Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wish You Weren't There

Be glad you're not there. Supermarket shelves in Caracas, Venezuela. (Photo: Twitter)
For all the frustrations of Bogotá: the chaos, crime, pollution, occasional rudeness and bureaucracy, we can be grateful for at least one thing: We're not in Caracas, Venezuela.

To remind yourself of that, read this pathetically hilarious blog entry at Caracas Chronicles.

Next time you're shopping and discover that your favorite color toilet paper's sold out, remember that in
Caraqueños on their way to the beach.
(Photo: Ultimas Noticias)
Caracas finding any toilet paper at all means getting in line before dawn. And, when Venezuelans travel overseas, they have to do so on a Venezuelan government stipend. And, pretty soon, if Venezuelan Pres. Maduro's plans become reality, Venezuelans will get fingerprinted every time they buy soap, powdered milk or toilet paper - just to be sure they aren't buying too much.

Frustrated by Bogotá's chronic, worsening traffic congestion and pollution? But imagine if gasoline were almost free - as it is in Caracas - and you were trapped all day in perpetual traffic jams behind 30-year-old gas guzzlers.

Scared by crime? Bogotá's homicide rate is still way too high - but Caracas's is one of the world's highest for a country not at war. During my last several months living in Central Caracas, in 2005, there were 3 or 4 homicides on my street.

And corruption? Let's not get started.

Inadequate health care? In Caracas, I visited a large public hospital which had no air conditioning, elevators or gauze. No joke. And the intercom system had been stolen!

So, as frustrating as things can be, remember that all is relative.

And, as for the blogger from Caracas, Bogotanos kept asking him whether he planned to return home. He actually did.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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