we had a week in havana last year. what a place! music is everywhere mostly what’s called son, made popular worldwide by buena vista social club. there was a band in every restaurant, every club, every bar and on on almost every street corner. this guy playing the bass was part of a band playing in an outdoor restuarant in old havana.
old havana looks in parts like beirut must have done after its civil war – derelict! worried about pickpockets no! worried about debris falling on your head si! si!
but let me tell you about ken! eating a superb pork dish in “la bodeguita del medio” and in walks two cubans and a man in a kilt with a chivas regal shirt on. they sit down opposite us and began a conversation in spanish, the guy in the kilt has an unmistakable scottish accent (or was it tone) which was really weird as i wouldn’t reconise a spanish dialect – hard enough reconising the language! anyway long story short the guy in the kilt was ken who was from edinburgh and the regional manager for chivas (or their owner pernod ricard). he was here to promote chivas regal which at $100 a bottle i would have thought would have been out of reach for 99.9% of the rum loving cuban population. but as ken said “there are poor communists and there are rich communists”. you can see more images of havana and surrounds here.