The Astounding Travel Adventures of a Miraculous Fellow

Things That Kinda Suck About Venezuela
July 24, 2008, 12:20 pm
Filed under: Venezuela

This country has done a marvelous job of pissing us all off with it’s frustrating blend of inefficiency and mental retardation. Thus, I have some ranting to do, which spawed this fun little list.

Things that kinda suck about Venezuela:

1. Costs — this country is about as expensive as most European countries, because the exchange rate is…how can I put this delicately…fucked. Our Venezuelan bank card works one out of 12 times, so instead of getting the much better black market rate, we have to use our own cards at the shitty official rate, which is…how can I put this delicately…shitty…oh, I already stated that, huh? But, I will say, without the help of our Venezuelan friends in California and their friends, this trip would have broken the bank.

2. Banks — ATMs don’t work. It’s really like a 1 in 5 chance that when you try to get money, you actually will. When you actually do succeed, it’s like winning on a slot machine. They should install Vegas-style lights and bells for when you are successful at taking money out. Although that would probably attract the murders and rapists even more than having blond hair and blue eyes.

3. Tourism — Weve decided that Venezuela’s Minister of Tourism is either a retarded donkey who just sits behind a desk and shits out bad policies, or is Hugo Chavez’s illegitimate brainless midget child. Ergo, I propose that Venezuela’s new Tourism slogan should be “Venezuela — Were Just Not Quite Ready for Tourism.” Things are at best difficult. The country itself has tons of beautiful things to see, and some of the nicest, friendliest people Ive ever met in my travels, but in tourism standards its just not quite ready. Im pretty sure those individuals who are involved in trying to get tourists from point A to point B, get them situated with accomodations, and make life easier failed the seminar on “How to Get Tourists from Point A to Point B, Get Them Situated with Accomodations, and Make Their Life Easier.”

4. The Women — for the most part…how can I put this delicately…they’re all fat and ugly. This was a surprise because Colombia was the exact opposite. The reality of this situation makes me sad in my pants.

5. Food — Im still not totally sure what Venezuelan food is. They have these interesting things called Cachapas which are basically a sweet corn pancake filled with nearly 47 pounds of salty cheese, and there is also a boatload of Ham and Cheese related products. Other than that its pretty much pizza and street hot dogs, which rapidly induce a visit from Montezuma. But, man oh man, are the street hot dogs delicious. They put crumbled potato chips on them. After a bottle of rum, I highly suggest this. Its almost worth the next day on the shitter.

6. Cities — these places are terrifying. Every single Venezuelan weve talked to says every single city we are planning on visiting is dangerous. Our amazing friends and guides in Caracas, Adriana and Maricela, were even terrified when they dared take us on a trip to downtown Caracas. This is one of the few places Ive been where people just say “Oh youre going to downtown Caracas. Dont do that.” Weve talked to some tourists who have witnessed a daytime, drive-up, pistol whipping of some poor sucker in this area and it made me really not want to experience that for myself.

7. Violence — this place is dangerous. As referred to in number 5 above, there are some random acts of violence that make a tourist shudder. We also met a poor little 18 year old Czech guy who is on his first trip outside of Europe on his own. One of his first nights in Mérida, a small city in Venezuela his hostel was overrun by 10 banditos with guns who tied everyone up, pistol whipped everyone, then stole everything in the place. Mérida is supposed to be one of the safest cities in Venezuela.

Venezuela, I apologize for talking shit. Although you’ve got some flaws, Angel Falls and the coolness of your people almost redeem the country’s negative qualities. But, if I catch one of these pistol whippings that some of your people seem so fond of, I may have to revoke this statement.


4 Comments so far
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While I was rather entertained, Lula and Reyna are going to tear you up when you come stateside.

Comment by James

Do you have a second blog with filtered info that you direct your mother to read? Because I don’t think Martha needs to see the above list. Can you just keep her busy on Google Earth? I want her to be able to sleep at least a little while you’re traveling.

Comment by rlwilson78

Jeff, I think you need “El Sistema”. From 60 minutes:

“El Sistema: The Music of Hope. Venezuela is the home of a music program that’s so extraordinary it’s been hailed as the future of classical music itself. It’s called “El Sistema,” “The System,” and it’s all about saving hundreds of thousands of children through music.”

Segments available to watch on the 60 minutes website include “Youth Movement: From the streets to concert halls,” “Music Can Change The World: The sounds of hope,” and “The System’s Star: He’s hot, he’s sexy and he plays classical music.”

I don’t know where you can find it, but it can’t be more than a 48-hour bus ride away from wherever you are now.

Comment by Mason

Chips on street hot dogs… sign me up, but please hold the pistol whips.

I wonder how the bedbugs are in the hostel. Few or many?

Comment by Dorty

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