Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cuban Union Jack

This commemorative Will and Kate guitar pick is one of our most cherished possessions. Just look at those two: coy ambassadors of all that is harmless, snug and pixilated in the bosom of the Union Jack. You don't have to tell me—what I have here is an ace in the hole. A rainy-day nest egg. A nut to bury for the lean times ahead.

We bought this future-Lewis-heirloom from a tourist shop on Queensway last year. Ah, 2012. Heady times. The earth wobbled on its axis as China produced as many saleable Union Jack knick-nacks as the world's resources would allow. But all parties come to an end. And sometimes one is left with a scandalous number of satchels. What does a Chinese warehouse do with 50,000 Union Jack satchels?

While you're mulling over that, here's something completely unrelated: in Havana, the Union Jack is currently 'in', hip, the currency of cool. We saw it printed on the back-pockets of jeans, school satchels and t-shirts. Remarkable. But why? 

This BBC report offers one way to look at it: those fascinatingly simple-minded Cubans just adore Britain and it's flag (without quite being able to say why).

BBC sees nail; BBC hits nail on head.

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