In Havana, people are lively and colorful. Regardless of age or body shape, men and particularly women wear super-tight clothes. It does not always seem charming or flattering to us, but the Cubans don’t seem to mind. Lots of people on the street, neighbors talking or playing domino in the evening.
The general noise level in this city is rather „lively“ as well. Cars, people, construction, music and barking dogs create a phenomenal cacophony. We had a bit of bad luck as on top of it, the government decided that the underground sewage system needed an upgrade in the quarter we stayed. So one needs to add the sound of a few jackhammers to the above and imagine lots of streets ripped up and looking like recently bombed.
In the city there are all kinds of people selling all kinds of things, shouting out „panadero“ (bakery man), „maní“ (peanuts) often with fantastic voices carrying their messages up the walls into every apartment.
One of our highlights in Havana was a guided architecture tour by a young Cuban called Julie who studied English in the Havana university and recently graduated. She showed us the restored part of old Havana and explained about their agency’s renovation work. Quite some renovation was done over the years but a lot more is waiting. One major problem with that is that the skills needed to renovate those old buildings respectfully are missing. So the government has decided to educate some young people, offering some sort of aprenticeship in special crafts. Looking at this fantastic town with all its renovation need, a lot of youngsters are needed.