Next week's Havana post covers transport, but neglects to mention trains, yet as you will know if you read my Mambi post I was aware of a rail infrastructure. So why the oversight? Well firstly as my travels were confined to the city I had no need to investigate further, which is a pity really … Continue reading Train (Habana 51)
No, not as in a male child. Son as in the style of music that originated in Cuba of which Salsa is a derivative. Cigars and rum may be obvious Cuban exports, but when the Soviet Union collapsed the country lost a vital source of overseas income. Tourism was encouraged as a means of generating … Continue reading Son (Habana 50)
Culture is permeable. Take a set of values and beliefs and transplant them into a new setting and watch how they change and evolve in unpredictable ways. Disney learnt this when they launched Euro Disney Resort in 1992. In my experience the employees in Florida have always been positive and proactive. Trying to recreate this in … Continue reading Santería (Habana 49)
No one knows for certain the origins of the word rum to describe this Caribbean spirit. I'd always assumed that the use of the word in English meaning "out of the ordinary" might derive from the behaviour of rum drinkers, but it seems the term pre-dates the spirit. As a result there are some that … Continue reading Rum (Habana 48)
There are two defining moments in Cuba's history; gaining independence from Spain four centuries after Columbus first claimed the island as a colony, and the revolution which came only 60 years later when they gained... You can fill in your own blanks according to whether you see Castro as freedom fighter delivering the nation from Batista dictatorship, or … Continue reading Revolution (Habana 47)
It may represent the blood of the freedom fighters, but there's a lot more red to be seen in Havana than just on the Cuban flag and the labels of Havana Club rum.
William Shakespeare is probably the greatest writer that England has produced; more than that he is probably the greatest ever writer in the English language. Curiously he had a Spanish contemporary of similar stature, and in the same way that Shakespeare is revered not just in the UK, but also in the US, so Miguel de … Continue reading Quixote (Habana 45)