Havana, Last Days

written by Jasmin Krpan


No, it is not Vladivostok – I told myself while I was wiping off the sweat from my forehead. It was a dark and humid Cuban night. The area was lit only at the exit from the airport. A big middle-aged woman, in a uniform and a notebook in her hand, was making sure that the passengers entered the public taxi vehicles and not the old American unregistered taxis. Most of the passengers who arrived by a Canadian airline were tourists in an organised group who were to be picked up by a bus. There were only a few of us who arrived by ourselves. I was in no hurry, but neither was she to put me in a taxi. She was excitedly talking to one of the drivers. After a long flight across the Atlantic and then from Toronto to Havana all that I wanted was to stretch my legs and back and light a cigarette. Had it not been so hot and humid, I would say that I was thirty years back in the past and that I was standing in front of the airport in Vladivostok at the time when foreigners were a pretty uncommon sight.