When Worlds Collide

By petepunk

Salt On My Lips

Most of the time I wander round Havana in a t-shirt, though when the temperature plummets below 17°C (or 60°F) I throw on my old denim. The Cubanos, meantime, wrap up in several layers and shiver their way through the day. It doesn't seem right, somehow, but there you are.

Today I head vaguely northeast along the Prado to the Malecon, overlooking Havana Bay and the Straits of Florida. This splendid coastal road curves proudly westwards, its magnificently tatty, once-upon-a-time Spanish Colonial mansions giving way gradually to the modernist hi-rises of the Castro era.

In a land of contradictions where long-term poverty is, if not alleviated by cultural riches, then at least softened sufficiently around the edges so that dancing in the street is a far from uncommon sight, it's a beautiful thing that art is for everyone.

I watch the breakers roll and crash against the seawall for a while, the salt on my lips reminding me of home, that the sea is in my blood and I could quite happily stay here forever.

words and image: pete thomson

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