I spent some time on the balcony one late afternoon just watching the neighbors. These photos were probably taken in the space of 5-10 minutes, and as you can see a lot of living is done outdoors even if there is only a small balcony available.
About the blue trash bins in one of the photos, they are found on every street and sometimes later in the day they are overflowing. We were told that trash trucks come around every night. And, the lady with the water on her balcony – no one drinks the tap water in Cuba. Our hostess boiled the water and then put it through a filter in a big jug on the counter. Any time we or anyone else needed water we would go there.
I also mentioned the extra living spaces on roofs. Our host pointed a number of places that had been built on roofs by people who needed living space, and it seemed that almost every roof had these places. He also said it’s common to build an extra floor in apartments that have very high ceilings. Living space can be very expensive for people on limited incomes so they have learned to be creative and use every resource they have.
I liked hanging out on the balcony, enjoying the warm breezes and sounds of the city. It reminded me a bit of New York City in my distant past, when spring would finally come and you could open your windows, and then the sounds of the city would flood in and you would feel so much a part of the energy of the city.