My son will soon turn seventeen. Despite his passion for chess and his shy nature, the girls hover around and are on the point of falling in love. As I recognise, I know it’s going to be intense, which has led me to wonder where the youth of today go to have their share of privacy. In my day, the couple ran off to a seedy place bureaucratically called “Hostel INIT” but popularly known as an inn, a motel for a few hours, in a bad state of repair, covered in graffiti, which might not have water, where you went to play after queuing for a few hours. It was not exactly a love nest, but you had privacy, if you could plug the holes placed strategically by innkeepers.
Now I am again interested in the topic, I find that the inns of many years ago do not exist anymore; those sordid places for sex have been converted into ‘the home’ for families who live in shelters. What seemed transient, is likely to be permanent.
Where do young people go for sex? The lucky ones, with their own room in the family home, can use their own house. Those who live close together always have a friend who has a cousin who knows someone who rents a small room for 5 CUC. Well, there is the cinema, which costs two pesos in national currency, and stairways, corridors and the inevitable parks, which are free.
Here are some photos of 11th and 24th, the most famous inn in Havana; the place for the “sins” of yesterday, and today, for the promise fulfilled of housing for working people.
CDR mural after a short circuit.
Translated by: CIMF