The Great Venezuelan Bus Odyssey, Part # 2

Okay, so I donned my plastic poncho and the strongest set of rubber boots I’ve found lying around the house and in appeareance I’m ready to go out. But my first task is protect the valuable manuscript (at least 4 legal pads) I intend to transcript at my friend’s home, so I wrap it in at least 5 different plastic bags from the local supermarket. I don’t know if this will do any good; every time I buy meats or poultry there, some kind of weird unidentified fluid manages to leak out, so I guess that anything could leak in while I’m walking under the intense rain.

Next, I must unplug every single electric appliance in my house, pulling their plugs from the wall sockets; fridge, TV, radios, et cetera. This is an important measure. Since this is a tropical rainforest, the electric utility service that finds its way here is spotty at best (I practically live 100 hours out of 168 without electricity during any given week), and this step is important to ensure I’ll still have any working appliances by the time I return.

So… I hit the road under the strong rain. Sigh. The biggest issue is that the roads serving the area are just made out of crushed gravel… which sounds rather nice until you realize it is not the most adequate material for a region where torrential rains are so amazingly frequent.

Worse yet, the crushed gravel had been laid out on a hydroscopic clay surface (which means this clay will absorb incredible amounts of water…. Then it will distort out of shape, perhaps even sliding off the roads. Even with constant maintenance, the roads down here are in very bad shape after only a couple of months, constantly criss-crossed by deep furrows dug by the water all across their surface.

I have to walk these highly irregular roads for at least five miles before they get better; I go past the several empty houses that comprise the majority of the buildings in existence at this failed housing development I’m forced to live in. It’s particularly creepy, with all those empty and abandoned places with black windows staring at you, like the empty sockets of a skull picked clean…


But if you thing that’s creepy… just wait I tell you about the few neighbors living next to me…

Edwin Stark

Signing Off

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