I was taking an evening stroll in the narrow streets of the Havana Vieja near the Plaza de Armas, and in a little side-alley I noticed two young boys, 12 - 13 years old, arranging tables at a café.
When they saw me, they approached me with a notebook in one hand and a pencil in the other and I thought “Here comes another dinner-offer”.
Initially, they just seemed curious and interested in trying out their English. So I went along and we talked, chattered and smiled for a while.
Then they started drawing my picture in their notebooks.
Now this I know from the “Louvre” museum in Paris. The photographers outside the museum will take your picture, and then charge you enough to buy the Eiffel Tower.
So I started walking, shaking my head and waving my hand to indicate that I wasn’t interested in buying the artwork.
They just walked along, still drawing my picture, and in my head I started counting the many “no’s” it would take not to buy the drawings.
After a couple of minutes of walking, talking and painting one of the boys finished my portrait, and handed it over to me.
I had the Louvre on my mind so at first I said “No, gracias”. But as he insisted I took the paper to see what he had gotten out of it.
Next, he laid an arm around the shoulder of the other boy, turned around, smiled, waved and walked back towards the café.
Now in hindsight maybe I should have known the integrity of the two boys.
At some point during our talk I told them that I came from Denmark, and they were both a little embarrassed over the fact that they didn’t quite know where that was.
- To me that embarrassment is an indication of a sound and healthy pride!
So I'm not overly concerned about being embarrassed myself.
You two guys made my evening!