Sound of the streets


I know when it’s raining by the sound of the street. With the rain comes a silence rare in any part of Cuba. Every door is shut, people disappear, shops close up against the onslaught of torrential rain. Water bouncing off the cobbles and swelling the streets into rivers. Slowly, as it passes, the music of Havanan life starts once again. First the clave, then a maraca from the lady selling in the shop below, next the song from the man selling dulces de guava, the drums, dancers passing on stilts, tourists chatter, cameras click. Havana’s song is complex and constant.

The time just after the rain has past is my favourite time to walk the streets of Havana. The streets are calm, empty of people. Except those going about their daily lives – a woman hurrying to work, a bar tender putting the tables back outside. The air fresh…

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