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Bodeguita Del Medio

March 11, 2012

The world of ballet has pretty much passed me by. I am more used to the world of currency transfers with Currencies Direct. The concept of men in tights has always troubled me, so it was with alarm bordering on panic when Mrs Blond Slash and Burn suggested that a nice cultural diversion might be to go to the Cuban National Ballet. looking back I think it was my initial guffaw that sent me on the slippery slope. Those steely blue grey eyes fixed me with “that” look and I was informed that she had purchased 4 tickets (from our holiday kitty) and I was to present myself washed and scrubbed and in best bib and tucker at 7.30 sharp in the hotel ready for a visit to the ballet across the road, in what is admittedly one of the most wonderful building exteriors there has ever been, it is just that I did not want to see then interior and certainly not to see a load of “ballet balls”as Slash and Burn Thornton Allan later mumbled later.

I looked at Slash And Burn senior for some support but was stunned to see that he had already succumbed to the steely gaze and heaven knows what he had been promised in return but he agreed. We should see some culture whilst in Havana. I suggested that perhaps I would sit this one out, spend a quiet evening contemplating the meaning of life over a couple of beers, I tried pleading, whimpering, tears, I even had to try the last resort, the so called “war wound “defence where that limp caused by a piece of shrapnel was playing up, but nothing worked. I was going to the ballet and that was that, decision made. That nice lady decorator was no help, she actually wanted to go. Even the brainwave where I suggested that with her still dodgy ankle she could not wear heels so I would volunteer to stay behind with her failed.

And so it came to pass that I, council house boy from south London who has made a career out of rubbishing unworthy art, from Van Gogh to modern art and most of what lies between, was dragged kicking and screaming into a scenario unvisited in my worst nightmare, ballet in Spanish. I guess it could have been worse, opera in Italian maybe? actually as it transpired it was worse than even I could have imagined. Let me set the scene; some very average dancers directed by a chap with the surname Castro, (that might be a clue) weave a ridiculous web of nonsense which is loosely based on The Phantom Of The Opera but with vestiges of  River Dance, taking in flamenco influences on the way, in Spanish. In other words, a silly mask, lots of silly dancing coupled with lots of stamping and hitting sticks on then ground, in short at utter farce of catastrophic proportions, well worth £30 of anyone’s money. The only I can say in it favour is that for me the second half was better then the first as I managed to shorten it somewhat, finally getting off to sleep in the second act.

But I did get my money’s worth. I had prepared a number of one liners ready to amuse myself by pointing out the true horror of what had been seen, but to see the rest of the party in total agreement, the knowledge that it had been accepted that I was right was very rewarding.

Bodeguita Del Medio, home of the Mojito

Earlier after a visit to the flea market to buy a very fine Cohiba humidor for something around £30 we had lunched again at Bodeguita Del Medio home of the mohito (yes I now know I have been spelling it incorrectly) in the atmospheric upstairs restaurant to the accompaniment of a fine Cuban salsa band, but today we are off to the Havana Beach Club to collect some rays.

Chris France

2 Comments leave one →
  1. David Baumann permalink
    March 11, 2012 5:37 pm

    This is the chap from Cannes who bought TWO copies of your book – remember??
    If a lady is fair haired, she is blonde (with an E). A man is blond!
    Cheers from Cannes!

    Like

    • March 13, 2012 4:44 pm

      I do remember you, in fact I have dined out on the story about a chap with sufficient discernment to buy two books and now I have proof that you exist! I bow to your superior knowledge and will have the blonde corrected!

      Like

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