We paid a short visit to Raphael (he’s the guy who’s definitely not lazy) and his sister. They lived in a top floor apartment in a beautiful old colonial building. Without a doubt, his roof terrace provides one of the most breathtaking panoramic views in the whole of Havana.

He didn’t seem to care at all that the building looked like it was on the verge of collapse, held together by metal bars in critical places. His house was filled with all sorts of electronic parts, bits of metal, parts of TVs and fans, which seemed a part of the Cuban psyche: you never know when something might come in handy. I’m not sure what this says about the average Cuban.

The whole city comes alive as soon as the sun has passed its highest point. Everyone’s outdoors. There’s salsa dancing in the streets, people are fidgeting with their cars and domino tables emerge in the streets (and sometimes, when there’s no table at hand, they use an old door suspended on all the participants’ knees).

Havana is a city with character. I’m a great fan of the whole worn out aesthetic, which is abundant in this city. I love the juxtaposition of the beat up, rusty tools and the faded colors.

Old age and wear add character. It’s true not only for their tools, but also for the Cubans themselves.

August 2018