The first time we visited the island it was in 2012. It is well known that it is a Tropical Paradise, but seeing it personally increases to the maximum the definition of PARADISE.
The first thing that called my attention it was that at the Varadero Airport there was any sign of advertisement as in every airport I have been in. No posters or giant prints on the walls, any notice or announcement promoting a product, service, or event trying to persuade you to consume things. Just plain clean walls.
Same thing on the streets and roads that take you to the Habana City, any single advertisement!
I have to say that they were free of visual contamination.
Once in La Habana, watching the architecture around has to be a check on details activity, not just the style of old buildings and the mix of them, but every single graffiti is kind of made as an art piece. People who do not appreciate Street art will not pay attention to it, but I rather watching them instead of a cynical advertisement typical of big cities.
In our driving to Habana we could notice people walking and trying to get a ride, we took some of them, Cubans can be very charming when telling stories, at the same time they complain about the local public transport, but it sounds more like poetry than a complaint. Notice that a requisite to understand them, it is to speak fluent Spanish. They love talking! and they point to it saying that they don’t have a tv or computers, so one of their favorites ‘time spending’ activity is to talk and to watch what is going on outside to find someone to talk with.
Cubans are so into arts in different ways, it is very common to meet someone who is part of a Theatre Company, or Art School or Professional dancing company. They mix a lot of the local culture with the European influence in major arts.