Irina Pino’s Diary

My Recent Birthday

July 23, 2014 | 1 Comment »

Birthdays can be either highly memorable or highly forgettable. Some can even be very painful, particularly when they coincide with the death of a friend or relative. Most of the time, however, one looks back on them with joy.

My Sundays at Home in Cuba

July 16, 2014 | 1 Comment »

Sundays ought to be like an emergency exit: the possibility of fleeing from the daily chaos that steps on our heels throughout the week and swallows us up without mercy. Quiet time, the pleasure of doing what we like, breaks the doldrums of routine.

A Night at an Ambassador’s Home in Havana

July 9, 2014 | 5 comments

Some days ago, a friend and I went to a reception held at the home of an Ambassador, a very pretty mansion located in Havana’s neighborhood of Miramar. When we arrived, we were greeted by the ambassador and his wife with refined cordiality.

The Old Custodian

July 3, 2014 | 5 comments

You’d see him come into work with a tattered backpack, a stocky, dark-skinned man with a full head of gray hair. Almost immediately, a yellow dog would come running, merrily wagging its tail, and start playing with him. It would stay with him while he looked after the cars in the lot.

On a Celebration in Havana…and Memories of a Film

June 24, 2014 | No Comments »

Family celebrations are important events the world over, but they make for particularly special occasions in our country. Last Saturday was my father’s birthday, and I wanted to treat him to one of his favorite desserts.

A Postcard Still of My Havana Neighborhood

June 17, 2014 | 2 comments

The years go by but my neighborhood doesn’t change: the sidewalks are still in shambles, the streetlamp continues to cast a dim, ghastly light, the framboyan tree across the street has no new leaves or flowers, the peeling walls of the corner market (previously a ration store) are still stained with humidity, smelling of rust and old age.

Inside the Circle with George Harrison

June 12, 2014 | 4 comments

I have always believed people are connected to one another by something that surrounds them, but that those connections must be activated somehow. I sensed this on realizing how close I feel to George Harrison, the artist who, being the most quiet, managed to grow, unaided, and to do things for others.

A Place for Love and Friendship in Havana

June 3, 2014 | 3 comments

Ana is a woman over sixty. Lonely and without love, she is constantly searching for someone to talk to. To do this, she regularly visits a restaurant where single people in need of company gather. This is the plot of a film by Charlotte Rampling I saw recently.

My Friend’s Sexual Struggles in Cuba

May 28, 2014 | 2 comments

For her, love involves two people, no matter what their gender. As a teenager, she was interested in having boyfriends. She liked a boy in her high school and began having sexual relations with him. She was the first in her class who boasted of not being a virgin.

My Memories of Havana’s Maria Grajales Park

May 22, 2014 | 2 comments

The monument is located on Calle 23, between C and D streets, in Vedado, at a park that my family and friends used to frequent. In my childhood years, I would go there in search of some peace and the freshness of nature, to read adventure books, run around and ride my bicycle.