Ahhhh-Ruba! (Part 3)

Okay, we’re did we left off?

Ah, yes, I was about to embark in my pilgrimage across Caracas (while scavenging aluminum cans), so I could burn off the fifteen or so hours I had before I was able to check-in for my plane to Aruba.

Sure, why not? Here we go.

I started in Petare, around the subway station area; it’s the usual filth, with raw sewage spewing out of broken pipes and demolished walkways. This sorry spectacle will last until you walk out of the neighborhood and you arrive to El Marques, a more higher-class place where the filth is, well… classier.

Mind you that I hadn’t done this for almost five years, and I’m a bit shocked after witnessing the many changes which the city of my birth has gone through in that same time period. They chopped down many of my favorite trees and they build a very inefficient, ugly overpass in the most inconvenient locations, robbing that physical spot of the very little personality it had. They renamed a park (just in spite) to a more patriotic denomination and have built many social interest apartment buildings in the most inconvenient of spaces. Ugh.

One incident of note: along the way, I picked up a sizeable amount of scrap metal, specially from a liquor store where a bunch of goons stared with amused grins of mirth as I stuck my head into a trashcan. These idiots merrily pointed a few obvious ones just for getting kicks of seeing this white boy scavenging aluminum cans; I could sense it in their voices. One made an ugly remark about me scraping enough money to eat that night. Bigmouthed as I am, I snapped back with a witty observation that perhaps he’d have a nice fantasy (about me picking up cans) that he could share with a bottle of his favorite brand of hand lotion. The startled expression in his face (and his flushed cheeks) openly told me that my snappy comeback wasn’t too off the mark

Ah, well, in the end I arrived to Plaza Venezuela, where I detoured from my intended route (by a few extra miles) to get rid of my newly-found cargo of scavenged scrap metal. Total amount of aluminum cans I collected: 13 pounds. I was paid a measly 150 bolivars for this, but the same as the bus fare hike earlier that day, this bit of money was destined to help me a little later down the road.

It goes without saying that I made the final stretch of my Caracas trip in the subway (both to avoid seeing a few cans that I may have missed along the way and to spare my trembling legs the tiresome walk)

Anyway, I reached the spot where I intended to board the bus to the airport sometime around 3:20 PM. And another bit of shock waited me there; I entered the Alba Caracas hotel to buy my pass and the female clerk who sold me my ticket kindly (kindly!) informed me that the bus would leave exactly at 3:30 PM. I admit that I was shocked by this… and the fact that the bus actually departed on schedule shocked me more.

I was flabbergasted beyond words!

(T minus 11 hours and 30 minutes to go…)

Well, that was it for now… see you around in a bit.

Edwin Stark

Signing Off

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