Monday, June 20th, 2016
It’s a cloudless day in Havana. The sun beats down. People mill about the place, laughing and chatting. Nearby, a group of entertainers teeter past on stilts, wearing belly-tops and singing, while their accomplice holds out a pouch for tourists’ contributions. Gaiety is in the air. We’re meandering through the sloping streets, when I’m stopped by my guide and prevented from walking on the pavement. “In Havana, people avoid footpaths,” Lillian says. She points up to a balcony over which a line of washing sways. “The balconies are old and dangerous. They may collapse.” As she speaks, I can’t help but think of the Berkeley tragedy, and shudder.
The Cuban capital is a city of colour, vibrancy, warmth and hustle. But at the same time, one that feels like the clock stopped decades ago, leaving its inhabitants to live on.
Credit: Nadina O’Regan, Sunday Business Post
Published: 10th April, 2016