The Yoga Lesson Of A Dodge 57
By Autumn Feldmeier
Yoga is everywhere.
Sometimes, especially in a bustling city like Havana, you might have to look a bit harder to find it. Or, it finds you. This time, it appeared in the form of a cherry red 1957 Dodge. Well, maybe the yoga came from the wisdom of the driver of this car, David, a middle aged suave Cuban man who makes his living giving tours around Havana driving his car. While the salary of a government doctor is only $40USD/month, someone like David can make $60 in two hours of driving this car and doing tours. And, to my surprise, giving good yogic advice.
El bloqueo (‘the blockade’) started in 1960 when the US placed an embargo on everything but food and medicine. This included parts for American automobiles. As a result, cars like David’s 1957 Custom Royal Dodge had to rely on foreign parts (and their owner’s mechanical skills) to survive. All drivers of these vintage American cars keep a tool kit in their trunk, like these. This includes a pair of overalls so they don’t dirty their clothes. David explained this history to us as we toured past the Museum of the Revolution, and the Parque John Lennon.
Then, he drove us down the Malecon, the esplanade along the coast of Havana. This is the place where musicians gather, children play, and vendors (including transvestite prostitutes) sell their wares. As we took in the sights, he explained the lesson of the care and maintenance of an old car. As he was explaining this dedication to his car, he made this comparison.‘ A good car is like a good woman,’ he said with a wink.‘Yes, I could drive a new car. We can get Japanese cars, German cars, any new plastic car. But, I choose to drive this old American car. A vintage car requires a skilled hand and an understanding of her rhythms. Just like a woman.’
‘This car is solid, reliable and loyal. She has been with me for over 20 years and I understand everything about her. She makes me a better man because she requires me to be present. We work hard together to make a living and I know she will perform for me. I am a better man because of her.’
I loved the yoga message here! What you put into it is what you get out of it. From your car to your relationships to the time spent on your mat.
Sé que este es verdadera
I also wanted to share with you David’s top five things to being a good Cuban man:
A love of women
Good dancing skills
Appreciation of a good cigar
Ability to handle a lot of Havana Club rum
Gratitude for a good, reliable car