domingo, 9 de diciembre de 2007

A delayed country

Venezuelans are never on time. If you ever come here, never –ever- believe on the time settled in formal cards for meetings or parties. The custom dictates to tell all your friends to show up at your house for your birthday at 8 so they can finally be there between 9 and 9:30 Pm. And you are so sure that no one will show up at the time you said, that you are probably not even dressed at 8.
After all, being the first who arrives to a party is not well seen. The poor person who decides to actually show up at time it’s the one who “fríe los tequeños” (“fry the tequeños”), tequeños are like Venezuelan cheese sticks or something like that -anyway the slang means that this person arrives when the host is still cooking and getting things ready for the party). If by some reason, a foreigner is also invited to that party, your polite manners force you to tell him “8:00 Pm, Venezuelan time”. If the guy is smart enough, or has been in Venezuela for two hours; he knows that “Venezuelan time” means “always be late, at least half of hour late”.
Venezuelans are never on time and the government has taken this ancient custom seriously. So seriously, that it has decided to make it formal and official by changing today our legal time. From now on, everything will be one half of hour after than what it should be.
Now the government hasn’t done this because they are worried about a few foreigners frying tequeños in our parties. No… we are talking about serious business here and so the arguments for doing this should be. The revolutionary reason for making this time zone change, is that with it, the children won’t have to wake up at dawn to go to school and therefore, they will enjoy more sunshine during their first class of the day, which apparently is good for their health (I’m being serious, no sarcasm here). Everybody wonders why they just didn’t pass a decree forcing the schools to start classes half of hour later instead of making the whole country delay half of hour. Well, those are the revolutionary ways to rule a country: making it go back not only on time.
The second question that pops my mind referring to this issue is that in my humble opinion, my country has primary needs to be solved before thinking about changing the time, making Revolutionary projects or complaining about the imperialism.
When you look at the shanty towns and see the conditions on which the people there lives, when you walk to your work and at least five people ask you for money in that track, when you see huge lines of citizens praying for a liter of milk and you read the reports about the hospital conditions; not to mention the extra-official numbers of deaths because of violence during the weekends… and yet you notice that the government’ main concern isn’t any of that but to give more sunlight to the kids who have the chance to go to school (no matter in what conditions those schools are); you know that there’s nothing Revolutionary about a Revolution where its leader is playing Legos with the country instead of ruling it.
With that being said, the readers are probably wondering what are this blogger’ plans to get used to this time zone change. The answer is that, in front of this stupid decree, I will act as stupid as the decree demands. Let me explain: I’m not going to set on my clock on time, as one of those rebel tiny (more often than not, simply stupid) acts that I perform in order to show my disagreement with the Revolution every time I can.
“-So you will be always half of hour early from now on”- A friend told me last night as we were talking and laughing about the most recent Revolutionary madness – “No” – I smiled – “After all, I’m Venezuelan: I’ll be exactly on time”
About the picture: In an improvised "Mercal" (government' mission to give cheap food to the poor people basically) in Caracas, the people patiently wait in line to get one bag of milk or one bottle of cooking oil which its also hard to find. These days Venezuelans are always waiting, wasting their time on things that should take for granted. That’s why I choose this pic for starting this entry: because the time zone change beyond all the harsh analysis you might read on that, its simply a waste of time...

domingo, 2 de diciembre de 2007

A great place to start

Think about the happiest day of your life, the day were you felt that you could breeze a little and you won't be even close to tell how I feel as I quickly write this lines. I couldn't believe it, I prepare myself for the worse specially after reading on Reuters a possible YES to the reform victory (now I want to read what Reuters has to say at this moment). All kinds of rumors flew during the night, the YES won, the NO won, one block won... the other didn't...and as the final first announcement of the Electoral Centre approach; the rumors that were talking about a possible "NO" victory were stronger. Then the announcement came, I could not even hear it.

At this point I don't know how many votes we had, all I know is that the NO won because fireworks, horns etc etc started sounding. My mom screamed and asked my dad and I to go out with her to celebrate, I was talking on the cell phone to a dear friend of mine and we were not saying a thing... just crying like babies. So I left, all the way down to Altamira square to celebrate carrying only my cell phone and totally forgot about my ID and what’s even worse given the circumstances... my cam! I was so happy that I forgot to bring my cam so I'm sorry folks, I don't have any pictures of the event.
We got there and we hug more people than those "Free Hugs campaign", a lot of strangers a little bit drunk... was kind of weird, professors, friends, family...I danced "tambores" (even counting that... I don't know how) in the middle of the street while all the people were screaming "estudiantes!!!" (students!!!) and they were not all students - that’s for sure.
This is the first time ever that we defeat Chavismo. Daniel said he does not believe in the actual Constitution and I'm agree with him... it does have a lot of mistakes but we stopped the posibility of making it even more filled with mistakes, we set a path today. Miguel on the other hand is singing The Beatles. Yep, the Venezuelan can be a little bit crazy sometimes...
Tomorrow the struggle continues and today this blogger allows herself to smile.