At about 1.30pm I walked to Cayo Hueso to see Yarima, then up to Carlos III to buy phone cards (it had closed at 12.30, and I had missed my chance until Sunday) and everyone was already sitting on doorsteps drinking beer or walking to friends’ casas laden with bottles of rum and cola (one guy was carrying about six litres of Tu-cola in a much-sturdier-than-it-looked plastic bag). By the time night fell, everyone was going to be well-and-truly pissed; and by the time the new year ticked over, most would be in a coma, I thought.
I returned to my casa to find the fiesta was starting early on the terrazza. I hadn’t decided what to do with the rest of the day, let alone the night.
Martin called and said he and Geesi were going for a beer at Plaza Vieja and they’d come and get me. The day had actually been pretty hot - I was sweating in my t-shirt and didn’t need the jacket tied around my waist, but once we got to the square and sat down in the shade, a breeze came up, and it wasn’t long before that ol’ jacket was zipped up to my chin.
They were off to the casa of some rellos of Geesi afterwards and were ditching the car as Martin didn’t want to be driving around late with everyone so pissed. Already people were weaving all over the road - on foot and on motorbikes.
The owner of my house had said he was cooking pork (like everyone does here for NYE) but as I don’t eat it, he was going to cook me chicken instead. That’s sweet. The congris, cooked by tireless worker Yeni, was sublime. Bit too much lemon on the yuca for my taste though.
A party started on a rooftop across the road. Music was awesome: all Cuban salsa - pretty rare - until the inevitable reggaeton and bachata. Those things are like contagious diseases.
• • •
Wow, Van Van are doing a song on one of the NYE shows and they’re actually playing live, not doblado. Pre-recorded of course. They’re in Colombia I think. It’s one of Yeni’s songs from Arrasando - the one that isn’t Este amor que se muere. (The other NYE show broke to show the never-ending Brazilian soap 4 x 4. They’re coming back afterwards with Trabuco and Haila, among others.) The Van Van singers are sweating and mopping their faces. Guess they did a few takes. I love Lele’s big cartoon smile. If you missed my tweet, there has been hilarious chisme en la calle here that El Noro has left Pupy for Van Van. Heh.
Paulo is being interviewed on another channel. He is finally starting to look old. It’s taken a while. Don’t worry old chap - happens to the best of us.
Jeez, the music over the road is REALLY LOUD now. There are only about six people there. They don’t seem to be dancing. Maybe they just don’t want to talk to each other.
Paulo is still talking. Shut up and sing Sin etiqueta already.
Wait - isn’t PFG in Miami tonight? I mean I know this shit is pre-recorded, but that’s just too weird.
Oh I watched PFG sing Sin etiqueta doblado and now I’ve missed Van Van do No te de por eso live on another channel. Just getting the tail end. Stiff competition on the tele tonight.
Why does Lele part his hair so far over on the side? Is that a comb-over?
Raul Paz next. Zap.
Christ did you all know David Blanco had a brother? As if one performing Blanco wasn’t enough.
Aww Vania has really piled on the weight. She is still my queen though.
A dancing troupe performing to what sounds like the original version of De La Habana a Matanzas. Why wouldn’t you choose the Ay Dios amparame version?
I’m not sure whether it’s ironic that I seem to be the only person in the neighbourhood listening to/watching Cuban music.
Manolito on the other channel now. I could really use a remote control.
Vania’s singing rumba with a troupe on the other channel.
OK, too much rumba, even with Vania. Nice that there is a mix though.
More Van Van - sounds old. Don’t know the song. Oh it’s the popurri.
It’s 11.30. Gonna get dressed soon and go into the street. If I can find a taxi, I’ll go to Havana D’Primera at the Capri. If I can’t, I’ll walk to Galiano to see Salsa Mayor. Report tomorrow.