First-Class Business in Old Havana

Daisy Valera

Photo by Elio Delgado.

If someone in the streets of Old Havana proposes conducting “first-class business” with you, tell them no.

Why?  It’s simple: prostitution is a synonym for “first-class business.”

I was seated recently in one of the parks of historic Old Havana reading a book by a poet who likes birds.

As would be expected, I wasn’t paying attention to anyone or anything else.

This however didn’t prevent a certain individual from sitting down exactly on the same bench as mine and starting to talk to me.

This individual, who said he was a chef at the Floridita (one of the most famous bar-restaurants in the country), bombarded me with questions.

He began like this:

“You know you caught my attention for being so pretty?  Are you a dancer?”

He continued:

“How old are you? Where do you live?”

I didn’t utter a single word in response to his enquiries; I only shot him an unfriendly look.

This self-professed cook didn’t surrender:

“What’s your name?  Would you like to work with tourists?”

And lastly:

“Would you like to be part of a ‘first-class business’?”

To me it was as clear as water what business he was referring to, and with no other alternative I got up and left.

I definitely lack the aptitude for either being a dancer or a “business woman.”

Daisy Valera

Daisy Valera:Soil scientist and blogger. I write from Mexico City, where Havana sometimes becomes so small that it disappears. However in others, the Cuban capital is a city so past and present that it steals your breath.



One thought on “First-Class Business in Old Havana

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day
Picture 1 of 1

Dawn on the Havana Malecon Seawall.  By John Kochanowski (USA).  Camera: Nikon D7100

Submit your pictures to our Photo of the Day section
You don’t have to be a professional photographer, just send an image (in black and white or color), with a photo caption indicating where it was taken (city and country), type of camera or cell you used, and a small description about it.
Note: it is better for our format if you send horizontal orientation pictures. Even square will work but vertical is a problem.
Send your picture with your name and birth country, or where you reside, to this email address: yordaguer@gmail.com