Tuesday, July 10, 2007

cuba in a nutshell

often my preconceptions of a place varies wildly from the reality. It is easy to build up images, ideas and even smells and sounds of a place never visited yet often seen and read about.

Havana was exactly like I imagined.

The old cars, the decaying buildings, the occasional New Delhi stench and the wonderfully diverse ethnicity. Even the ever present strains of music seeping as if out of the very stonework of the city.

Politics aside, the Havanna Cubans appear a gregarious joyous bunch of people, seemingly inured to the poverty and privations that many face, as well as the lack of some of the basics we take for granted.

They are also extremely respectful of the tourists, and there is virtually none of the irritatingly incessant badgering that one gets in other cities such as Cairo, Ho Chi Minh, Kathmandhu and Jaisalmer. Just the occasional surreptitious offer of cigars or a gentle beckoning to a restaurant.

It also feels incredibly safe.

I am loving Havana and here are just a few photos I`ve taken in the few days I have been here. I hope you can taste a little of the flavour.

cuban taxis - escapees from disneyland? trinidad, cuba

jane, shane and I took a horse ride and hike to a waterfall in the jungle

trinidad, southern cuba

cuban national head-dress

"we`re not in kansas anymore toto..."

a rose by any other name (some at NSGHS will understand)

havana pix below

truck full of graffiti

cuba`s chinatown - only there are no chinese

the malecon, havana

this was my hot water set-up, heater in the shower rose, sparks flying and bare wires. Imagine standing dripping wet and altering the heat dial on it.

guess which was my flight?

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