by and set from the malecon sea wall in Havana.
Cuba, I will miss you.