Cuba classic cars
and the Havana Hustle
Day one in downtown Havana: sightseeing here we come. I’m barely out of the van when a guy waves me over to a gorgeously restored Chevy: a ‘56 Bel Air sports sedan.
“I give you a ride, señor!” He tries to push me inside.
He’s in my face, and I scurry away.
Another local falls in beside me, grinning as if he were a long-lost brother. “Ola, amigo!” As we walk, he scratches out a caricature in his notebook with a felt pen. He finishes, thrusts it at me.
I see glasses and moustache, but nothing else I would recognize in a mirror.
Meanwhile, another dude corners Annie. They’re “Picasso” and “DaVinci,” they say with straight faces, and the bargaining begins.
I know better, but we pony up for their “art” anyway. We’ve been had – fleeced the first morning out. How embarrassing; we’re not newbie tourists!
That was the beginning . . . but it turned out to be the exception. Some Cubans do ask us for money, but quietly; we’re never hassled. Others just want to chat.
Click here to meet the hustlers
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...
Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?
- Click on the HTML link code below.
- Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment,
your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.