Thoughts on Havana

Oddly enough Havana was not so dissimilar then walking around Gastown. About the same number of people would ask you for money and again it would seem that I even in another country am hobo resistant. Even though I was smiling and looking generally friendly they would often skip me and move on to the other tourists. It was also similar to Gastown in that I didn’t speak the language. Only here in Havana I can assume that they are making sense where as my experience with hobo speak is that it is generally undecipherable even to other hobos.From what I understand from the Spanish speaking contingent of out group is they have similar stories and random Cons to get your attention.

The Architecture was amazing.It was said by our inappropriate joke cracking tour guide that every building in Old Havana was required to be build differently than any other in Havana. So as he says there is no two buildings the same in all of Havana. I am inclined to believe him. It was an experience in contrast between the old and the new, There is a huge restoration of Old Havana going on so you will have a building that looks like it hasn’t been touched in 100 years sitting right beside one that was newly restored yesterday. It looks a lot like pre Olympic Vancouver with all the scaffolding and construction cranes around.The cars have that same old new contrast to them. New cars from Japan sitting beside an old 56 Chevy.There wasn’t a lot of the old cars around though.I sort of expected a lot more to be driving about and such but I saw more in Varadoro then in Havana. From what I understand the reason for the old cars is that an average Cuban isn’t allowed to own a car made post revolution. Some doctors and athletes are allowed to buy new cars but then they can’t sell them. Same is true with the homes your family was given a home at the end of the revolution and that was your home.You are not allowed to sell it or buy a new one only swap for somebody else’s home. The government will divvy out homes to the people for special reasons like yours was destroyed in a storm or you are moving to another location. The country side has its own unique beauty that was a cross between backwoods AB/BC and a really short jungle. With the exception of palm trees I didn’t see any really tall trees or plants.Very lush and green but just not very tall.I was on a tour bus so I watched brilliant photo opportunities pass me by while the bus took me to the tourist areas and cigar shops. I guess that is the price of taking a tour bus but I was on the job so it was what had to be done. It was actually a really cruel reminder of all that we will miss now that the trip has been cut short. It has been really hard to experience Cuba this week because I am on the clock shooting for everyday of it. The trip at the end of the month will be different.I am kind of anxious to get home and help out M who in addition to tearing here ligaments all to hell has also broken her tibia.That is my fault we were tiring to go to the room on foot via my crappy advice.So when it comes to matters of health and junk don’t listen to me.

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