Google+ Followers

domingo, 3 de abril de 2016

Top 7 Safety Recommendations if you go to Venezuela.

     Things are getting worst in all sense. I thought that with the opposition winning the legasliteve elections in December 2015 everything would up turning for the best. I was naive and wrong. Venezuelans live in constant danger, which could increese if you are e foreinger. As a local I will advice you the following:




     1. Always keep your luggage at a spot where you can see and sense them, in front of the legs for example.

     2. Do NOT exange money at the airport, bank or any interchange institution. They will give you far more less that is actually worth. Check up the site https://twitter.com/dolartoday?lang=es to stay tuned about the REAL exchange rates. I will explain this complicated matter as long with venezuelan economics in another article.

     3. Use line taxi only. Most important malls in Caracas have their own taxi lines, they are pretty secure. Consult with the driver the price he has on a paper list where all the locations are indicadet algong with the price. Also a good hotel can help you with that. DO NOT use free taxies on the streets.

    4. Subway or Metro system have reached records about insecurity. Me myself was assault and stolen in a subway station, middle of the day. Do not recomend to use metro or free buses called "carritos".





     5. Hide very well your pertenences when you go out, specially if you carry expensive things like smartphones, tablets, camaras or foreing currency. There are lots of good people but do not trust anybody unlike is a friend of yours.

     6. If you go nightclub be aware that some people use some sort of sustance called "burrundanga". Is made from a very popular plant and drug the person that have contact with it. They can control, ask you everything and you will accept without rejacting. The next day you will not remember almost anything.





     7. I do not wish anything goes wrong, but just in case you are victim of delincuence just let them do whatever they want. If you resist for sure they will shot you or even kill you, this guys do not care about anything. They have war guns which are iligal so do not trust the police too much. Is not worth to risk your life for a few material things.

     Finally I would like to add some refleccion. A few days ago I was watching the news and says that after a bloody battle, the Syrian army held back Islamic Estate, leaving 23 soldiers death. But the same happens here almost every day although is not well covered by international media. Venezuela has gone through more than a century without any armed conflict or war of any type, and yet we have more deaths that some currently war zones.

     But not everything is lost, Venezuela is cheap and have amazing places to enjoy with lots of security, like the Gran Sabana or Great Plain. Roraima mount or Los Roques Archipielago, which are all very safety and you for sure will meet other travelers. I have written about a few of these places before so check it out!

     I hope this is usefull for you guys and sorry that I have absent for a while.

viernes, 4 de julio de 2014

Eurotrip!

As I said in my last post, I will go to Europe for a couple of month, taking advantage of the fact that many of my venezuelan friends now live there because of the difficult times my country is having right now. Right now I am in Curazao and tomorrow I will go to Amsterdam where my half polish hafl venezuelan friend awaits me. I know this blog it is about Venezuela and not about my personal jorneys around the world, but I will tent to focus my further posts about the cultural differences about what I expirience in Europe and my country. But for now I don't know if I could write with the frequency I would like to.

Further notices comimg soon. Wish me a good trip!

martes, 10 de junio de 2014

I am back with some thoughts about what's happening in Venezuela.

This has been a busy year so far for me and for my country because all the mess that begun after Hugo Chavez's death. Right now our economy is struggling with a very high inflation rate while many of the social programs that the government has been working in like housing are now paralyzed or are going slow. Some groups opposed to the government has taken advantage of this chaos trying to generate confusion and discomfort. There has been some arrests and deaths.

I consider that this situation is normalizing in the way that every day are less struggles on the street, but by the other hand the economy is doing really bad this year. Nicolas Maduro's economy cabinet has decreased the national currency value, created more bureaucracy procedures to access foreign currencies and has formed four different types of exchange rate while blaming the opposite side and foreign factors of launching an "economic war" against Venezuela.


Less products everyday.


All this is very complex to explain and understand even for an economist, but the reality on the street is that it's getting more difficult to find some products while some has completely disappeared. For example, I used to buy Gillette or Nivea for men deodorant and now I can only find Speed stick. And this is happening also with more important products like food. A lot of companies and business has reduced working hours and some just closed. Sometimes there are really large lines formed by people who intend to get some basic products like milk or sugar.


Huge line of people trying to get some food.



The National Guard in a grocery store.


I am not precisely in favor of any political party in my country but I am really getting tired of this stuation and many people as well; lots of them has moved to other countries looking for better opportunities and a more stabilized life style. I have loss time in finishing my studies due to university stoppage. I just want to finish and maybe I will be moving next year to somewhere else.

In some way, I had the intention to promote tourism to my country when I started this blog. Honestly, Venezuela is full of beautiful places, natural wonders, great and fun people, tasty food and really gorgeous women. Sadly, right now it is difficult for me to recommend anybody to visit my country. The only good thing might be that you will get a lot of local bills for a few dollars or euros, but we are next to Brazil where the soccer world cup is just going to start so most of the tourist visitors are focused in our portugese-speaking neighbors.

This is really a country of contrasts, by one side there are a lot of people struggling to get some food but by the other hand you can still see people getting lots of alcohol (there are always plenty in stock) and going to party at nights. Venezuelans are still more concerned about having fun than about our country's future, which makes Venezuela a rare country, socially speaking of course.

This is all my opinion, from my transparent point of view. I always try to be as objective as possible.

Right now my short-term plans are finishing my last university trimester (there are only 3 weeks left) and then possibly I am going to take a trip to Europe for summer, taking advantage of the fact that a lot of my friends have moved to the old continent. After that I have to come back to Venezuela and do internship until december. So that is possibly what the rest of the 2014 year is going to be like for me.

viernes, 8 de noviembre de 2013

News and Updates.

I haven't post in this blog for a while and I decided to come back and I am really sorry for that. For now I will write about what's happened in Venezuela in the last few months.


Miss Universe.


Ladies always goes first right? It happens that Venezuela is the country with more "beauty titles" in the Miss Universe competition. The first step is to be at the Miss Venezuela competition and the winner representates my country in Miss Universe. This year this activity will be held in Russia and the lady that goes for Venezuela is called Maria Gabriela Isler. It's told that she is one of the favorites.






Politics.


Since president Hugo Chavez died in march there's been a very messy political enviroment in my country. Chavez left Nicolas Maduro, a former bus driver, as the presidential candidete for the  elections helded in april. Maduro won for a tiny difference (many said it was an electoral fraud and there were actually a few deaths). He basically have the same escennce as Chaves did as a president, the same speech and same actions.


 Many people are getting tired because of the insecurity and high inflation rate. The university teachers did a strike earlier this year that lasted several months (this forced me to loose a lot of classes by the way). There is an economical crisis and on november 8th the goverment announced deep economical changes that will be explained with more details in the next days. The next elections for municipality majors will be on december 8th and the enviroment is really warming up. I hope nothing happens but tention is in the air.


This are the twitter accounts of the president of the republic Maduro in four different lenguages:

English: @maduro_en
French: @maduro_fr
Portugeese: @maduro_pt
Arabic: @maduro_ar

Sports.

The national football (soccer) team didn't made it to the world cup. I actually consider that Venezuela has been improving since the last years but it is difficult to qualify in a group that has so many great selections such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Ecuador... and only a few spots to make it to the world cup. Also, the team's captain and most important figure in the last decade Juan Arango announced retairment from the national team (he plays in Germany for the Borussia Mönchengladbach). 

The Venezuelan Winter Baseball League is almost in the midseason and my team is not going very well. It's been a nice opportunity to see some big leaguers and some young prospect that haven't played yet with their teams in the MLB. 

Also the NBA just started and I am excited, specially because I play Fantasy in Yahoo.


Weather.

The rain season it is supposed to be over but it's been raining like hell in the las weeks. It's getting colder since october but because Venezuela is located near the ecuator line there's not a big change in the weather during the year, it just become warmer in summer and colder in winter. As I said in my post about Caracas, the weather in this city is like perfect, and I like it being colder. So let's see when the rain it's going to stop.


Entertainment.

Beyoncee had a show in Caracas this september in my university's football (soccer) stadium. Aerosmith played as well this year in Venezuela. 

The highest-budget movie ever made in Venezuela (A Venezuelan and Spain's production) was presented in the las Toronto's film festival and next year it will be presented in national theatres. The name of the movie is The Libertator and it's about the life of Simon Bolivar. Starring Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez it's supposed to be a great movie and I am looking forward to watch it. I love film. Watching a movie is one of my favorites activities so I will write a little bit more about movies later on.


(Edgar Ramirez as Simon Bolivar, he actually doesn't looks like him but I am sure he did a great job in the movie).



So... long time no see. What's going on in your contries? Did I miss a topic in this post?

viernes, 14 de junio de 2013

Venezuelan food (Arepas).

This is the first post referred to Venezuelan food and the obvious dish I must talk about is the arepa.  It is an everyday food in any Venezuelan table, specially for breakfast. It is a simple food made from cornmeal which looks like a small cake. It was already popular before the Spanish colonization and the tradition have been kept until today.

Also a traditional dish in Colombia and Panama, the arepa by itself is kind of flavorless but it is combined  with many other ingredients making this food's possible combinations limitless.

(Arepas cooked with firewood).

After preparing and cooking the arepa you open it helped by a knife like an oyster and you fill it with whatever you want: ham, cheese, butter, meat, chicken, eggs, pork, fish and many more.

Until some decades ago the process to cook arepas was long and complicated because the corn had to be milled first but everything changed since the corn flour was invented. It can also be fried (less healthy but tastier, like everything good in the world haha). Another type of arepa, made with wheat flour instead of corn, is prepared in the region of Los Andes. This variant of the dish is also very tasty.

It is not popular only for breakfast or dinner but it is also a very common food after going to a nightclub or parting until late because there are many establishments opened 24 hours called "areperas" that sells many kinds of Venezuelan food but specially arepas. It usually takes a few seconds from the moment you order it to the moment you are eating it and it is so helpful to avoid a hangover if you were drinking.

And now I will share this video I found in youtube where you can see how an arepera is and how the arepas are served.




Would you try an arepa? What are the most popular dishes in your country?

jueves, 13 de junio de 2013

The Catatumbo.

This is a strange meteorological phenomenon that can be seen near Maracaibo city in Zulia state. I don't really now a lot about the science behind that causes this effect but it basically consist in a almost perpetual thunder, which makes it easy to take a photo of this.



This happens in south of the biggest lake of Venezuela, called the Maracaibo lake and apparently it is the largest source of ozone in the world (around 10% of the total ozone).

(Maracaibo lake).

It was studied by the naturist Alexander von Humbolt in one of his journeys and later by the Italian geographer Agustin Codazzi.

And just as general culture: the name Catatumbo is also the name of a sniper rifle designed and created in Venezuela, for those interested in guns.

What kind of strange phenomenons happens or had happened in your country? 

jueves, 30 de mayo de 2013

Venezuelan music (Joropo)

There is a large tradition of great Venezuelans musicians along many generations meaning that my country posses a rich music culture and this includes all the genres like pop, rock, dance, and folk music.

Today I am going to write a little about one particular folk music called Joropo.

The Joropo is the traditional music in the plains region of Venezuela, and also one of the most popular music in all the country. Since it is originated in the plains (los llanos in spanish), it is also known as "musica llanera" or "music of the plains."





The instruments used are basically the Venezuelan "cuatro", Venezuelan harp, maracas and a percussion instrument called "furruco." Others instruments may be added like an electric base, a flute o violins. It also might be both, with voice or instrumental.

This regional music, as most of the Venezuelan music, is meant for dancing. Usually the dresses used by the dancing girls are very colorful with very long skirts which they lift with the hands while doing turns very quickly.

Now, because it is easier to understand from images than from a guy trying to write about Joropo, I added a couple of videos  from youtube. The first video is a choreography done by teenagers in some sort of event. The second one is a couple dancing.

Enjoy!