Cuba. Havana. These are places that come back into my life like pulses; accidents that I never go in search of. A friend says that I’ve even lost my accent and that I speak like a Mexican from a “globalized” future, he’s exaggerating.
To come back to Cuba after arriving in Mexico, I waited the two years they give you to not lose your residency rights on the island. There was so much to learn about, the city, a new culture, plus my Masters studies in paleosoils.
Mexican puns are a kind of humor which is somewhat similar to those jokes with a double meaning in Cuba. But don’t be fooled, the Mexican people’s “panic” of being direct and a sophisticated use of language and intonation make their puns a lot more witty…
I believe that the moment of showing the capital’s aesthetic decadence has already passed in Cuban film. The setting in ruins is no longer a call for attention; it’s simply the everyday setting where the lives of the film’s characters, and ordinary Cubans, unfold.
The Mexican torta, a kind of super-sized sandwich, is a multicultural food. That is why, in Mexico, we come across the “Spanish torta”, prepared with dry-cured ham, the “French torta”, with cheese from Oaxaca and the “Cuban torta,” the best and most expensive one of all.
Mexico City smells of tortillas. Havana smells of newspapers moistened with urine and dried in the sun. Different cities. I arrived in Mexico on the 26th of July last year. I left the “homeland” on its “Day of National Rebelliousness”.
I arrived at the main entrance of the Fabrica de Arte Cubano when the establishment had ceased being news and been in operation for about four months. A man over 6 feet tall addresses me. “Yes?” he asks me. Standing less than a foot from him, I really don’t feel like saying anything to him, because his question gives me the feeling one typically gets at State establishments: I feel like someone who is trespassing on someone else’s property.
I had my first contact with Chinese culture thanks to a childhood friend, Javier. He was a Chinese kid who would invite kids around the neighborhood to his house and make his grandfather read old newspapers. What he read was in Chinese, of course, which is what made the experience so much fun for us.
The Cuban Telecommunications Company (ETECSA), born in the worst years of the Special Period crisis, looks back on twenty years of operations this 2014. More than three years ago, it ceased being a joint-venture company. ETECSA seems to be swimming against the current.
Flowery spandex pants and blouses with open backs are invading the streets of Havana. The striped-shirt craze seems to be blowing over. Cubans seem to go insane over clothing and fashion, and the whole city seems to be one huge masquerade at times.