December 15, 2009

Cuba's problems

It is a lonely planet. Check how time goes by...

Cuba has three urgent problems, namely: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

And two main problems, namely: Fidel and Raúl.

December 11, 2009

Chez Yoani

I spent the whole day in the academmia which Yoani Sánchez and her husband established in their place. Absolutely interesting, I will write something more proper about it, since these guys will definitely change Cuba. There is no fear in their words or eyes, a huge difference I noticed with the rest of the people I have met till now, artists, intellectuals or not.

December 10, 2009

From Havana


The word that describes the best what I have seen these days in Cuba is fear. People are afraid of the State in ways we cannot even imagine. I have been talking all the time to artists, curators, intellectuals, people from the cinema, and also to normal taxi drivers, to the old granny and her daughter who are illegally hosting me, and everybody is very afraid.

The fridges are empty, except for water and beer. On the stoves, boiling water all the time: to drink, to take a bath. I am rapidly learning experience with the Cuban bath: boil some water, put more fresh water in it, and there you go!

Being here is a trip to the past, I can more or less imagine the life of my ancestors. The conditions are getting worse, everybody agrees, since Raul Castro belongs to the military.

Am posting this from the hotel Habana Libre, who once belonged to the Hilton Hotels, but was taken by the Revolution. This has been the most expensive internet connection ever, and it is restricted (although cache services by Google are always helpful).

December 5, 2009

Cloud watching DF

I am staying 36 hours in MxDF. It is a perfect, clear day for cloud watching in Anáhuac, the "most transparent region of the air". Yesterday in the plane, the man sitting next to me told me, while we were contemplating an incredible sunset, that he has the impression that in the last decades the amount of clouds in the atmosphere has considerably increased. It would be interesting to know if there is an investigation about it, but the truth is that our ignorance of clouds and the role they have in regulating climate is almost completely.

December 3, 2009

Bei den Gutmenschen

There is the story of a traveler who stopped by to help an unknown person, the cheesy story of Good Samaritan, which Van Gogh liked so much and painted in different ways. I always thought that the fable is kitsch and very political.

But this year, which for me is already over (the remaining days are like the extra minutes of a soccer game added, in this case, just for the joy of playing), I understood the impact of unknown people in others lives.

2009 is the year in which I met the kindest and nicest "unknown" people in my life, people I had never seen before and that treated me as if we were old friends. The power of "unknown" people is the greatest discovery I have made this year.

One of the most popular quotes of Casablanca are the very last words: "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship". They have summarized my year 2009.

Germans say "Der Ball ist Rund und das Spiel hat 90 Minuten". From tomorrow on, everything is going to be just "Zugabe", extra minutes. And I will start enjoying them visiting Dionisio Pulido's land. I will be offline most of the time for the next weeks... (If you get bored, listen this or this, my favorite tracks of the week).

December 2, 2009

Israel at FAZ

Foto: Corbis

Some weeks ago I
posted something about my trip to Israel. Last Sunday, FAZ am Sonntag published my account of that great experience. Have a look!

December 1, 2009

Westernisation of Afghanistan

"Amazing stuff, its like im there, but without the shit in my pants!", posted someone after having a look at David Guttenfelder's war pictures from Afghanistan. His pics are indeed amazing.

Two of them show very clearly the process of westernisation: "INY" and Mexican beer "Corona" are there, fighting hard and sometimes being defeated.