Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Look up, look waaaaaaaay up

While in Havana, our tour stopped at the local market for some tourist shopping. (Why anyone would want to buy tourists...) The market was set up in a large L shaped with three rows of booths crammed closely together. Two people could barely squeeze by each other shoulder to shoulder. Each booth was about 4 feet across and 3 feet deep and each was cramped with shiney baubbles for tourists to purchase.

The Guy and I managed to push our way through the melee and instead wandered through the art section. We weaved through to gaze at pictures and wish we could afford to bring home the art we loved. As we went down the aisle, I noticed a man staring at The Guy rapt with wonder. As we neared him, a smile broke out on his face and he ogled with glee. He began motioning with his hands far above his head and grinning like a fool. He drew the line from his own height to that of The Guy and grinned wider at the difference.

The Guy is about 6'5" or so. He is tall and thin and wirey. And he looks like a giant compared to most Cubans. Especially to this Cuban. He bobbed and danced beside The Guy as he followed us down the row of art. He grinned and motioned to others to notice how he was standing beside the tallest man on earth. He had a list of every country he could think of and The Guy patiently pointed out "Canada". The little man grinned even wider and pointed to his own shirt which was that of the Canadian flag.

Then he passed us a note. It said he was deaf and mute and found it hard to find employment. It requested whatever change we could spare so he could help support his family. I motioned to The Guy to give him some money. We handed out a few peso to the man and he grinned and shook The Guy's hand and compared their height once more. He carried on the opposite direction that we did, laughing and turning back to grin at us often.

I said later that the only reason we gave him so much money was because of how excited he was to meet The Guy. Anyone who thinks that is the highlight of his day deserves a tip. He certainly made our day.

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