Maykel González González

Maykel González González

Graduado de periodista. No periodista. Uno más. En ocasiones he odiado escribir de mí. Entonces no sé si me atrae el periodismo, lo cual es absurdo. La Habana es mi mundo. Mi refugio está en La Habana. Y digamos que mi Habana está en La Habana, como la de todos, absurdamente.

Photo: Kaloian

We’re out of supplies

There isn’t enough bread. Nor potatoes. Not even cooking oil or eggs (nor the ones laid by hens). Nor chicken. Nor pork (it has gone up to 60 Cuban pesos per pound). Nor minced meat. Nor hotdogs. Not even the national beer. Nor croquettes. Nor cheese. Nor crackers. Nor butter. Nor flavored yogurt. Not even juice in boxes. Nor fruits. Nor vegetables. Nor tomato puree. Neither yucca nor taro nor other associated or farmers’ tubers. Neither pills for headaches and fever, nor salbutamol nor other medicines. Nor sanitary napkins. Nor streets without potholes. Nor street lighting. Nor light bulbs. Not even wall paint. Nor cement. Nor tiles. Nor window panes. Nor wood. Nor toilets. Nor toilet paper. Nor toothpaste. Not even liquid detergent. Nor paper napkins. Neither double A nor triple A batteries. Neither simple nor rechargeable. Nor polyethylene bags. Nor cheap places. Nor taxis nor buses. Nor the explanations of why there is neither this nor that, without the usual diatribe. Some products appear, others disappear. There is no respite. We are like a great trial of endurance. Of resignation. If there are no supplies, there will be at some point, we say. If there is, you better run...

About Almendrones and Men

Osmel Sánchez, covered in grease, thin but sinewy, explains that the almendrones require care, investing in them once in a while. He himself only takes fares to José Martí International Airport when someone is going to travel and prefers paying less than the 25 CUC for the trip, the almost standard rate charged by private taxi drivers for that trip. If he has to make repairs, Osmel travels to Playa municipality to a workshop in the Mantilla barrio, where he has a connection to bring spare parts from Mexico, and that way he saves having to pay the high prices for other offers on the national black market, the only one that is good for the maintenance of that type of cars. *** He has a 1954 Chevrolet, of which what’s only original is the chassis or the bodywork. His name is Regino González and he manages a repair workshop in the municipality of La Lisa, where more than half of the cases he sees to are almendrones. In the workshops the parts have to be manually adapted to the old bodywork so that they fit. At times they improvise in the workshop making them with parts from different cars....

Adrian Ballesteros’ complex adventure

It’s been a while since Ilastheard about Adrian. Eventually I wonder what he is doing. One should get more often in touch with friends and not for a particular reason or because someone would reproach you about it, but just because if we don’t take care of our friends they might drift apart, not geographically speaking. I’m afraid my friendship with Adrian will go that way. Even though I’m aware of that, we are both to be equally criticized. We turned apart from each other. We happen to live in distant places in Havana. If I’m right, Adrian Ballesteros called me about 9:00 am. We agreed I would stop by his place after lunch and we hung up. It was August. I got there at about 3:00 and the first thing I did was to ask for a glass of water. In fact, I had three. I recalled a street party in the neighborhood. There were Edgar and El Pinto. Edgar looks like Michael Ballack, El Pinto looks like Ron Weasley from the movies. El Pinto left early. Adrian asked me if I remembered Yadira, she used to be in Paumier’s classroom. He had a crush on her since he...