Irina Pino’s Diary

Estante casi vacío en el departamento de confituras de La Puntilla
The Decay of a Havana Shopping Center

July 22, 2016 | 3 comments

Everyday, we find out about the irregularities that state-run establishments make on the TV news. The media for the masses tells us to some extent what’s going on, but it’s us Cubans who have to pay the consequences.

In my youth.
When We Were Young and Promiscuous

July 1, 2016 | 31 comments

Having casual relationships is something you do when you’re growing up, without fear of getting STDs. When I was young, I was promiscuous, like a lot of my friends. We had sex on stairways, in parks, on rooftops, in rooms they used to lend us…

Fito Páez en el Karl Marx 20 de juno 2016.jpg 2
The Fito Paez Concert at Havana’s Karl Marx Theater

June 22, 2016 | 1 Comment »

I saw the announcement about composer and singer Fito Paez’s arrival with his band, and the reason why he wanted to perform his last concert on his Latin American tour in our beloved, marvelous city.

Illustration: Yasser Castellanos
Houses and Families

June 12, 2016 | 1 Comment »

I was born in Vedado, in a house we inherited from an aunt of mine who left for the US. In the early ‘60s, emigration intensified and as a result many houses remained empty. People who were living in poor conditions or who didn’t even have a house, broke into these houses and claimed to be their owners.

A private cafe where there are always soft drinks.
Eating Ice Cream and Drinking Soda, a Difficult Mission in Havana

June 5, 2016 | 22 comments

I go to Old Havana quite often to see a friend and colleague of mine from HT. She brings her laptop and I bring my external hard drive. We look for a quiet place where we can exchange films, literature and news articles whilst we talk about the things that interest us.

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 | 12 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.