KUBA – CUBA

Che je ziv-Che is alive

Che je ziv-Che is alive

Igracka za kolekcionare-A vintage toy

Igracka za kolekcionare-A vintage toy

Katredrala Bezgresnog zaceca Blazene Device Marije u Havani-The Catedral of the Virgen Maria de la Concepcion Inmaculada de La Habana

Katredrala Bezgresnog zaceca Blazene Device Marije u Havani-The Catedral of the Virgen Maria de la Concepcion Inmaculada de La Habana

Kolonijalna zgrada u Havani-A colonial building in Havana

Kolonijalna zgrada u Havani-A colonial building in Havana

Kuca-muzej Ernesta Hemingveja-Ernest Hemingway's old house, now museum

Kuca-muzej Ernesta Hemingveja-Ernest Hemingway’s old house, now museum

Legendarni hotel Nacional-The legendary Hotel Nacional

Legendarni hotel Nacional-The legendary Hotel Nacional

Muzicar u Trinidadu-A musician in Trinidad

Muzicar u Trinidadu-A musician in Trinidad

Oldtajmer koji se odrzava s puno ljubavi-An oldtimer that is cherished Con mucho amor

Oldtajmer koji se odrzava s puno ljubavi-An oldtimer that is cherished Con mucho amor

Oldtajmeri na setalistu Malekon-The oldtimers on The Malecon promenade

Oldtajmeri na setalistu Malekon-The oldtimers on The Malecon promenade

Pogled na setaliste Malekon sa tvrdjave-A view of The Malecon promenade from the fortress

Pogled na setaliste Malekon sa tvrdjave-A view of The Malecon promenade from the fortress

Pripremanje koktela mohito u najpoznatijoj krcmi u Havani-Making mojitos in the famous La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana

Pripremanje koktela mohito u najpoznatijoj krcmi u Havani-Making mojitos in the famous La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana

Radni sto Ernesta Hemingveja u njegovom muzeju-Ernest Hemingway's desk in his museum

Radni sto Ernesta Hemingveja u njegovom muzeju-Ernest Hemingway’s desk in his museum

Ritam srca-Rhythm of the heart

Ritam srca-Rhythm of the heart

Sevrolet iz pedesetih-A Chevrolet from 1950s

Sevrolet iz pedesetih-A Chevrolet from 1950s

Stalna postavka oldtajmera na ulicama Havane-A permanent oldtimers show in the streets of Havana

Stalna postavka oldtajmera na ulicama Havane-A permanent oldtimers show in the streets of Havana

Stara Kubanka s tompusom-An old Cuban lady with a cigar

Stara Kubanka s tompusom-An old Cuban lady with a cigar

U klubu Tropikana-At Club Tropicana

U klubu Tropikana-At Club Tropicana

U marini Hemingvej-In Marina Hemingway

U marini Hemingvej-In Marina Hemingway

Ulice stare Havane-The streets of old Havana

Ulice stare Havane-The streets of old Havana

Usamljeni stari auto pod drvetom-A lonely vintage car under the tree

Usamljeni stari auto pod drvetom-A lonely vintage car under the tree

Zanosna igracica u Tropikani-A charming Tropicana dancer

Zanosna igracica u Tropikani-A charming Tropicana dancer

Stari automobili su moja velika ljubav i strast, ali ne i jedini razlog
zašto bezrezervno volim ovu zemlju, koja mi je jedna od tri najomiljenije.
Kuba je zaista jedinstvena, što bi se svakako moglo reći za bilo koju
zemlju, ali ona poseduje neodoljivi šarm, svojstven malom broju zemalja u
koje se zaljubite na prvi pogled. Pre bi se reklo na prvi ritam, jer Kuba
živi u stalnom ritmu svoje muzike, poznate širom sveta. Veliki broj čuvenih
latinoameričkih muzičara je kubanskog porekla, a njihova muzika već
legendarna. Jedan od najsimpatičnijih izvođača te muzike je Kompaj Segundo.
U svojoj devedeset petoj godini on objašnjava kako je svojoj baki palio
tompus kad je imao pet godina i da se zato može smatrati da ima devedeset
godina pušačkog staža. Svojom muzikom, glasom i pojavom, sa belim panama
šeširom, plenio je svet u svojim poznim godinama, sve do smrti. I ne samo
on, već i čitava plejada starih muzičara koji su osvojili svet.
Tompus je bio njihovo obeležje, kao što danas počinje da se smatra statusnim
simbolom. I Tito je voleo da neobavezno drži tompus, dok bi u belom odelu,
kao i Čerčil, ležerno pozirao. Vole ga i nove mlade generacije, ali to više
ne deluje ležerno, nego više kao obavezni simbol poslovnog uspeha.
Šetajući ulicama glavnog grada Havane, između različitih modela ogromnih
američkih automobila, za koje je na Kubi vreme stalo pedesetih godina,
ugledao sam jedan stari ford sa drvenim točkovima, iz ranih tridesetih
godina prošlog veka. Na moje pitanje, upućeno vlasniku, vršnjaku automobila,
koji je zastao da bih ga fotografisao, kako ga održava, odgovorio je uz
široki osmeh: “Con mucho amor” (Sa puno ljubavi). I to je jedino tačno, jer
samo ljubav može pokretati te modele, ljubav kojom se ručno pravi svaki deo
koji nedostaje. Ulične revije oldtajmera, koji ponosno krstare duž šetališta
Malekon, u sjaju hroma koji nose na sebi, kao da vas odvode u neki stari
film.
Klub Tropikana odiše nekadašnjim sjajem zvezda, koje su graciozno izlazile
na scenu među ogromnim drvećem, uz ritmove rumbe i salse, dok vas ležerno,
ili možda namerno,  okrznu ogromnim perjem na kostimima, koji često više
otkrivaju nego što skrivaju. U nekom od brojnih klubova završava se noć i
započinje jutro, uz nove ritmove i stari rum Cuba Libre.
Kubanci su srećan narod. To što tako malo imaju ujedinjuje ih u toj sreći, u
kojoj je sve pesma i ritam, koji se čuju, vide i osećaju u svakom delu
grada, svakoj kafani. Bodegita del Medio jedna je od ambijentalnih krčmi u
Havani, a Hemingvej i njegov duh su sveprisutni.
Iz marine “Hemingvej” polazimo, a vraćamo se sa ulovom koji teško držim u
ruci. Tada svako od nas obavezno pomisli na roman Starac i more. Sa jahte za
strance posmatramo trošne drvene čamce, ili čak automobilske gume, koji se
jedva odžavaju na vodi (da slučajno ne bi mogli da stignu do Majamija) i iz
njih se lovi riba; kao starac iz poznatog Hemingvejevog dela. Ovo je sada
druga Kuba, ona koja živi u stvarnosti borbe za opstanak.
Ali i to se, ipak, radi u ritmu i con mucho amor, što će ih činiti srećnim,
nadam se, i u vremenu posle Kastra.

Decembar 1991.
___________________________________________________________

Vintage cars have always been my big passion and love, and one of, but not
the only reason why I love this country, which is amongst my top three. Cuba
is truly unique, something you could say about any country, but it possesses
an irresistible charm, peculiar to a small number of countries with which
you fall in love at first sight. Or better say at ‘first rhythm’ because
Cuba lives with the constant beat of its music, well known around the world.
A vast number of Latin American musicians are of Cuban origin and their
music is legendary. One of the most charming Cuban musicians is Compay
Segundo. At 95 he explains how he used to light a cigar for his grandma when
he was five years old, so it could be said that his smoker’s career spans 90
years. His music, voice and appearance in a white Panama hat have enchanted
audiences around the world, even at his old age and until his death.
However, he has not been on his own, a whole host of old school musicians
from Cuba have captivated audiences around the world.

The Cuban cigar has always been their trademark, whereas today it is a
status symbol. President Tito used to like to hold a cigar, nonchalantly,
while he posed in his white suite, like Churchill. Cuban cigars are much
liked by new, younger generations too, but the image that is projected is
not one of nonchalance, but of business success.
Walking down the streets of the capital Havana, amongst the multitude of
huge American old timers, right from the 50s when the clock seems to have
stopped, I spotted an old Ford with wooden wheels from the early 30s of the
last century. The owner, the same age as the automobile,  with a beaming
smile on his face, answered my question about how he takes care of his car –
“Con mucho amor” (With much love). And that is the only truth, because only
love can get these old cars going, love with which every missing part is
handmade so it could be replaced. Old timers’ street shows, where these
automobiles proudly cruise down the Malecon promenade, with their chrome
parts shining away, transport us to an atmosphere of old movies.
Club Tropicana still exudes the charm of old stars gracefully descending on
to the stage amongst huge trees, accompanied by rumba and salsa rhythms,
carelessly, or maybe on purpose, brushing against you with big plumes on
their costumes, which reveal more than they hide. In one of the many clubs,
the night has ended and the new day has begun, with new rhythms and good old
Cuba Libre rum.
Cubans are happy people. The fact that they have so little unites them in
this happiness made entirely of song and rhythm, which you can see, feel and
hear in every part of the city, in each and every bar. Bodegita del Medio is
one of these atmospheric bars in Havana, where Hemingway and his spirit
still live on.
We sail out from the ‘Hemingway’ marina and return with a catch of fish that
I have trouble holding in my arms. At that moment we all think about The Old
Man and the Sea. We are on a yacht, for the exclusive use of foreigners,
observing decrepit wooden boats, or even automobile tyres which are barely
afloat (so that they cannot get as far as Miami), which are both used as
fishing vehicles. Just like the old man used to do in Hemingway’s renowned
novel. This is a different Cuba now, living a harsh reality of everyday
survival.
But even that is performed rhythmically and with mucho amor, which I hope
will keep Cubans happy, even after Castro.

December 1991

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