The Buildings Of Cuba


The Buildings Of Cuba

            Bubba is making his way through Cuba.  He likes the cars, the cigars, and the rum and has written about each.  Today he looks a little closer.

            Cuba has some real contrasts and conflicts.  Since there is little variety in the products for sale, there is very little advertising.  We heard it called “propaganda”.  Instead of big billboards of advertising propaganda, I’ve seen a lot of this.

Which is…well…political propaganda I suppose.

            They also seem to be a little looser in their safety regulations.  I guess this guy is not a professional and doesn’t know this way of painting may be dangerous.

          If he was a professional, like these two workers, he would be painting in a safe manner.  Learn from the professionals.

            Building codes are a little different too.  In the U.S. if you want to build a home or add to an existing one you have to get permits, make sure the design is acceptable and bring everything “up to code”.  In Cuba, if you have a friend with a house and a few cinderblocks, you are set.

                        Security systems are pretty simple too.

            The wrought iron spikes might make it difficult but I think the power lines draped over the top would be the real deterrent. 

            Need a door?  A ladder and a hole in the ceiling will do just fine.

            Electricity is dangerous so the electric meters are done in a more exacting way.

          And if you need power for that house that suddenly appeared on the roof, just run the wires and plug it in.

            You can save money by not running the pipe all the way to the top of the wall and over.  Just punch a hole.  The painters will be back at work when they recover from their fall.

          I saw this sign.  Someone told me it was a warning sign.  I thought it was teaching me a new dance move.

            Cuba has never had a lot of money to do repairs.  Much of what we saw was described as “under restoration”.  Because of this, there has been little change over the years.  Cuba has retained some remarkable buildings.

          You can find some incredible details in out of the way places.  These doors were down the street from the homemade ladder and hole door in the earlier picture.

          Buildings aren’t demolished because they can’t be replaced so many of the old, colonial buildings still exist.

            Cuban architecture has an untouched feel that you don’t see in many places.  The Cuban people live with these buildings everyday and I had the feeling that they didn’t regard them as rare treasures so much as part of the fabric that makes up the country.  Not much has been built since the 50’s except government buildings.  They date from the Soviet era and stand out like sore thumbs in this land of the untouched and old.

            I got this shot on the fly of the Russian embassy while being chased by soviet agents.  Spy antenna?  What spy antenna?

            I think I’m going to enjoy the music and the arts in the next post.


Cuban Cigars

            I kind of liked the cigars that Ernie Hemingway gave me so I thought I would go out to the country to see where they are made.  I found this little hut on a farm.

            The door was open so I invited myself in.  Inside was this man.  I believe he was sent from central casting in Hollywood.  They asked for a Cuban Tobacco Farmer and they sent this guy.

            I asked why his hut had all this furry looking stuff hanging all over.  He explained that it was tobacco leaves set out to dry.

          I asked how these dried up piles of leaves turned into that nice smoke and he explained how the leaves are dried, cured and then rolled up.  He showed me and it certainly seemed easy enough.

          We hung out at his new car for awhile.

            Then he invited me into his house for a cuppa his home grown coffee and a cigar.


     I’ve been looking for her in all my travels and just can’t seem to connect.  I offered her a cigar but…

          She disappeared right after that.  I may have to give these things a second thought.  They don’t seem to be the plastic chick magnet I thought they would be.  It did attract these chicks though.

           I gave rolling my own a shot and got into a bit of a tangle so that the farmer had to assist me with it.

          Okay, I’ve learned a lot in Cuba so far.  Back off on the rum and the cigars.