December 14, 2016 6:08:19 pm
Many senior citizens look for jobs post-retirement – some out of boredom and others because they need to. But more often than not, unless you’re a consultant with an MNC, the remuneration for such jobs may not be much to boast of. However, for Cuba’s Aleeda Rodriguez Padrasa, not only is her job rather unusual, it’s also fairly well-paying. Yes, she has a secured government job and earns 245 Cuban pesos a month for being a ‘spectacle-keeper’. Confused, right? Well, her job is to guard the pair of spectacles on John Lennon’s bronze statue in Havana’s Lennon Park.
The unusually well-paid job is very tiring for the 72-year-old woman who has been doing the task for past two years, CNN reported. She stands for 12 hours every day in the park to guard the spectacle, while tourists flock to take pictures with the Beatles legend sitting on the bench.
The popular tourist attraction in the island capital has a heavy footfall all through the year and has been at the receiving end of some mischief as well. Since 2000, when the world famous bronze statue-bench was installed in the park with Lennon’s iconic round spectacle, many pairs have gone missing. Tired of replacing the signature glasses, the government decided to hire a keeper to safeguard it.
Cuba has a very unique relationship with the legendary singer-composer as Beatles was banned in Cuba by the then leader Fidel Castro in 1964, as a part of his agenda to fight Western capitalism. However, Lennon was immensely popular among the masses and many of his albums were circulated by underground movement. Later, due to his vocal criticism of the US policies in foreign lands, Castro liked him and the ban was lifted. Later on Lennon’s 20th death anniversary, this famous statue was installed.
According to the report, about two years ago, her own glasses were taken from the statue. “The glasses were mine,” says Padrasa, “but I wasn’t watching and when I turned around they were gone.” After the third one went missing the government hired her. Since then every day as soon as the first tourist bus arrives in the park, she puts the pair of glasses atop Lennon’s nose securing it from her bag and spends rest of the day guarding it.