Blue Cuban Nights by Ted Ferguson

By Ted Ferguson

Ted Ferguson has been in thrall to a love affair with the island of Cuba because the Eighties. during this quantity he breaks out of the vacationer bubble and tunes into the pulsing center of Cuba to find the passions of its humans.

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His flat was on the eighteenth floor of a modern apartment block and mercifully, the lift was working. The black and white comedy-tragedy masks and the yellow, three-foot-long cotton alligator in Jorge’s vestibule were a harbinger. Beyond them, in the jumbled living room, nestled an accumulation of mismatched articles that established a zany, refinement-scorning mood. A big-eyed papier mâché cat observed a Mexican bull fight poster. A doll wrapped in a wedding gown was positioned in a corner of a brocade-upholstered couch.

Love at first sight. He shoved it in his pocket. But he always felt guilty. So guilty that a year or two later he hunted for the department store owner. The man and his wife were in Miami, but their daughter was here. My father turned the box over to her. She was so awed by his act that she bequeathed it to him. ’ ‘It doesn’t really matter. Its sentimental value is more important than its dollar value, whatever that may be. ’ Between sips of tea, I told him I believed homes like his were citadels of individualism in a conformist landscape.

The extent of the skin trade in contemporary Havana is, by all accounts, insignificant compared to its pre-Revolution status, but following the reduction of Soviet economic aid in 1990, it did experience a surge in popularity. Nowadays, prostitutes cluster on the Malecón and frequent late-night discos, and groin-motivated travellers of both genders fly in from Mexico and Venezuela solely to utilise their services. Prostitution is the most visible sign of decadence in the city. Communism imposes an almost Calvinistic kind of discipline, morality and austerity in other areas.

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