I was sitting in business class, sipping champagne, as I jetted away from Havana.. certainly a higher class finish than my low budget entry to Cuba!
What got me to this seat was the fact that they had oversold economy class on my flight. Finally after several years of gold status with Star Alliance, I got a free bump up to business class – which in this case is more than just a curtain separating from cattle class. Nice wide seats and the champagne was savored along with some actually decent food!
My last few days in Havana were “mucho gusto”, e.g. a penthouse room on the Malecon with a great ocean view… pigging out on lobster at some of Havana’s finest restaurants (one of which the waiters were all in tuxedos)… on the trail of Hemingway’s haunts (a ghost over my shoulder?) via checking out the bars and live music spots….. and a ride in a classic 1948 Chev with an open top out to the airport for my escape!
Exit Day -2
I headed into the old section of town, and hit my fav Mojito joint on Cathedral square, they make them just a touch sweet there, and while I don’t really prefer sweet, in this case I liked their blend of ingredients best. Plus the square is a great place for people watching. I thought I would be a good guy and show the Caribbean fortune teller the pic i took of her a week or so ago.. and she demanded money (I had already.paid her when I asked her for her permission to take the photo in the first place, so I told her to forget that nonsense). I then watched the Federales hassle a photographer & drone operator who.was shooting a gal dancing in the square to music.. they lost their light.. too bad, she was actually a good dancer, it was good and free entertainment!
I had sniffed out a restaurant known for its seafood, and pigged out on a big lobster dinner, it had a view of Castillo de la Real Fuerza, which is a 16th Century Fort, and now a museum.
I then hit another joint for a flamingo show, but it was only 7:30 pm and I was yawning.. what the Honeybadger is going on.. maybe it was the three mojitos before dinner that did me in…
But i lasted until 10 pm, catching a nightcap cervesa at the Castropol restaurant that is mere feet from the doorway to my Casa… somewhat of a celebration for making it past the gauntlet of hookers that troll along the Malecon at night..
Apparently (according to one local at least) there are even female doctors here who do that as a sideline.. Hmmm I wonder if they operate under VD Salvage Rules – No Cure No Pay… I of course have no specific knowledge of this particular “Cuban Urban Myth”, and it was surprising to hear. Notwithstanding the fact that I had heard the average Cuban only makes $20 CUC a month in their normal jobs, and must supplement that income in other “less official” ways.
My penthouse Casa here has 4 flights of narrow steep stairs.. good thing the drunkards route is up.. going down tipsy could be dangerous! Although in terms of accommodation with staris, the place I stayed in Hanoi Vietnam still holds the record at at least five flights….
As I noted before, I had purchased only an economy ticket out, but I was so happy to hear the beep beep beep of the scanner when it read my boarding pass… the display flashed “Seating Issue”, and I knew what that meant… Upgrade to Business Class baby!!!