The Yellow School Bus! Its almost impossible not to recognize it no matter what country or what continent you live in.
Yet for some reason I was totally surprised to see this in the streets of Havana.
What surprised me even more is that the bus wasn't even used as a school bus. The Casa we were staying at for 4 days was just around the corner from here, and this bus never left its spot, not once, and nobody ever got onto it or stepped out of it.
Perhaps somebody owns it? not sure...perhaps the lady looking down from the balcony on the left owns it?
On a side note, what you see here is very common in the conditions of the housing in downtown Havana. Despite the poor condition of the buildings, they are still being used day in and day out by families.
The contrast and contradictions are endless in Cuba.
For example the infrastructure is falling apart as you see here, and the living conditions are terrible in most parts.
However, Cuba has free health care for everyone, and has highly skilled and trained doctors, children get to experience 100% free schooling, and the literacy rate is upwards of 95% - 98% which is amazing!
By looking at the conditions of the city, and the poor availability of simple items like food, grocery stores, diapers etc...it's a very strange mix.
Guess its just another reason why Cuba is such an interesting destination!
Hope you like the photo
Critiques | Translate
omid266 (6746) 2014-02-14 7:03
** Salam , Hi Craig,
Thank you for sharing this interesting photo from
Nice work in this ancient place , nice captured ,
nice text ,
All the best ,
** With PEACE **
Keep sharing ,
Good luck , Regards ,
serp2000 (43818) 2014-02-14 7:06
Yes, they are still living in socialism. But I think this bus is not so old, it has good very condition, although they don't have an admission to spare parts. Very interesting report, we have see classic european architecture of the building, but it needs more capital reconstruction, not only wooden support.
Thanks for your comment of Great Kills )) Yeah, amazing story with different means in differnt languages.
Have a great weekend! I am going home omorrow from a hospital.
holmertz (51264) 2014-02-14 7:21
It's really surprising that the bus seemed to be unused. I have never been in any poor country where every available still running vehicle wasn't used to transport people here and there. You wouldn't find a bus like this in most parts of Europe but they used them for regular long distance transports in Afghanistan already in the 1970's. But it was good for you that this one was left in this street, because it brightens the view of the delapidated houses.
Have a nice weekend,
snunney (97607) 2014-02-14 7:21
The bus looks very bit as decrepit as the buildings behind. Perhaps, it just can't move:-) Whatever, the two together make a great subject. Superb rendering of the textural detail.
rbassin (22655) 2014-02-14 7:27
Une très bonne prise de vue, contraste intéressant entre le bus jaune et l'état des façades.
La partie bleue de la façade est une bon complément au bus jaune.
jemaflor (96131) 2014-02-14 8:11
Well framed this view about the old town, well with house, people on balcony and this yellow bus, a good street viw from Habana.
Nicou (140154) 2014-02-14 8:47
quelle vue sur cet ancien bus tout jaune et devant les façades aussi usées par le temps quelle compo et vue sueprbe captage.
Bravo et amitié
RhodieIke (11744) 2014-02-14 8:50
A fascinating insight you give us into a daily life scene in a Cuban street. The bus is very striking contrast against the dilapidated buildings.
Amazing place, and your note about their schooling and health care is also amazing.
claudeD (38164) 2014-02-14 9:28
very fine contrast between this yellow us and the old architecture. Like your idea here very much..TFS.
With regards from Luxembourg
Royaldevon (37967) 2014-02-14 12:01
You have chosen a good angle on this street so that the converging lines create a natural movement from right to left. The details of the buildings have a shabby attraction, stirring thoughts of their previous splendour.
The but fits in well with the lines, though I feel it would have been better composed a little more to the right.
There is a little scenario as we see someone watching the bus from their balcony.
Have a great w/e,
mesutilgim (94610) 2014-02-14 12:53
Old in old ! Another nice capture from Havana. The yellow cab adds a perfect touch to your compo.
TFS and have a nice weekend
Silvio1953 (140951) 2014-02-14 13:27
Ciao Craig, lovely composition with nice Yellow bus, fine details, wonderful colors, excellent clarity and splendid light, very well done my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio
npecanhuk (74914) 2014-02-14 17:21
Very interesting picture and note!
Sharpness, exposure, colors, horizontal format, slim black borders, chosen pov and composition are all excellent! I loved them all!
Those façades are totally run down!
As for your note, because of some protests on the streets last year her in Brazil (against corruption etc.), our government imported some doctors from many Countries, including from Cuba. They, specifically, are earning less than US$300/month here (although our government is paying around US$3000/month to their government). Some accepted because they probably earn less than that in Cuba, but others are now informing that they're leaving to Miami and that this job was just a step for their escaping from Cuba!
Well, lots of histories behind the history!
tyro (24408) 2014-02-14 17:34
We don't have yellow school 'buses here but anyone who has watched any American movies will immediately recognise this as another iconic feature of North America. It really is a huge one too - and how strange that this vehicle never seemed to move.
But there are obviously quite a few strange things about Cuba and, particularly, Havana. Those wonderfully decrepit buildings which are crumbling and yet these happy contented people seem cheerfully resigned to live in them and carry on with their lives.
But just look at this place - every main door is open wide and I bet they don't even close or lock these doors at night. I don't know what life's like in Vancouver, but here we would always lock our doors before going to bed and never leave them open in case of burglars. Perhaps, unlike us, these people have a more integrated and trusting society. They are probably a lot less materialistic than we are too. In that way they are lucky and we are the losers.
And it's interesting that you felt relaxed and never threatened here too because I remember well that you had a scary moment in Valparaiso when some bypassers noticed your swanky camera and might well have robbed you if you hadn't "legged it" very quickly. But it sounds as though that sort of thing doesn't happen here. Or does it?
And, of course, the other thing which makes me feel that you were relaxed here is that you so obviously came "out of your shell" and started taking people pictures - again something which is less than easy here in Britain - and proably in Canada too. Here, if you bring out a big SLR in a public place, you are immediately thought to be either a terrorist or a paedophile.
Anyway, Craig, this is a delightful picture in which that big 'bus makes a real statement. But the lady looking over the balcony, although she appears so small, is also a very important part of the picture and the composition too.
Another lovely reminder of what sounds like a wonderful holiday - and technically perfect as always. You know something? I think you fell in love with this place, didn't you? :o)
jcpix (13914) 2014-02-14 21:05
I was basically going to write the exact same thing you mentioned in the first two lines of your note...you stole the thoughts right out of my head the instant I saw this picture! Thief! lol
If I didn't know any better from your previous pictures and information, I would have thought this was taken on a completely vacant, time has forgotten kind of street. Judging by the conditions of the buildings, I would guess someone is actually better off living IN the bus!?
What a great find, these are the things we all wish for when traveling with camera in tow, something a bit unusual and unique...and you have certainly have a good eye for 'em! I might have to become a temporary Canadian citizen so that I can freely travel to Cuba and see for myself the things you've shown us so far...and hopefully many more! I saw your response to John, don't worry about showing too much...I know I'm only one person, but I love it! Cool shot of the classic yellow school bus! Have a great weekend. Take care.
Cheers from Cokeville,
jjcordier (79297) 2014-02-14 22:37
Bonne et intéressante photo de ce bus apparemment abandonné et qui illustre bien ta note.
pajaran (59581) 2014-02-14 23:59
Lep pogled na mesto i zuti autobus.
Dobar snimak, ostrina i kontrast, lepo pokazano mesto i trenutak, lepe boje.
Imajte lep dan, sve najbolje za vikend, srecno.
wolf38 (31296) 2014-02-15 0:17
Hi craig. When I see this bus, I immediately think of the famous Kamelbus in Cuba. Yes, transportation in Cuba is a special feature. With interest I read the informative text.
ikeharel (69925) 2014-02-15 0:49
Good morning Craig,
I guess the place without the bus parking along, would be a "just another facade" on town. Old and special building, its glorious days are seem to be over, and the bus gave a touch on a more modern factor to the street in view.
Well spottted, nicely applied.
Enjoy a nice weekend,
timecapturer (49288) 2014-02-15 3:34
enigmatic shot this, looking so American and then you see the gloriously decaying architectural beauty and realise it is not what it seems. Beautifully contrasting textures and decidedly atmospheric imagery all captured in your own inimitable and inspiring style. A stunner Craig!
Enjoy your weekend - B.
Fis2 (96121) 2014-02-15 4:38
a very curious building.
Good frame and superb colors.
Photo has climate.
saxo042 (37794) 2014-02-15 6:06
This is a perfect TE contribution. Reading your note and looking at this picture, you really learn a lot about the world. This is a very fine picture but your note is even more interesting (as is your conversation with "tyro").
Romano46 (18472) 2014-02-15 6:40
un condensato perfetto di Cuba.
Al vecchio autobus che porta ancora con dignità i segni del tempo si contrappone l'architettura anch'essa in decomposizione della capitale dell'isola.
Alle strutture provvisorie che ne impediscono il crollo si aggiungono le belle macchie di colore che vanno a contrastare con il colore dell'automezzo.
Un mix particolarmente affascinante che rappresenta molto bene il clima che si vive giorno dopo giorno nella grande isola dei Caraibi.
Contrasto, colori e gestione della luce di gran pregio.
Complimenti per il felice accostamento.
Ciao e buon fine settimana
marabu61 (10801) 2014-02-15 9:07
Interesting story and the old bus goes with the rather derelict buildings in the back.
But to say that anybody should recognize it immediately might be a tad to optimistic. As far as I know, the yellow school bus is a pure north american thing. I have never ever encountered these busses anywhere else than in the US or Canada and I have been around a fair bit. So I see a yellow school bus, I immediately think America.
Over here in Switzerland children usually walk, cycle or take the public transport to school.
have a great weekend
Noel_Byrne (30528) 2014-02-15 9:15
Interesting scene, the bus of course takes centre stage and if it were not for your note, I would assume this had literally just stopped to let somebody on. Its well kept, so I doubt its abandoned. The buildings do look very decayed in this scene too. I know you mentioned before about the buildings conditions, but its so very obvious here. A shame too, as they are beautiful buildings with fine details.
Its strange to read what you say about healthcare and schooling, and I guess it shows different priorities to other places. Visit Ireland and you will see many people live in the most impressive mansions, set back from the street or in gated communities. But visit our hospitals and you will find everyday hundreds of people lying on trollies as there are no beds for them. Elderly people sit on chairs waiting to be admitted, and people are dying everyday because of lack of facilities. All the while, the staff sweat and do everything they can with an ever dwindling amount of money. At the same time, our schools are falling apart, and being left to rot and Irelands literacy levels are declining and we having major issues around science and maths.
All so some can return to their mansions and pay for private health and schooling.
Given the choice, I know which model I would rather.
Your captures from Cuba show such a different world, but I really feel it looks a better world. People interact, they trust each other, they are together. Perhaps together in some poverty, but together nonetheless. Its not everyone on an iphone, ignoring the world, its a proper society. Your posts from here have been eye opening and informative and give me a great desire to visit this amazing country.
Thanks for sharing, as always. Best wishes from Ireland
worldcitizen (8472) 2014-02-15 9:28
Another photo with a lot of grit and atmosphere. These old facades have something special, and I guess there are yellow school buses in every country on the planet! Maybe somebody was living in there; I once saw a tv show where a couple converted an old bus into a home!
batalay (38593) 2014-02-15 9:36
This is again a beautiful and complete TE package — a well composed shot, sharp as obsidian, and a truly engaging note. The decrepit condition of the building reveals even more about the conditions, than the bus, which appears to be well preserved. The parallel horizontal bars along the sides appears to be a scheme to hold the structure in good shape.
rychem (34639) 2014-02-15 22:35
Another historical object, worth to show it on an exhibition, you have a good eye for such interesting things, well done
Schnappilic (9690) 2014-02-16 2:37
Congratulations for this huge picture. Endless! Time seems to have stopped. I like it so much!
jacquest (18927) 2014-02-17 9:49
A few years back, some people in the fiel of law in Quebec were dealing in school buses for Cuba. Maybe it's one of them because it looks sharp but is not a recent model. Probably the deal included spare parts. In any event, this makes a good composition with some history.
Cricri (117927) 2014-02-17 11:07
La note est aussi intéressante tout comme l'image, des façades souvent en mauvais état, et ce bus jaune qui ajoute une touche de couleur , belle présentation,
PaulVDV (28275) 2014-02-17 14:07
It's incredible to see how run down these magnificent buildings are. Imagine the day that Havana has money to restore all these beautiful buildings.
Regarding the yellow bus: Of course we recognize it from all the American movies on TV. But you won't find such a bus here in Europe.
Together with the blue facade at the ground floor at the left this bus adds colour to the picture.
Best regards, Paul
- Copyright: craig macintosh (macjake) (67126)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2013-12-11
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Pentax K7, Pentax DA 16-50mm f2.8
- Exposure: f/4.5, 1/200 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2014-02-14 6:28
- Favorites: 2 [view]