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Cigars and smoke

March 14, 2012

It was the Reverend Jeff who first suggested that I would at some stage be guilty of using the pun Havana a good time. I told him I would not consider it and I will not use it as it is beneath me both as a regional coordinator for Currencies Direct and a successful writer.

I know us writers should stick together but I was feeling a little delicate due to rather too much indulgence in the renowned products of Cuba to risk the bumpy taxi ride over to Hemingway’s house. It is a pity because it seems it was left exactly as it was when he died and gives an insight into his life, and I would have liked have discovered a few tips for when I die (if I die) and how I should leave my house for future generations of admirers of my work to discover.

I was sufficiently broken to avoid lunch but recovered somewhat before going to Casterpol, a delightful first floor terrace restaurant built above the sea wall in Havana, indeed where we had gone on our first night. A whole Chateaubriand for about £12 at today’s exchange rates was the reward for the last night for our fellow travellers Slash And Burn Thornton Allan and his scary as she is beautiful wife, the mathematically challenged Lisa. From now until we leave on Saturday once their baleful influence has departed, I expect to adopt a much healthier lifestyle.

A symptom often associated with over excessive eating and drinking is snoring. I have never snored myself despite that nice lady decorators contention that I do but Slash And Burn seems to have form in this area, and was described yesterday as sounding like warthog caught on a barbed wire fence emitting sounds one would more normally associate with a David Attenborough programme. I thought that was a bit harsh until I heard the recording.

My picture today was taken at the old Partagas factory from which production has been switched whist the building is refurbished and not from our tour where we were precluded from taking photographs. They had obviously forgotten to tell this Cuban virgin about the move as she was the only person at work in the old factory. The maximum number of cigars one can bring out of the country is 50, so with me taking over that nice lady decorators entitlement (there was no discussion, I just did not tell her), I hope to have sufficient for my needs until at the end of month.

I am sure there is a joke here about Cuban virgins

One thing that I have begun to notice about Havana is the fumes. These are not only caused by the excellent baked beans one can and does partake of at breakfast, nor can a great deal of blame be apportioned to cigar smoke unless one is in a bar or restaurant but are emitted from the wonderful old cars and battered Lada’s roaming the city. In the last few days there has been a brisk breeze blowing all the carbon monoxide away and now this has dropped there is definitely a rather smoky situation, which I suppose could sum up Cuba.

Today we are scheduled to visit a handicrafts and book market in old Havana, so  shall take a couple of copies of my book with me and see if I can add to the swelling sales, and I shall ensure I have a pen for the autographs. Rather worryingly there seems to be a bottle of champagne in our room so I suspect a send off for our fellow travellers is on the cards for this afternoon.

Chris France

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 27, 2012 4:40 am

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