Our man in Havana: music, mojitos and swearing in Spanish

The former Observer Magazine editor moved to Cuba to write a book – but with its crumbling elegance and sense of drama he finds Havana presents plenty of distractions from the job at hand

The grand windows of Casa Almson are flung wide, the trade winds offering a gentle breeze off the Florida straits as the sun descends across Havana, and I am learning Spanish. “Anoche, yo fui en un nightclub de mala fama,” I say. WAAAAHK. “What the hell was that?” I retreat to English. “Was that a duck?”

Alma, mi profesora, cocks her head and listens as the creature makes another complaint.

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