When I got on the bus, I saw that the driver had his hand over the fare-box. Everyone who got on was paying him a peso. “Driver, I don’t have any change,” said a woman who had just boarded the bus, wrestling past a crowd of people.
Jorge Milanes’s Diary
Not long ago, a friend of mine went to pick her kid up at his primary school and I tagged along. In the hallway, I saw the collages that are always hung on the hallways or at the back of the classrooms in these schools. Only one of them was more or less acceptable, the rest displayed tasteless information and decorations.
At ten in the morning, I was returning from Vedado on a P-5 bus (which goes all the way down to the ocean drive in Old Havana). I got off and crossed the street, heading towards the Plaza de Armas. Suddenly, I hear two young men call me.
From the moment they arrived to the time they left, the Yubonas controlled absolutely everything that took place at the ceremony. In Cuba, Yubonas are the women responsible for all aspects of the ritual whereby a practitioner of Santeria is initiated into the religion.
Last weekend, my dear brother traveled to Ecuador on an invitation from his son (who decided to chase his dreams outside of Cuba). Early in the morning, the insistent ring of the telephone woke us up. . When I picked up the receiver, he greeted me and said…
Last Thursday, I went out to help a friend with her shopping. We went to Almacenes Ultra, one of Havana’s largest department stores. We thought we’d be able to find what we were looking for at Ultra, which has a wide variety of products in stock. Sold in Cuban Convertible Pesos, of course.
Some time ago, I wrote about a book of poems, La Pendiente (“The Slope”), written by my friend and fellow Havana Times blogger Osmel Almaguer. At the time, Osmel shared his work only with friends and a few literary circles.
“My life has been a never-ending struggle, just like everybody else’s,” says the 30-year-old fellow who sells used eyeglasses across the street from my cousin’s. “I moved to Havana when I was 15 and had to sell deodorizer to make a living when things were really tough here.”
Looking up the meaning of the word “claustrophobia” in Google, I came across a web-site (www.claustrofobia.com) created by one of the most promising young writers in Cuba today: poet, storyteller, radio-play writer and current director of Santiago de Cuba’s Caseron publishing house Yunier Riquenes.
I was waiting at the busy intersection of Prado and Neptuno streets for a cab headed for Vedado, in the direction of the theatre. An old American car that was practically falling apart came to a stop beside me. “I’m going down Linea Street,” the driver said to me. I got in.