Nothing goes to waste in Cuba! We continue our journey and see Cubans utilize unique spaces and recycle everything.
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- [Stephen] If you had a choice to pack up all your things and paint a picture of the world we live in, what would you do? You ask yourself, what do I have to lose? ♪ Baby let me follow you down ♪ ♪ Follow you down ♪ ♪ I'm all in pieces just waiting for you to come 'round ♪ ♪ 'Round ♪ ♪ To sing you this song ♪ ♪ Baby let me sing you this song ♪ ♪ And cigarettes and these hard fingertips ♪ ♪ I'll sacrifice to deliver you this ♪ ♪ Song ♪ We find ourselves living on this planet we call home, yet we are so disconnected from it all. We feel like complete strangers. The pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of love. The pursuit of adventure. The pursuit of freedom. My name is Stephen Friedman and this is the story of Chasing the Sun. So we in Havana, Cuba and it's one of the most awesome places I've ever been to. It's like walking the streets and the history and literally just getting lost. You don't have any wifi, you don't have, you don't really need any technology. Everyone's in the streets, everyone's communicating, everyone's talking. These open spaces and what's in them, like from people renovating their cars, these classical cars, to hair salons, to people doing carpentry, there's so much and honestly, it's one of the most exciting cities I've ever been to. It's mind blowing. All the amount of streets are a maze of life. Everyone is connected and the people flow like a river. For centuries, Cuba's greatest resource has been its people and you can see it on the streets. They're so in tune with each other, they seem like one big family. It just takes you back, like you see the people on the streets all socializing, you're not surrounded by technology. Cell phones, tablets, you don't hear anyone speaking on phones or kids playing on tablets, it's like, it's kind of the way life should be. People just communicate with one another and yeah, the Cubans have got it down and it's amazing seeing it and actually experiencing it and having conversations with people. Like Omar, every single Cuban walking these streets is a unique story because they had to make do for the last 50 odd years. Omar took us to one of the many mechanic workshops that he works out of. From the outside, these buildings look abandoned but inside, they are teeming with life, and everyone is working to achieve the impossible. To be a mechanic in Cuba, you need to be open minded because when the US imposed an embargo on Cuba in 1962, basically all imports stopped and Cuba was frozen in time. So everything needs to used, reused and then used again. Nothing is trash and it makes you realize you can't take everything for granted. The only thing that's limited is how far you're able to think outside of the box. An old table leg is perfect for a hammer handle. And why not turn an old Russian washing machine into an angle grinder? I think they're the ultimate recyclers in the world. They basically recycle everything from car parts to washing machines to utensils, hammers, screw drivers, everything has a purpose and that's the Cuba way. They recycle everything and it's fantastic seeing that. What I love about Cuba is the fact there are so many hidden spaces and behind every door, there's a surprise, from carpenters, to mechanics, to hair salons, to, it's just like shops, food market, it's just like, all these hidden spaces. If you need to get your nails done in someone's garage, no problem. Anything goes here in Cuba and it makes it refreshing as this is normal, everyday life. Whereas the rest of the world will see this as strange. It's great to see the old ways of thinking still apply in Cuba today. It makes it exciting 'cause every corner, there's something new. Behind every door, there's something exciting and that's the coolest thing about it. It's fresh and I can guarantee you, you can live here for like 10 years and you'll still have no idea what's behind every single door 'cause every single door is a mystery. The main reason I came to Cuba was to get lost in time. That's what I heard Cuba's still stuck in the 1950s. So no technology that consumes us on a daily basis is to be found here. In the beginning you feel lost without it, but as the days pass, you start seeing humanity and real life, that's what makes this place so beautiful, as it comes to life as soon as you let go. You get to see and meet the local people making a living off their craft, as you find yourself moving to the pulse, as a heartbeat of the city of old Havana, alive and beating is strong as ever. I think carpentry is becoming a bit of a lost art and yeah, seeing the carpenters here and seeing what they're doing with their hands and especially on the recycling side of things. The reason that all the wood in Noel's workshop is recycled wood is because there isn't a single store in the country that sells wood. The only way to buy wood in Cuba is on the black market and that is the wood which has been stolen from the state institutions so Noel just uses recycled wood from old furniture and rundown buildings. What they're creating, it's fascinating and I wish I knew how to make a bench or a table or even cupboards, like nowadays, people just go purchase something from Ikea and they still struggle with those instructions but these guys start from the ground up and they just make the most amazing pieces of furniture, and that's what carpentry is all about and I don't think it's gonna be a lost form of art yet. It's such a, it's part of the Cuban way. That's what they do, they just work with their hands all the time, whatever it might be from carpentry to being a mechanic, it's just part of the culture. Most of the tools here look like they could be in a museum. But the most powerful tool in Cuba is the human mind because at the end of the day, it's your mind that controls the tools so it doesn't matter if its new or old. Noel wasn't born in Havana. He comes from another province. He came here as a young man seeking his fortune. Now, he runs his own workshop which provides for his family. Noel's workshop is not just for carpentry, it acts as a hangout for taxi drivers, food vendors and roosters. Spaces like this happen naturally. You can't just create them. You see it everywhere in Havana, that's why it makes it so unique and so colorful. I tried to make a bookshelf once at my gran's house out of this old wood I found in the garage. Needless to say, it was a terrible attempt at carpentry. My gran pretended she liked it but I knew it was bad. My gran would've been really impressed with Noel's crew. So this is actually just another perfect example of a hidden space, which should actually be a living room, is actually a salon, a barbershop and all these gents are busy getting their haircuts in the exotic manner that they do here. You see all of these guys walking around with the craziest hairdos and these are the guys that do it. The saloon is a fine world machine and for equivalent of two US dollars, you can look like anyone on the poster, or even the combination of the few hairstyles on the posters above you. The most popular styles have names like the magoo, the monitu and the wonky.
- Here, the barber, the friends, people come here, very good barber, you know?
- Yeah, so basically how it works, it looks like it works on a rotation system. Everyone basically sits and then it goes anti-clockwise from getting their hair washed, and then getting their hair cut, and then styled and then basically straightened and back to the hair gel and that's the way it ends. It's like a rotation system. It looks like a lot of the inspiration for these hairstyles come from pop culture and they're seriously are outlandish styles with mixtures from the 80s. See all these guys walking around Havana with the craziest hairdos and it's pretty cool. Yeah, this is Cuba of today and these are the hairstyles that come with it. You don't even need to get your hair done, if you want to just hang out, you can. As the smokey filled room surrounds everyone while stories are swapped. You don't really see too many ladies in these hair salons. They probably go to the other salons but yeah, it's mostly just the guys that really look after their hair which is, that's kind of interesting. It just goes to show that no matter how isolated your country is, the young people will always find a way to express themselves and Cuba is definitely on the forefront of wild hairstyles. Yeah, the younger generation's all about the wildness of how they can make their hair.
- Very nice place.
- Maureliz is a professional salsa dancer, and getting to see her dance with her husband was watching a love story take place right in front of you. They danced like no one was watching. Create a journey on the moments you catch and the smiles have become infectious, as the ripple effect will never end through the generations that follow pursuit.