Walking the Streets of Havana | Cuba
Havana: the land of black fish net tights under a khaki skirt, sunset Cristals along the Malecón, and cars whose speedometers read 0 miles per hour whether they're moving or not. As with many places, it's everything I expected and nothing I expected at the same time.
Welcomed to the country with the imprint of a hot pink passport stamp, Cuba had already differentiated itself from any other place I'd ever visited. In the taxi from the airport to our B&B, my husband asked me, "What is this like? Where else have we been that's like this?"
I thought for a few moments, scanning my brain for similarities between Cuba and the thirty plus other countries we've visited. The streets were cleaner than India, but some of the buildings were crumbling to a similar state. The lush fields and palms reminded me of Costa Rica, but the architecture was completely different. The cars - of course the cars! - were like nothing I've ever seen in real life, just something thought up on a movie set. And yet even the vintage cars, while far more numerous than I anticipated, were mixed with horse drawn carriages, tractors, modern buses, and bikes creating an atmosphere unlike any I could have imagined and one replete with intrigue.
With difficult-to-access internet and around five state funded TV programs, locals and visitors alike turn to the streets for entertainment. Residents keep their doors and windows open, observing the bustle of city life while allowing passerbys to peek into their world of brightly painted walls, generations old wood furniture, worn tile floors, and a single, boxy TV set with a scratchy image.
We roamed the streets, visiting Hemingway’s old haunts and taking it all in.