Part 6 On distant dirt – The ways I love Havana
I love the weariness of Havana. I love the easy charm of the people. I love the live music you hear everywhere – everyone has a CD to sell. I like the colour of the culture. It’s colour blind and everyone is a mix of races.
I love the buzz of the new economy that sees at least some of the people with some cash in their pockets. I love the narrow streets of Viejo Havana that hum with activity, people lounging in doorways, shouting out to neighbors, trying to hawk cigars or fruit or earning a living by being a bicycle taxista.
I love the old cars that some owned spit and polish with pride. A lot of jalopies and it’s common to see several breakdowns on any given day. The old collectivo taxis are fabulous. Six people squeeze in as the car rolls down a designated avenue, dropping people off and picking them up. They are always full. You never have one of these cabs (10 pesos moneda nacional a ride – about $.40). A private taxi would cost $3-5.
With Lourdes’ help, I managed to procure $20 worth of moneda nacional at 24:1 ratio. So, I could take the occasional public bus or the collective taxis. Always an adventure.
The malecon is lovely. I spent an afternoon walking its length, taking photos and enjoying the setting sun. The malecon is a place where families go to enjoy an afternoon. Fisherman capture their dinner. Lovers neck and musicians serenade. The sea breeze is cool and the light is sweet.And I love evening in Havana, with its soft light and easy grace