A native from the Caribbean cannot help but look for any evidence of his/her colorful, unique culture, even if it’s in a sandwich bite along the Rocky Mountains. With that in mind, I had to visit Cuba Cuba. Simply, a Cuban Sandwich place. I was gladly surprise to see ’empanadas’ and ‘tostones’ (or ‘patacones’) in their menu as well. I had both as appetizers accompanied with a gloriously strong ‘cafe Cubano’ and a ‘Café con Leche’ (obviously.) The Cuban Coffee options were amazing: “Cafecito”(single or double shot), “colada” (triple shot), “cortadito” (single shot with evaporated milk) and “café con leche” (single shot with steamed milk.) Then the Cuban Sandwiches came. Fantastic!
Pictures of Cuban men playing dominoes decorated the walls. My eyes turned right away! Cartagena and Havana share a great deal of the picturesque but relaxed tone. To my point, in Cartagena (my home town), elderly gentlemen play dominoes all afternoon long, at the “Plaza Fernandez de Madrid” between the Inquisition Palace and the Cathedral. This tradition is as old as my dear 480 year old UNESCO world heritage city. When you walk by, time literally freezes… Consequently, worldly worries, stress and little vanities become meaningless. It’s contagious. You want to stop. Actually, you do. It’s quite relaxing!
As we were leaving Cuba Cuba, the shift manager told us that the restroom had an awesome picture of Cuban boys playing baseball in the middle of busy narrow streets. We took the picture and I had to include it in this post, without any doubt. The boys in the picture are wearing sandals. In Cartagena, kids go a bit farther and play baseball bare-feet, while keeping the same setting: Among cars awkwardly parked on the sides of the old city’s narrow streets. Also, a game can last a long time as it’s often interrupted by pedestrians, or passing-by cars. Amazingly, every one knows your name and where you live. This comes in extremely handy for when a “hit” manages to break one or two windows. 😉
Havana and Cartagena enjoy the same rhythm roots and wonderfully refined Latin jazz, salsa, fast as well as slow beat softer melodies, all often accompanied by honest, simple messages. Cuba Cuba had the music too, so I was truly enjoying a full taste of home. In the end, Cuba Cuba fed me great flavors and authentic familiar memories. 🙂