The smell was felt from far away. This Saturday on Galliano Street in Centro Habana, an improvised point of sale smelled of rotting meat in poor condition. Some of the nearly stripped beef bones stink, which are sold at a fair to mark Raul Castro’s 92nd birthday this June 3. But even the poor condition of the product and its few fibers did not deter the buyers who stood in line to buy.
“I want them for a broth and if I can pinch some flour, so much the better,” remarked an excited retiree, who was warned off by some neighbors. “They told me I was celebrating, I don’t know what, I didn’t understand very well, but I took advantage of it because I haven’t seen a bit of beef in this denture for years,” the woman said. Ironed. Others made a face upon arrival and after sensing a strong odor emanating mainly from cow ribs.
Customers with more resources could buy in other kiosks, where a beer cost more than 180 pesos, a gouda cheese of about three kilograms 7,000 and a package of cookies 850. Some buyers who were frustrated by the high prices were crossing the border. Havana Boulevard. “They say they’re selling cheap drinks there,” a young man shouted at a young man who looked around each kiosk but didn’t buy anything.
In front of the Universal Art Museum in Central Park and a few meters from the José Martí sculpture, a small booth advertised piña coladas and a stage was set up for a one-night concert on the corner next to the Telegrafo Hotel. Several bags of ice were defrosting on the street for the purpose of cooling soft drinks and beer and waiting for some containers to hold the drinks. “We’re going to start the sale after noon,” explained an employee.
No signs warned what event was being celebrated, with music, drinks and beef bones, but some passers-by connected the dots: “Ah, it’s a birthday in charge,” noted a woman who He looked at his mobile to check the date. “I already knew it was for something,” he concluded cryptically. Two tourists waiting for a pina colada were left without understanding what he was talking about. To them they were just a kiosk with drinks and a half-raised music stage.
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