Irina Pino’s Diary

Cuba: Hello Wi-Fi

August 25, 2015 | 9 comments

I hope Wi-Fi services last in Cuba. It’s been a phenomenal idea to set up these networks, and it’s both curious and humorous to see people congregate to download information and videos and to chat with relatives and friends.

The Jesus Christ Who Is Not a Superstar

August 17, 2015 | No Comments »

More than forty years after its release, I was finally able to enjoy Norman Jewinson’s rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, featuring music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, now being screened at Havana’s La Rampa theater as part of a “rock golden age” retrospective.

The Forgetful People Who Leave Cuba

August 7, 2015 | 11 comments

Over time, it becomes clear that very few friends who leave the country remain in touch with those who stay. This is particularly true of those who leave for the United States. My friend “L” left three years ago.

Searching for a Boyfriend

July 22, 2015 | 3 comments

The idea of using Havana Times to find my friend a boyfriend isn’t an experiment but an attempt at finding an alternative for her. My friend needs a partner. Her loneliness and depression could harm her psychologically in the long run.

Cuban Film Venecia Sinks Miserably

July 15, 2015 | No Comments »

Venecia (“Venice”), the latest film by Cuban director Enrique Alvarez, tells the stories of three young women in the span of 24 hours. The street settings – a restaurant, a bar, a disco – are a pretext to comment on different attitudes and ways of regarding life.

Farewell to Carlos Ruiz de la Tejera

July 9, 2015 | 2 comments

The phone wouldn’t stop ringing. News of a sudden death always draw attention. People want to find out the minutest detail (I don’t know why). There’s always a certain degree of morbid curiosity in the air, I suppose that’s normal.

Seduced by a Cuban

June 26, 2015 | 8 comments

My friend Inga was seduced by a Cuban hustler. They met at a party, danced salsa, had drinks, talked for hours and ended up having sex up on the roof terrace. A passionate string of events that left my foreign friend dazzled.

A Tragic Number

June 23, 2015 | 1 Comment »

People talk of the 27 Club, where Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Brian Jones, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Johnson and Jean Michel Basquiat are part of the list of those who died at the young age of 27.

To Never Grow Up

June 10, 2015 | No Comments »

Cartoons are part of the world of children, but many adults still enjoy them and retain – or have not managed to tear themselves from – the innocence of their childhood. I confess I’ve never stopped liking them.

Never Too Late to Come Out

May 29, 2015 | 2 comments

Back when I was studying at the tourism school in Havana, a classmate and I used to go out with two young men from Cuba’s east. We went to parties, strolled together through Old Havana and practically became inseparable.