Today, I feel forced to make another entry about the shortages. They now look as something normal to any interested observer of the current Venezuelan political situation. But it is always important to remind the readers that the shortages (specially the food ones) started on 2007 (same year I started blogging) and so they represent a situation that the Venezuelans are not used to deal with at all.
Ever since then, products appear and disappear from the shelves and we treat the most basic and common products such as milk or black beans like they were gold. We have also quickly forgotten (or at least that’s what we pretend) our exquisite taste that once made us picked one special brand over many others that decorated our big and modern supermarkets or even our corny abastos and bodegas.
It has become a common image to see signs on those places such as “Only two bags per person”, “Only one can per person”. It’s currently happening with rice (three days ago you could only buy two bags of rice at the supermarket located near by home, now there’s no rice left). There’s also a significant scarce of sugar, coffee, black beans, toilet paper and napkins (if something as basic as food is missing, it is ought to expect to see other things disappearing from the shelves as well).
To the drama that comes with the current shortages, the frustration of coming back home without the basic things you need; you must add the fear and uncertainty that fills everyone nerves as soon as the news and/or the rumours of possible future shortages enter our ears. We fear that the products that are rare to find now, might become impossible to find one day, they might disappear forever from our shelves. In our worse expectations we imagine days and months and years passing by missing the smell of the coffee, the taste of the real white sugar, the texture of food cooked using corn oil…Its hard to imagine a life without those products.
The future also speaks about products now easy to find, being added one day to the already familiar shortage list. The rumours are strong on predicting shortages of some hygiene products. A few months ago, the rumour speaking about a significant scarce of sanitary pads drove me crazy, making buy a package of those every time I could. If you are a woman you definitely know that you simply can’t live without it. With the current shortage of toilet paper and napkins on the rise, my –maybe not well found- fear of living a shortage of sanitary pads has arise again
Sometimes I don’t know who I should blame for this; I think that the situation Venezuela lives passes beyond the childish act of merely naming the guilty ones. The government blames the producers, the producers blame the government and at the end; the Venezuelans who are neither producers or part of the Revolution, are sadly getting used to live like that: fearing that one day in our own home, our life standards start being a bit more extreme and a bit less human.