This was my first week in Caracas, Venezuela and it has been quite an experience! Spanish continues to be a problem but things have improved as I have come to express myself in broken Spanish. Just the other day, I was at the good old Subway to get a Veggie Delite and was pains to tell the person I wanted all the veggies in it.. until a nice helpful Venezuelan who had lived in Austin, TX came to my rescue! Initially I had thought that vegetarian food might be a challenge but it isn’t such a big problem and why I guessed. Well, the beautiful Venezuelan women are perennially on diet… I wouldn’t have guessed!
There was this funny cab ride with the cabbie speaking Spanish and I in English and only lapsing in each other’s language with fewer than 5 words and still understanding each other quite well. He seemed to have been greatly impressed by “Brahmismo” his interpretation of Hindu religion. He was an Italian born (with the Italian passport still proudly displayed in his cab) who had lived in Venezuela for 44 years. He, like most Venezuelans I have met, did not quite care for the President Chavez whom all think is a little crazy (Chavez comes on TV everyday either singing or giving inane interviews!).. and he was wondering if only they could have Mahatama Gandhi as their president! I smiled to him and laughed inside.. little did he know what he was praying for!
The first weekend was devoted to the Venezuelan malls.. one of them – El Sambil the biggest of Venezuela was as good as the malls get anywhere in the world. It was bigger than Houston’s Galleria and I am told I just explored a part of it! Although I have been in the “richer” areas of Caracas, but it does seem that there is quite a lot of money chasing the consumer goods and women’s stuff is the most popular shops everywhere and men seem to be an afterthought in this society!
Sunday was for beach… well.. the beach here is the worst kept of all public properties and it’s a pity… because it seemed all the ugliest women of Caracas had decided to call it their domain! I came back and decided to try to fresh fruits of this beautiful tropical country! Next weekend will be Avila mountain! Back to work …