Saturday, November 19, 2022

Havana, Day 2

We woke up to a surprise.

Our bus driver's ride to work broke down, so we didn't have our normal ride to the lecture venue. So our tour guide drove his own Daewoo Tico (and commandeered a Chinese taxi) to pick us up at the B&B.

I took a shot of this gas station along the way. My tour guide was apologetic, but I told him riding in his car was a great way to start the day.

Our morning lecture was by a historian and editor of a leading Cuban magazine. We then went to the suburbs and watched Habana Compas, a percussive dance troupe. They were very entertaining.

Next up, we went to Fusterlandia. An eccentric artist decorated his entire neighborhood with odd, bright, pieces of art.

I bought a few cheap souvenirs for the kids, including a wooden car and a pencil.

Lunch was at Vistamar in the Miramar neighborhood. I had the swordfish and it was delicious. We did have to wait an hour for the meal though.

My liquid intake alternated between mojitos and coffees.

Our afternoon lecture was by a journalist/political commentator. She was Cuba's Katie Couric/Megyn Kelly. Though she is a supporter of the government, she was very open about the problems and the government's failings.

Dinner was at Cocinero, an abandoned cooking oil factory. The meal was fantastic, of course. The staff simply did not understand capitalism. Our meals came with two drinks. We wanted more. They have an extensive bar. "Not possible." It was possible. We were willing to pay for the drinks. The staff did not understand why we would want to spend money to buy more drinks when we already received the two free drinks. And this was a fancy restaurant where they interacted with Americans, Canadians, and Europeans all the time.

Next door to the restaurant was Fabrica de Arte Cubano, the hippest art space in the country.


I was tragically unhip so I stepped out and just people watched at a nearby interaction for 30 minutes while I waited for the bus. Two black E-Class Mercedes and some kind of black Peugeot sedan waited outside for VIPs. Young people dressed for a night out waited in line. A taxi tout started a conversation with me. A lady sold strong coffee out of a cart, serving the drinks in tiny plastic cups. None of the cars had pollution control, so the air smelled awful. What a place!

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