The culture I was born into was the Latino-Caribbean. Documents show that I reached this planet by way of Spanish Harlem to a Cuban father and a Puerto Rican mother. In my blood I carry in part the unity of a Chinese slave and his African slave wife. During my quarter of a century in Europe I deeply assimilated the German language. Still, with all of these genetic and cultural influences, I have always felt Cuban.
A Cuban great-grandmother smoked five cigars daily and lived to count 105 years. However, nobody in my immediate family smokes. Only I have been going deeper and deeper in the realms of gustatory pleasures, especially with coffee, alcohol and fine-tobacco.
May be this explains my deep joy meeting a man who is part of a long tradition in the production of cigars in Cuba. His handshake and hug made me wish once more that I could step off an airplane and kiss Cuban soil.