An Excerpt from my Havana Journal

In May 2012 my roommate and I spent a week in Havana, Cuba. This is an unedited excerpt from the journal I kept at the time.

May 21
“Presently we are prisoners of weather.  The sky, which had been darkening hourly, broke and unceremoniously dumped a tropical rainstorm on us.  It’s rather like a vertical flash flood so we, along with everyone else, sought shelter in a café doorway.  Now, as the torrent pours on with no signs of tiring, we are seated on a cushioned bench watching the wall of water through the open doorway.  It’s the perfect time for writing.  And though our nomadic exploration has been temporarily aborted, there are a hundred or a thousand things worse than being wrapped in humid warmth on a bench between a cobbled street and a courtyard in Havana, writing.  Viva la vacation!”

The Havana courtyard where we sheltered from the storm. 

The Havana courtyard where we sheltered from the storm. 

“We intrepidly hoofed through endless blocks as the rain tumbled on and we circled back on our own path.  Havana streets are narrow and colorful and madcap and all begin to resemble one another as you navigate broken cobbles, lack of sidewalks, bicycle taxis, stray dogs, and cat calls.  We found our bearings on the Malécon but after an hour we were soaked through, mud-spattered, and the towering Hotel Nacional seemed as distant as ever.  So we hopped in a cab.  Rain in Havana is no joke.  Neither is driving.”

- Corinne Simpson