This is the third post about our recent trip to Havana, Cuba. Now that we are home with regular internet, I’m catching up with photos and stories.
We woke up this morning to another line of people waiting for chicken, plastic bags in hand. Since the sidewalk on the shop side of the street (below us) is so narrow most of them wait on the other side.
Today we decided to set out for the historic and more scenic parts of town. The pictures and their captions should be explanatory. Havana is beautiful, even in our more modest neighborhood, but there haven’t been resources to keep anything in good repair. The more upscale parts of the city have some buildings beautifully restored and others in progress, but there are still many others looking unkempt, and some literally falling down.
One of my favorite experiences was a guy in the park with an ancient camera (103 years old, from Russia). I enjoyed talking with him about his camera, photography, the people he meets, and Cuba’s relation with other countries. We paid $2 for a photo that didn’t come out as well as he wanted because of the cloudy conditions, but it’s still very cool.
We went walking down Obispo street in the tourist area and it was so crowded that it was almost hard to get through. Word is there are many tourists from Europe, South America, and Mexico, and more have been coming from the US. Tourist oriented business are visible everywhere here – shops, restaurants, hotels, tour buses, and of course the classic cars. It’s common to see caravans of convertibles honking their horns as they drive groups of tourists around town.
On the way home we stopped by the 24 hour bread store, and the ham and sausage shop next door.
When we got back home there was still a line waiting for chicken. I watched one old woman wait 2 hours. When she finally made it into the shop it took her 10 minutes to come out again. The shop is directly below us so I might not be able to see exactly what is going on but I know for sure there was a lot of waiting time for a pound of chicken. It made me think about the two entire chickens in our freezer, and if we want more we just go to our choice of many supermarkets, without giving it a second thought.