Havana in Winter – Part One – Christian And A Wedding

14 Dec

It was unusually cool, windy and rainy this trip. I spent almost four weeks in Havana and never had it this cool. If that was cool to me, imagine how the Cubans were feeling …

It was hitting the ground running as always. Only a day after I arrived my friend Christian from Belgium arrived and hardly had he settled down that we were invited next day to the wedding of Aylin, a good friend’s daughter.

I only had time for a haircut at Papito’s barber museum and it was time to pick up Chris – he not only had made friends with all the KLM crew but drank their wine stock empty on that flight. Wine and Champagne lover that he is.

But he was happy having a cold Cristal and a good cigar after arrival – and a good Mojito at La Fontana first night as tradition calls for. The turtles there must have received advance warning as not one was around to be kicked back into the water.

The next day was fully occupied with the first Cuban wedding I’ve ever attended. It was as chaotic and lovely and “hurry up and wait” as anything Cuban can be.

Never mind schedules or timing, we have watches, Cubans have time.

We left the bride’s apartment about the time the wedding was supposed to be celebrated – but had almost 45 minutes to the “wedding palace” where it was supposed to happen. Never mind, the groom called that he was late as well.

The weather was not playing along either, as we had to close down the car-top in the rain only to lower it again 10 minutes later in bright sunshine. Tropics – you don’t like the weather wait ten minutes …

As the wedding palace was too crowded anyway I suggested having lunch at a nearby Paladar despite lunch having been announced for the celebration party after the wedding.

It was to be the best decision as “lunch” consisted of the Cubay 10 yr old bottle of rum I had brought along to be smoked with some fantastic Salomones. Good to have a full belly for that.

It was only some four hours later, when we were leaving the party that everyone received a lunch box “to go”.

But what a beautiful and lovely wedding it was, full of emotion, tears, good humour and Christian and me having a ball.

We had a very good time right from breakfast time as Charlie “Ojos Locos” and his lovely girl friend Stephanie were our neighbours and would drop by daily for breakfast at our Casa and leisurely cigars overlooking the Malecon and the Almendares river mouth.

Chris being a dedicated Chef would take over kitchen duty and prepare the best scrambled eggs with the limited resources at hand.
No butter was available in Havana so we sent out an SOS message to Jan & Lili to bring some along with jam and honey. I was happy I had brought some good Olive oil with me.

But good cigars, rum and fun were never scarce. Not even sharing the “double” toilet at Espacios, the garden Bar we would hang out every night.
Christian happily using his best Italian and getting along peaches & cream with everybody ( except with the bitchy old landlady Julia at the other Casa, she truly gave him the creeps … 🙂
Taking Chris advice I cancelled the reservation for that Casa for next February despite it being a great place.

Food was good as always at the usual places, Santy’s for the best seafood and 7 Dias for the great food ( Chris had his best lobsters there ) and the atmosphere.

Good atmosphere too meeting my Canadian friends at Reynaldo as well as all of the other “usual suspects” in town for the Partagas event like Reza, Aleixandre, Ingmar, Francesco and many others.

It was fun filled days with Christian, showing him around and having a good time – he had some dates of his own for the coming week involving the diplomatic circles … in the end I was happy I went along, it was to be a good event …. more in Part Two.






4 Responses to “Havana in Winter – Part One – Christian And A Wedding”

  1. Javier Paredes 15/12/2017 at 04:05 #

    HahaHa, “we have watches, Cubans have time”. Great to read this Nino! Don’t stop writing, you told me you could find it “repetitive”, but isn’t Havana repetitive yet fun and also different every single time? So are your posts my friend.

  2. Frank 15/12/2017 at 13:16 #

    Great wedding and the father looks very happy and proud.
    Looking out for Feb. 18

  3. Joe 18/12/2017 at 21:07 #

    Is there a story behind the double toilets? Is this a Cuban thing, or just someone with a twisted sense of humor? Really enjoy your blog too!

    • Nino Munoz 21/12/2017 at 13:06 #

      Twisted sense of humor Joe and good for a laugh – you should see the ladies toilet next door … 🙂