3 things nobody tells you about Havana
Cuba. Whoever follows me on Instagram (@lefashionaire), knows that we went to Cuba on holidays (that’s the reason why I’ve been a little absent from the blog). We chose to go to Varadero because I had already gone with my parents in 2009 and, of all the countries of the Caribbean that I visited (Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and Cuba) it was precisely Cuba that struck me the most.
However, there’s something I need to tell you: we’re looking for calm beach holidays so that we went to Varadero and just went one day to Havana.
For those who like to walk and discover the city my suggestion would be to stay half the time in Havana and half the time in Varadero.
Picturesque and full of contrasts, Havana breathes the once colonial air, mixed with the smell of cigars and buildings that, decrepit, remind us that one day the Russians passed by.
But, Havana is so special – what an open documentary – that I decided to start the posts about Cuba talking about it. Picturesque and full of contrasts, Havana breathes the once colonial air, mixed with the smell of cigars and buildings that, decrepit, remind us that one day the Russians passed by.
There are Santeras (followers of the Yoruba religion from Nigeria brought by the slaves who went to Cuba) that we identify as black ladies with flowers and cigar throwing shells and shells in order to read the sign. There are Cubans, singers, and foreigners. There is the memory of the café where Eça de Queiroz used to go, and the memory of the place where Ernest Hemingway lived. There is poetry in the streets trampled by writers, invaders, slaves, and communists. And in the middle, there are smiling people conforming to their own fate.
What they do not tell us about Havana is that those shiny cars we all want to take pictures of cost more than most Cubans will earn in a lifetime. The average price of one of those cars is $ 50,000 and apparently every month they have to go to the garage. What they do not tell us about Havana is that the Cubans need the tourism tips to live and so they are asking for the Convertible Pesos here and there. And finally, what they do not tell us is that despite the communism and all that it drags the Cubans are attentive, educated and fairly polite, in clear evidence that education really makes a difference.
Havana is magical, different, irreverent in its own uniqueness. And the ideal place to lose ourselves in the streets until we arrive at Bodeguita del Medio and drink a mojito while we imagine we are in another era.