lunes, 29 de diciembre de 2008

A meme for New Years'

I'm preparing a few post about certain events, feelings and thoughts related with the Venezuelan political crisis. I promise I will publish as soon as I consider them decent enough. In the mean time, the next questions reached my mail box, I answered them to practice my english, and at the end I thought it would be fun to share; because even if its so off topic, this blog is at the end, a personal blog. The three or four of you who follow this blog, are invited to also answer this meme. And delayed Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2009 to who ever has the patience to read this.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
My idea of perfect happiness reduces to one or two moments, short enough to remember it, long enough to enjoy it; because a constant happiness is equivalent to some boring routine that no one ever remembers as remarkable.

What is your greatest fear?

Lions. (Really? No politics? No Chavez? No death? No… really… I HATE lions).

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Jane Austen, she had a very particular way of being rebel and conservative at the same time. Yep, its probably not a big historical figure, but is the only one I can think of right now. Ask me in a couple of days and I’ll probably give you a different answer.
Which living person do you most admire?
I would have to name more than one. A professor who really marked me and my boyfriend.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My laziness, my sarcasm and sometimes I think that I think way too much
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Bad intentions, square minds and an absolute moral (I think that two last ones are the same thing, right?)

What is your greatest extravagance?
It’s somewhere between the way I speak and some other things I don’t feel comfortable about revealing them at all!

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

General social skills such as keeping a good conversation about stupid topics, looking good, dancing good, drinking, having a decent job or career etc etc.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
My feet. No doubt. Yes, I’m a girl and I have some stupid complex, what do you expect?

Which living person do you most despise?
It is impossible not to answer this question without naming the obvious: the person I despise the most is you- know- who, some guy from Miraflores, I bet you have heard of him.

What is your greatest regret?
That I didn’t graduate on time.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
What? My career and writing. Who? He knows.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
That instinct of protection they have.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Our ability to talk about nothing, I must confess that I love to talk with my female friends about nothing!

Which talent would you most like to have?
I’ve always wanted to sing and dance, but I’m terrible at both things.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
A couple of years that I spent working as an assistant professor, I think I did something good there.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
It would be interesting to come back as the opposite of me, someone like my president itself or Pamela Anderson; just to see how those shoes fit.

What do you most value in your friends?
They are there, for whatever may come, without judgments.

Who are your favorite writers?
Umberto Eco, J. K. Rowling, I don’t have many favorite writers, I always read a different book of a different writer.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Does Hermione Granger from Harry Potter counts?

What is it that you most dislike?

When Word corrects a stupid grammar “mistake”, or style issue and leaves that part of your document with that nasty red underline that you can’t make it go away. I dislike animals. I dislike being around talks about cruise trips I never made, and plastical surgery, and business (I have nothing to say on those conversations). I dislike the lack of opportunities, when its even hard to dream about having a decent life. I dislike a lot of journalists. And of course I dislike the world troubles like everyone does.

How would you like to die?
Typically: old, surrounded by my love ones (more likely the love ones alive for that time), without a lot of pain, in peace.

What is your motto?

My mom always reminds me parts of a pray and even counting that I’m not very religious, I like it. It says that the patience can reach everything, and that everything will be over and will pass.

domingo, 21 de diciembre de 2008

An unrequited love

The Bolivarian Revolution is everything to me. Even if I don’t like it, at this point it would it be stupid to deny that fact. The Bolivarian Revolution defines the way I live, the food that comes to my table, the things I can buy and I cannot, the places I can go and the places I can’t visit without putting my life in risk. It also haves a word on the time I have, on the information I see, on the people I relate to.
It even can say something about my mood, that it can fall from a perfect happiness to an unbearable anxiety if one of those announces, rumors, news, or analysis enter my ears. The Bolivarian Revolution also haves a very strong weight on my aspirations, on the things I can desire to have and I cannot, on the future I can dream of and the future I fear of.

But my relationship with the Bolivarian Revolution is unequal, is an unrequited love. While the Revolution is everything to me, I am nothing to them. I often wonder who I am to them really? I started by being an “escuálido” (a shark, an insult Chavez often used in the early years), and an oligarch. Well, I’m actually a daughter of what they call “the old oligarchy”.

From there, I passed to be many things: a traitor, a lackey of the empire, a fascist (a pro-Chavez woman actually called me that way in the subway, when we were returning of a student protest), an (my URL address? Anyone?) antipatriotic, and; when the student movement arise and I was part of it, I was part of the ones called “rich kids”.

I will not be considered, just as I am, for any of the Revolutionary social programs; and If I request something I would have to wear a red t-shirt for getting it. And if one day I simply go and disappear, it won’t make a difference. They will be thankful, that another after another counter revolutionary is leaving them alone.

domingo, 7 de diciembre de 2008

My heritage

Yesterday, Chavez launched yet another cadena for a few hours. The motive: a yet another huge red demonstration and yet another ridiculous speech to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Revolution or, in other words: ten years of a country under Chavez command. He was supposed to last 5 years in office and from that point many things happened, many events that many people considered legal or that others simply didn't pay attention or the ones who did; and protest against, were too few to be noticed. On days like this, you tend to look back and remember how everything started. I was 14.

We were watching Venevisión. The camera switched from one picture to another showing each and every president we had so far in our democratic period and it stopped under the last one, a smiling guy in red: "Hugo Rafael Chavez Frías"; my oldest brother laughed with irony and went straight to Miraflores to see "how they are going to celebrate", my mom screamed "It can't be... it can't be..." - She said. We never liked the guy, we lived the events of the coups of 1992 (that he leaded) way too close so that’s why we never liked him. But we were a minority. Even between our social class, even between the rest of my family, even in my school and my neighborhood.

I didn't suspect on that moment that my life was going to change forever, that my economical situation would never be the same, that I would have to farewell many friends and family members and that I would even considered them lucky for having the chance of leaving the country.

That I was going to attend to one protest after another, sometimes without knowing for real what I was protesting or seeking for.

That I was going to be classified as an oligarch, pitiyankee, antipatriotic and a long list of etc because of having light skin and belonging to a high middle class. That the insecurity levels were about to increase in a way the older generations never thought or imagine.

That I was going to work in politics and pass from being excited to disappointed from one day to another.

That my country was going to have a new name, a new flag, and a new time zone only because the president wanted it that way.

That I was going to feel fear all the time for loads of reasons. That I was going to get used to coming back to my house quickly before dark.

That I was going to get used to see all open signal TV Channels and radio stations forced to broadcast Chavez speeches and general government propaganda daily, for several hours.

That I was going to consider as a condition for having one friend or another, their political inclination. That I was going to see the rise and the decline of many friends as they have try to put an end to this madness.

That I was going to go to one supermarket and another and another to see if I was lucky enough to find milk, or sugar, or coffee...

That I was going to be forced to ask for a lot of permissions to have foreign currency if I needed to travel or buying something online.

That I was going to open a blog in a language that, back then I only barely knew how to say "hello", "good bye", "thank you" and "can I go to the bathroom?".

Its been 10 years since then. 10 years are nothing in the life of an adult but those 10 years mean most of my high school years, my university years and now my first job experiences. In those 10 years you can count my 15th year old parties, my first drink, my first date... a whole list of many many "first". 10 years might not mean a lot to many people, but they mean practically translate to all my life so far. Who I was before that? Nothing less and nothing more than a kid. And now I'm an adult and it all happened under the same president.

He was a president I never wanted, elected for the first time on a process that I wasn't old enough to vote. I feel that my generation is paying now because of that heritage. A heritage that frequently stop us from planning our futures in the way our parents did. A heritage that slowly, put us many limitations and lower our quality of life. A heritage that tends to look to me like a prison. Like 10 years in your (one time a) home behind bars.

PS: Some readers probably know that Beethoven is my favorite composer ever, I specially enjoy his sonatas, and the last movement is always very powerful. I'm just starting to play this piece and I thought the mood it has from the interpretation of Wilhelm Kempff reflects the drama of this post. Here's the third movement of The Tempest, enjoy and look at the expressions of the piano player, they are absolutely stunning

lunes, 1 de diciembre de 2008

Our conditional "IF..."

As young people that we are (I just turned 24 last week), my friends and I are always rambling about our future. We talk and talk about what are we going to do after we finish the university (many already did), if we are going to stay in that job for long or seek for another, the scholarships we heard about here and there, the masters and PhD programs that are constantly flirting with our ambitious minds and then the emotional side that it can't hardly be openly admitted and that we always talk about it in codes. Are we going to marry with our current significant others? Are we going to have kids? To make a family?. We often confuse the real plans with the dreams but always, at the end of those "future" coffee talks, there's one question we never miss: "What if Chavez stays?"

Then, all our plans and dreams are made under that conditional "if Chavez stays...". "If Chavez stays I'm not going to have kids... at least not here" - One says. "I would like to specialize in Public Policy but if Chavez stays I would think of something else, because I don't want to work for his government" - Says another. "Only if Chavez leaves I will start a business, I don't feel like making an investment here right now" - Says another.

In a normal situation we wouldn't be making plans under that conditional, because we could take for granted that the president would leave his office at the end of his term, just as the Constitution states. But in Venezuela the president is threatening us every single time with the idea of staying till 2021 at least, staying forever at best.

Last year he promoted a Constitutional Reform which would allow him to be reelected indefinitely. The reform was reject on popular elections as you might remember. And for a moment, my friends and I forgot the "if" conditional that imprisoned all our talks about our bright futures, because we knew he could only stay till 2012 and that’s probably before we even start sharing the world with our possibly hypothetical future kids.

But now he brought up the topic again, commanding his party to find the way to make him be reelected indefinitely. Even if its illegal I know they can find a way to make it legal. I started thinking again on that endless collections of "If Chavez stays" that always eclipse my dreams of a better future.