Original post, 2013
The taxi took off in the light night rain beginning to fall over Havana. I felt fortunate to have snagged a cab and negotiated an eight-peso ride back to my hotel on the Paseo. Even in the soft nighttime light I could glimpse the cab’s bright blue and white exterior and nifty silhouette. Sliding into the back seat my eyes quickly hooked onto the shiny, duo-toned leathery upholstery, feeling thankful for my second lucky break of the day — catching another ride in one of Havana’s timeless beauties, often used for taxis in Cuba’s capital. Earlier in the afternoon I rode in a hot pink, 1957 Chevy convertible, sharing the classic kid with two new friends as we headed east along the city’s famed Malecon, humming along to recorded Bee Gees sounds drifting from the car cd.
Now, scanning the inside cab, I saw the classy Bel Aire script logo emblazoned on the dashboard and tried to guess the precise year of the car, although that was never a skill I had mastered. At most I knew the car was from the late 1950’s, thanks to the likes of Laverne and Shirley.
The nighttime rain had cooled off the still lingering heat of the day; temperatures were high and humid in spite of it being November. The darkened sky seemed nearly transparent as an array of nocturnal wonders half-filled the atmosphere, while sparkling dots flickered above my roaming cab.
The taxi stopped in front of my hotel — too soon for me — and the driver quickly got out of the cab to open the side passenger door, as Havana taxi drivers always seem to do.
“Esto carro, que ano lo es?” I asked in my beginner level Spanish, just hoping the driver would understand me. He did. I knew enough of the language to understand “1956.” Ah, just what I thought, give or take a year. Gracias y buenas noches señor, y buenas noches la Habana.
Who is she, this person writing about the arts of her life, the passions, the learning? Notice how learning something is at the core of everything she writes — a different perspective perhaps from what other creative types write about, but it is real for this writer — this eagerness to learn and grow with new knowledge.