La Vida Es Dos Carnaveles

I got home from the Melia Havana Hotel at around 8pm.  Given the long taxi ride, wifi internet, and excellent nooks to write about in, I figured there’d be no better place to spend the day getting things done.  To date I’ve lined up meetings in Toronto with HiFi HDTV, Canwest Global, and Bravo.  There’s a few others pending as well.

Sandra and I had supper on the 33rd floor of the Focxa, one of the tallest buildings in Havana.  There were windows, floor to ceiling that provided incredible views of the city at night.  I sat next to one of those windows and made the mistake of looking straight down.  But for one thin layer of glass, I was sitting exactly on the edge of this very tall building.  I felt my scrotum retreat, as if hanging on tighter might somehow ensure its own survival should something bad happen to me.  Sandra and I enjoyed two sandwiches, two beers, and a desert for less than $20.

Later, outside her building, we met some of Sandra’s friends.  Liz just won a literary award, providing her with enough income to focus exclusively on writing her novel for a year.  She’ll also be giving a lecture in the United States.  I congratulated her and mentioned a small piece of me died with jealousy upon hearing the news.

A few minutes later I met the Americans at Marta’s and we headed back downstairs to hang out with Sandra and her friends.  The night offered endless possibilities, from music to dancing to break & entry.  We settled on drinking beer at a nearby bar.  It was a perfect night for alcohol fuelled conversations.  We laughed, we got to know each other even more, and we closed the place down.  I covered our $10 bar bill (unbelievable) and Eric bought another 15 beers to go ($15).  From there we headed back to Sandra’s to keep the evening going.  On the walk home I looked up to her 13th story balcony and saw the Australians were home.

Sandra’s balcony wraps around two sides of her building.  It is dotted with bits of patio furniture and offers panoramic views of Havana, life bustling below, and the sea beyond.  Two sets of wooden shuttered patio doors open to the living room inside and a warm gentle breeze keeps the air fresh.  There really is no better place to have an intimately international medley of party proportions.

Add one part Cuban, one part American, one part Australian, a pinch of Canadian, a dash of Lebanese, sprinkled generously with music, ambience and beer… and you have a perfect beverage.

We drank it until very late.

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