Archive for June 10, 2007

It’s funny the impact that apparently irrelevant choices can have on how your day is going to pan out. This morning I threw on a T-shirt for the simple reason that it was clean and didn’t need ironing. How was I to know that I’d end up face to face with a group of visiting exiled Miami Cubans who would take exception to the three images of Che Guevara on my chest?
I simply wanted to change my bank details with the local water company, but previous experience told me that this little job would take all morning, so I decided to mix pleasure with business and use the visit to photograph the La Orotava flower carpets which were being laid out for the Corpus Christi celebrations on Thursday.
The carpets attract visitors from all over the world and by the time I reached the town hall there was a multi-national crowd craning to get a good view of the designs. The town hall’s balconies are perfect for getting a good shot of the carpets and it was from one of these that I inadvertently caused a ‘Bourne Identity’ moment. As I swapped places with an elderly gent on the balcony, he looked in my direction, scowled, and mumbled something in Spanish. Before I could say ‘serious mistaken identity here’ I was surrounded by a group of men and women pointing at me and shouting “Asesino, asesino!”
Apparently one of them had lost their father during the Cuban revolution and another claimed that he had shared a girlfriend with Che and that he’d had to leave the love of his life and flee Cuba for America to avoid death. The sight of me wearing his image even as a fashion, as opposed to a political, statement sent them wild.
I apologised for accidentally offending anyone, but added that Che Guevara was actually a hero to some people which started them ranting again, and so I diplomatically retreated back to the mind-numbingly boring, but safer confines of the queue outside the ‘Consorcio de Tributos’ office and like everybody else filed another couple of hours of life in the ‘unnecessary use of my time folder’ as we quietly waited our turn.