Mai Perso - Travel adventures

La Casa Particolare de Senior Emillio | May 28, 2012

I lost my camera in Havana. It’s not as dramatic as loosing your way or virginity. I admit. With little coffee in my system this morning, I left it in the room when we checked out. By the time I was back looking for it, the maid has already been there. I can’t blame her. The Nikon I left behind was worth a year salary for her. Hopefully she will do something useful with the money she gets for the camera.
No sour grapes but I didn’t really like the Nikon. Short battery life and I paid way to much for it in the Nikon store in Lima Peru, earlier this year.
The only bummer is the fact that day one in Havana was all on the 32 gig mini memory card which was another two month of her salary…
We left the hotel that had a name way too long to remember and like everything else here, is operated by a state owned company, and moved to Sr. Emillio’s B&B.
It took me all of two minutes to forget the camera incident. Leo, the manager is a young charming guy, as friendly and helpful as anyone we have met here so far (including the camera maid…).
Emilio’s place puts a smile on my face. Our room is small with a bed that squeaks like the bed in the “Paris Texas” movie. No practice today…
The adjacent living room is a baroque furnished room with tasteful nude art on the walls, painted by a local artist. Chrystal chandeliers all round and a cool breeze breaking the hot and humid pattern outside. I will Seattle here later to write my blog and listen to Ibrahim Ferreira’s most suitable Social Club work from the past decade.
Our room was being cleaned, so we left our luggage behind and walked back to Obispo street for a drink and a bite. A rhythmic music session drew us into Cafe Paris where Julio’s quartet was playing a combo of famous and less known pieces. All with much flair and tempo that makes you want to get up and dance.
A couple of Mojitos and two Cristal beers further and by 13:00 I didn’t remember I ever owned a camera.
Julio and his band signed their CD for us and while we chomped on Cubano sandwich with ham and fresh cheese and some battered shrimps, his crew played ans sang a few more songs. I love this place. The people, the atmosphere, the tempo of living.
As you walk down the streets, you can imagine what will it look like when it all gets commercialized. The Cubans will be too poor to afford it all, the bars will commercialize, update, upgrade and gone is all we are experiencing now. Dolby surround cant replicate the atmosphere, the smell of cigars and old oil cranking up battered prawns in the kitchen. Something very sad about it.
On the way back to Julio’s we pass by the antique book market, with replicas of the revolution propaganda and some old memorabilia. Nothing we can’t do without, other then the traditional pin of the local flag, that Danielle buys anywhere we travel.
At the corner of the park where the book market takes place, five guitar players and percussionist play a jazzy tune. No audience and no hat collecting coins. Just like that, hanging out with the boys in the park, playing music. I can imagine the conversation at the breakfast table this morning… “Maria, I am going to the park to hang out with the guys and play some music.
No problem said Maria, just remember you promised little Natalia to take her to get Papaya slushy later today. Please be back home by the time she wakes up from her siesta.
Segura que si, said Juan Ramon, I’ll be there. We never go longer then 2-3 hours. By three o’clock in the afternoon it’s too hot in the park anyway…” with that, Juan Ramon picks his guitar, gives Natalia a kiss on her forehead and leaves the house.
Weekend in Havana…
Looks like our game plan is forming. A day trip from Havana then over to Trinidad for a couple of days, and back to Havana for the final couple of days.



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