Irina Pino’s Diary

Photo: Caridad
From the Room Next-Door

May 25, 2016 | No Comments »

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.

An Infuriating Boss

May 19, 2016 | 1 Comment »

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.

Tombs at the Colon Cemetery.
Conversation with a Cuban Undertaker

May 12, 2016 | 11 comments

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.

Personas en la calle esperando
Fashion Show for the Elite

May 5, 2016 | 2 comments

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.

rey de la habana
Cuba: A Personal Experience in the World of Pedro Juan Gutierrez

April 28, 2016 | No Comments »

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.

My father in his youth.
My Father’s Good Life

April 12, 2016 | 4 comments

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.

Of Love and its Surprises

April 7, 2016 | 2 comments

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.

Watching the Rolling Stones Live in Havana

March 26, 2016 | 7 comments

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.

obamas arrive
Our Dear President Obama

March 21, 2016 | 5 comments

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.

No Appetite for Culture

March 18, 2016 | No Comments »

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.