Bárbara was my schoolfriend and neighbor, and because she didn’t have any brothers or sisters, we shared a lot together: we loved listenening to music, playing ludo, talking for hours on end and watching films.
Irina Pino’s Diary
Back in the 90s, I worked in a bookstore. I was happy, I had the ideal job, surrounded by books. I learned to deal with the customers who went there, suggesting what books to read. I socialized with others and made friends.
It was my dad’s birthday last week and several members of the family headed over to Havana’s Colon Cemetery to pay tribute to him. Once at the tomb, our silence was interrupted by a stranger.
With the recent opening of relations between Cuba and the USA, our little island is in the public eye: cruisers full of tourists, commercial films like Fast and Furious being shot here, visits by personalities from the cultural world, and finally a fashion show by the French fashion house Chanel.
I confess I was left with unpleasant thoughts. Memories assailed me of the Special Period, when I came across people from the underworld. I don’t know whether I mixed with the wrong crowds.
When my father died just before the age of 86, a friend said to me: “At least he had a good life. He had children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who loved him.” What she said left me thinking and made me look back at certain episodes in his life.
It’s often been said that relationships between people of different ages lead to generational clashes. While this is true and this is what ensues most of the time, it is also true young women are often attracted by men over 40 and vice-versa.
The longest performing rock and roll band, the Rolling Stones, played their long-awaited first concert in Cuba on the evening of Good Friday, March 25. It was a free event and held on a sprawling outdoor grass area of what is known as Havana’s Sports City. The happening was amazing after decades of cultural repression.
What many had hoped for didn’t happen: there were no people at either side of the street, cordoned off and holding the flags of both countries, cheering and screaming with joy.
It is both humorous and sad to see that many young Cuban university students have trouble taking in or developing an interest in culture. Their minds are elsewhere, they seem fed up with the world and they do not seem to care about history, literature, cinema or music.