The terrifying doberman that lives on the first floor has returned. It has been absent since I’ve been here this time and I figured that since the first floor is now a love hotel (rooms by the hour), they got rid of it so it wouldn’t scare the shit out of the customers and ruin the romancesphere. But there it was, when I looked down into the patio, barking it’s fucking head off. It used to lie in wait as you trudged up the stairs, then greet you as you arrived at level 1 with a great big woof-woof or 200. I used to dread the gate being open, which it sometimes was and try and make myself as small as possible in the hope that it would think I wasn’t worthy of an attack..
I woke feeling lethargic. Couldn’t seem to shake the lurgy. Or maybe it was that I’d eaten nothing more than a bowl of rice a day since Tuesday, and sometimes less. But my stomach was still dicey. I’d had a glass of yoghurt and some coffee. I’d have to be at death’s door to give up the latter.
Listened to Disco Fiesta, as I’d had a visitor on Friday when they were reading out the weekend listings and missed some, but everything seemed as I had planned. The Smoke Monstress wanted to see Bamboleo again before she left, but didn’t think I could get out to Miramar for the night so we settled on Combinacion de la Habana for the matinee, and decided to do Bamboleo at Miramar for the tarde tomorrow. Of course that means two trips to Miramar in one day cause Reve is there for the night, but … I was hoping I would feel better by then. I flopped around on the bed and practically lapsed in and out of consciousness, blissful rest interrupted only by piercing screams of a girl after she was nipped on the leg by the poor Pekingese that is tied up day in day out on the terrace here.
Duni came around and told me hilarious tales of Los Que Son Son’s adventures in El Oriente, all of it unpublishable if I want him to keep his job. Something he did say that I can repeat is that their moronic hit Loco con una moto has brought them a much younger crowd, all of whom spend the whole show waiting to hear that and the other new song Yo no te dejé por mala (or La loca, as it’s also known). Heh. He also said the young ladies love El Noro and were mobbing him. Jeez. He said it was like “los bit-less”. Took me a while to figure out he meant The Beatles.
The Smoke Monstress and I were off for the Combinacion de la Habana matinee at Galiano. That’s the most fun you can have in Havana on a Saturday arvo/evening I reckon. I love it.
I meant to say in my post about Revé that my theory about the extended stage and the pitted dancefloor was way off base as it hasn’t been fixed and Revé didn’t use it, and CdlH didn’t have it this week either. It’s better without it, even if there is the risk of falling over and breaking your neck. Hey a life half-lived or whatever.
The band have a couple of new songs and they are swinging. One in particular makes great use of the brass, deploying it in a funky manner for the duration of the song instead of just for the mambos etc. I got some video but it’s Galiano, so don’t hold your breath. They’re doing an anniversary show at La Tropical but it’s three days after I leave, so, wah-wah. I asked Gerson, the “director-general” of the band (as opposed to Eugenio, who is the musical director) when they would be making a CD, and he shrugged. He said they’ve signed contracts to go to Peru and Italy but that’s as far as it’s gone. He shrugged again and said, son pasos, they’re steps.
He spent the new songs with his back to the audience directing the band and, it seemed, the baterista in particular. I don’t know if he’s new and I forgot to ask. Johnny, the former Azucar Negra singer who has replaced Ricardito only has one song right now. I guess he’s only been there a month. He does a pretty good job. He’s got that retro Havana cantante look going on - blonde tips, plenty of bling and a penchant for opening his shirt to the waist. The other singers seem to have ditched the D&G diamante shirts for a preppier look. It’s a definite improvement. They’re still all wearing outrageous trainers though. (Should have seen the Tumbao Havana guys - oh, the sponsorship opportunities these guys are missing out on. It’s heartbreaking.)
Ricardito actually turned up - he was looking pretty preppy too, in a striped pale blue shirt - and got up on stage for a turn. By the time the band had finished he had gone though, so I didn’t get a chance to catch up with him.
Afterwards, I was going to try and eat something - if only soup and flan. I went to my favourite paladar - the Cristobal on San Rafael where the chef/owner says I’m part of the “collectivo”. Unfortunately my chicken soup was so salty I couldn’t eat it. He took it away and gave me some more. Also too salty, but the second time I just dumped the juice of half a lime into it and it became more or less palatable. Followed it with flan. I wasn’t sick after. Yay! Maybe I can eat a proper meal soon. He has a half-decent steak there.