Yoga is everywhere.
Sometimes, especially in a bustling city like Havana, you might have to look a bit harder to find it.
Or, it finds you.
This time-it appeared in the form of a cherry red 1957 Dodge.
Well, maybe the yoga came from the wisdom of the driver of this car-David, a middle aged suave Cuban man who makes his living giving tours around Havana driving this car.
While the salary of a government doctor is only $40USD/month, someone like David can make $60 in two hours driving this car and doing tours.
And……..giving good yogic advice.
David told us it takes five things to be a good Cuban man
-A love of women
-Good dancing skills
-Appreciation of a good cigar
-Ability to handle a lot of Havana Club rum
-Gratitude for a good, reliable car
El bloqueo (‘the blockade’) started in 1960 when the US placed an embargo on everything but food and medicine. This included parts for American automobiles.
As a result, cars like David’s 1957 Custom Royal Dodge had to rely on foreign parts (and their owner’s mechanical skills) to survive.
All drivers of these vintage American cars keep a tool kit in trunk (including a pair of overalls so they don’t dirty their clothes).
David explained this history to us as we toured past the Museum of the Revolution, and the Parque John Lennon.
Then, he drove us down the Malecon, the esplanade along the coast of Havana. This is the place where musicians gather, children play, and vendors (including transvestite prostitutes) sell their wares.
As we took in the sights, he explained the lesson of the care and maintenance of an old car.
As he was explaining this dedication to his car, he made this comparison.
‘A good car is like a good woman’ – David said while giving me a wink.
‘Yes, I could drive a new car. We can get Japanese cars, German cars, any new plastic car. But, I choose to drive this old American car. A vintage car requires a skilled hand and an understanding of her rhythms. Just like a woman.
‘This car is solid, reliable and loyal. She has been with me for over 20 years and I understand everything about her. She makes me a better man because she requires me to be present. We work hard together to make a living and I know she will perform for me. I am a better man because of her.’
With this, he winked at me again and handed me his card.
‘My home number is on there too so you can reach me anytime-day or night.’
Ahhhhh….. Cuban men. Known to be some of the most charming and sexy men in Latin America.
But, I think the yoga message is still the same. What you put into it is what you get out of it. From your car to your relationships to the time spent on your mat.
Sé que este es verdadera
If you want to join me in Cuba later this year, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org