Another nice visit was had to the Sociedad Lung Kong in Havana last month. As I wrote about previously, I loaded up ahead of this trip with some various wares for the lovely ladies and gents there. Through Tom’s help (a great Toronto BOTL), I had gone out prior to the trip and got four dozen “long life”-design teacups, lots of cooking utensils, some very gorgeous looking exotic wood chopsticks (a darkened bamboo perhaps?), and a few other much-needed cooking items, all from a nice little Chinatown shop that Tom steered me to. I definitely went a bit overboard though, as when I checked in my luggage for my flight down I was hit with some hefty overweight charges for my checked bags – not surprising considering half of both checked bags were a mix of these gifts for Lung Kong, and for other Cuban friends.
So, when I arrived down in Havana last month, Nino was neck-deep in planning and organizing for the Urs Portmann group, but managed to find a day that all meshed well with everyone’s schedule, and we were all able to meet up at Lung Kong. I unfortunately arrived a bit late that day, with my cabbie getting lost and not knowing where Bario Chino was in Havana (only two blocks west of the Capitolio, I kept trying to explain), and then him wanting to drop me off something like 6 blocks away. Seemed like he simply didn’t want to go there – he kept saying he was afraid his car would get stuck in the narrow roadways. Suuuuuure. “We’re driving in a Lada”, I told him.
Anyways, after I got there, it was all smiles and hugs. I met “Santa Claus” (Nino), and very quickly the “Buddha” exclaimations were out there as well. To be joined there as well with Yannick, Michel, Luka, Thomas, Urs – it was just that much nicer.
Graciela was happy to hear that perhaps some of the other Toronto gents might be visiting her and the rest of the elders later on this spring, and that we’d be back in the fall as well. She asked to send along her best wishes to Tom and the others, as well as Joe and the rest of her “Chinese-Canadian boys”.
Always nice to see friendly faces in these visits too. “Peso cigars” received as well from the same fellow that’s always tickled pink with our visits.
Hope we can continue to visit and support this venture for a long time to come.