From there we walked through Havana Vieja. We stopped at a small square and bought some fried bread from a vendor. The man sitting on the bench across from us is a drummer at the Tropicana. He loves his job and loves practicing English. He tells us that today is a holiday, although he does not know which one. (It is the weekend celebration of Cuban independence and the commemoration of Che’s death.) He wants us to go to the cooperative where they are selling cigars at half price to celebrate. We aren’t interested in cigars but take the address. As he leaves we hear “Hey Alaska! Remember me?” It’s the customs woman who stamped me in. She is out of uniform wearing a pink and grey halter top and yoga pants. She wants us to know about the cigar sale at the cooperative. We talk a while and Suzi and I decide to go check it out. We get to the address and find a barber shop but no half price cigars.
We amble through the old town people watching. A newspaper vendor cries the street. A woman comes out on a balcony and drops a bag on a rope with some money in it. The money comes out, the newspaper goes in and she pulls it up to her flat.
As we walk through plazas there are several people to chat with, Americans are a novelty. We watch kids playing soccer, musicians playing salsa and artists sketching. In the Plaza de Armas we see people in colorful costumes and stilt walkers. Around the statue are wreaths laid by each ministry, the biggest is from Raoul Castro.