Other Dangers, Caracas
If you like the good herb like I do. If your staying in Caracas, make sure you are not walking the streets with it on you.
I got stopped and frisked by the bastard cops. They searched me dam well. I thought they were gunna strip me bare.
Always leave your guja back at your place of stay otherwise you will end up in prison or with no money left for your trip.
Some of the cops are fagots as well. They will grab you around the ball sack.
My last day in Venezuela, I was dropped off at the airport and was wheeling my heavy luggage to the gate. An airport employee rushed up to me and offered to assist me. I said ok. After he helped me wheel it off to the gate, I went to give him a tip and he told me it cost an outrageous price. Not thinking and not wanting to fight with him, I gave him the money he asked for, which I was later to find out was among the last of my bolivares. If you think a price is unfair, say so! Only give the price you think is fair. Don't be taken advantage of.
Incidents of unlicensed cabs ("piratas") overcharging, robbing and injuring passengers are rampant.
Travelers should take care to use radio-dispatched taxis or those from reputable hotels.
Travelers arriving late at night at the domestic terminal of the international airport should be aware that "pirata" cabs are known to prey on tourists arriving on delayed flights after licensed cabs have left for the evening.
Travelers should call a 24-hour radio-dispatched taxi service from a public phone in the airport lobby or ask the airline representatives to contact a licensed cab company.
Drivers of licensed cabs permitted to carry passengers at the airport will have laminated identity cards, in addition to license plates reading "LIBRE"
..NOTE......Visitors should note that public phones in Venezuela do not accept coins and that they will need to purchase a phone card from newsstands or kiosks.
It has become a fithy city. Smelly. Many sculptures and monuments have been either stolen or graffitied or even torn appart.
For the first time in Venezuelan history, in these recent years, people pee and poop right on the side walk. Is awfull, discusting and really sad. I insist: this is all very, very recent. Im still in shock.
So... what is the danger here? Watch your step... your nose... your eyes (you dont want to see something like that in the middle of the street). I ve seen it twice and I have felt so much shame that you cant imagine!
They are called "Circulos Bolivarianos", but also, Tupamaros, Comando Ayacucho, Comando Maisanta, etc... They move around the city mainly in motorcicles (two on one motorcicle, one who drives, the one behind that shoots). They have all sort of weapons: from molotov bombs, tear gas... guns... granades... you name it.
They are easy to recognize. They wear red birrets or red t-shirts. And they dont cover their faces (the seem to feel like allowed to kill and rewarded after).
This picture was taken on Monday 16th, 2004. A small group of people -that are against the governement and trully believe that a mega-fraud was done on Sunday 15th referendum- were demostrating (with out a single weapon and without making too much noise). There were a couple of non-important new politicians, some ladies, some senior citizens, several young people and a couple of children. Very-very few people were gathered in Altamira square.
Suddenly... the men from the picture appeared and started shooting. 8 demonstraters badly -really bad- wounded, one 61 year old lady, dead (the bullet that killed her is one that once that penetrates in your body, exploats). No one was armed, no one was protected and, once again, these killers came and shooted. It is not the first time.
And gunmen left, very happily indeed by the signs they were making to the cameras. (T.V. and press cameras).
Our faucet water is not purified enough. Not good for drinkable purposes. Although, one of my cousins has always drank faucet-water with no problems at all.
In restaurants and hotels they will serve you drinkable water. And you can ask as well for "mineral water" with or without gas.
At home, many venezuelans, we boil the water we drink in a kettle during 10 minutes.
Now... toilets in Caracas and in Venezuela... most of them are filthy. I´m not talking about the ones in the hotels, nice restaurants and elegant places. I´,m talking about the other 99% of the toilets you will find everywhere.
They are filthy.
If you are a woman, try not to sit down in order to pee. It might be uncorfortable, but try to do this in a position in between standing up and sitting down. If you cant do this, please bring in your purse a little bottle of alcohol and clean the toilet before sitting down.
Now... a doctor`s recomendation. A gynecologist recomendation. If you happen to go to a toilet that has no water, is extremely filthy, you feel like throwing up an dying, but you must pee no matter what... as soon as you get out from there, stop in a grocery store or a supermarket and buy a small bottle of regular vinegar. Once that you are in your hotel prepare 4 cups of water and one cup of vinegar. Mix it well. After you take your shower, wash your genital area, rear end, upper part of your legs with that preparation. That will kill any germ, bacteria, horrible microscopic monster that you have catched in that filthy restroom. And you will avoid having a deeper infection.
The only thing is that, that night, you will smell like a cucumber and tomato salad. (If your husband, boyfriend, lover is vegetarian he will adore you...).
Suggestion: Everytime you find a decent and rather clean restroom be sure to use it. You never know how will be the next one you find...
"La Cucaracha, La Cucaracha
ya no puede caminar
porque le falta, porque no tiene
la patita principal"
If there is anything I hate, something I really fear... is a cucaracha. I dont know how to spell it in other languages, but I certanly know how to prononce it in other to get INMEDIATE HELP!!!
I´ve screamed all over: KAKERLAKEN (in Berlin); CAFFARD (in Paris); BUBASHBABA (in Belgrade), COCOROACH (in New York) and SCARAFAGIO (in Milan, but that´s not quite it, scarafagio is equivalent to our escarabajo, and I like those, specially because they meant good luck, life and fortune in the ancient Egypt).
We have cucarachas in Venezuela. The worst are the ones that fly. If you are planning to camp anywhere, spleep in a crappy hotel, eat in a dirty place, oh, for sure you will get to see them. If you arrive to a nice place; eat at clean places; dont ride in buses that look like if they were going to fall appart... then you will be lucky and leave our country with out seeing one of these. (Imagine that they eat them in China... Yuk!)
If you see one, and are brave enought to kill it (I´m not), go ahead! There isnt any law that forbids killing cucarachas. They have been around since dynosaur's age...
You can VERY EASILY get lost in the Avila. So if you want to go hiking to places different of those I name in this web page (excluding Pico Oriental , Naiguatá and La Silla) do not go by yourself, go with a guide or someone who is familiar with the paths.
We went on a excursion that was supposedly going to take us to a beautiful waterfall where we could see the island on the drive and swim in the water by the falls. We were all crammed into jeeps to drive on windy roads that wrapped around mountains. The drivers are outrageous and drive at high speeds and I seriously thought we were going to crash so many times. There were many people in my jeep alone who vomitted due to the driver driving so fast along the windy roads and plus we are up so high it makes the ride even more terrifying. Once we got to the waterfall, I almost died when there was no water coming down the fall... one of the drivers went and turned a pump on to start up the waterfall. So it wasnt even a real waterfall. It was man-made. The whole trip was terrible because the water was filthy and no one got in the water, and then there was the crazy driving. Make sure you don't fall for this hoax because the excursion is awful and a complete waste of time and money!
Do not accept assistance in the aiports, people may be carrying a badge and assist to carry your luggage but will then charge you around 20 US dollars to get your luggae back.
You may get taxed at the airport, again around 20-30 US dollars.
In Caracas there is a ratio of 6 women to every 1 man. Some of the Venezuelan women wear revealing clothes. I guess guys would probably like that. However, as a girl, it makes me feel uncomfortable.