Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tiempo De Gracias...

I worked on Thanksgiving Day. It made no difference, because I spent time with my friends and family. We had a feast, and I entered into a food coma to awake at 4am the following day to head to Margarita Island.... ah, gracias...

We have arrived!

Buenos Dias, Playa

Don't think you can get away with no sunscreen here... mas SPF!

Dinner on the beach...

Great friends, co-workers, family...

Roomies and Friends...

Beach Food

 Sunday morning brunch... 
It requires a flower in your hair...

Roomies and Friends...

More Beach Food...

Friday, November 9, 2012

We Speak Americano...

This past weekend a friend from Germany came to visit, so three of us decided to get out of Caracas and visit Morrocoy for the weekend to check out some of the islands along the Venezuelan coast.

We left after school on Friday to catch a bus from a local hotel. Walking through the city with backpacks is an instant target of tourist. With a little uncertainty, we finally made it to our frozen cocoon of a bus. All of this country is tropical; however, it contains very limited air conditioning. The entire sum of Venezuela's need for air conditioning occupied this coach-sized bus. As soon as I sat down, I immediately entered into a natural state of hibernation.

I was awakened to de-board for arrepas before returning to the wintry cave on wheels.

Once on board, I fell fast asleep again into my comatose. All of a sudden I heard, "Mira... the national guard just boarded the bus... He's checking cedula's... Pretend you don't know Spanish." A cedula is the key to being a Venezuelan national - we have none. National guard = army attire, complete with machine guns.

Finally he made it to the back of the bus... "Cedula." We hand over our paper copies of our passports. This isn't going to cut it. "Get your bags and get off the bus." He walks away with our papers in his hands.

"....he wants us to get all our bags?! We're going to jail... they're going to deport us... we're losing our jobs... I'm not going to be able to buy a ring for my girlfriend!"

"Dude, chill.... what's the worst they can do?"


I sleepily make my way off the bus... ignoring all of the stares that are now magnified ten fold as the rare gringos who entered this portal are now being forcefully removed off of the vessel.

We enter the humid heat of the night... nearing midnight, we stand in the headlight glare of the bus in front of two national guards armed with machine guns who begin to yell at us about our missing papers: "Where are your passports?!"
"Ho-tel.... Car-a-cas"
"Why would you not have your passport?! You can't be here without your passport!"
"You cannot be here without a passport!"
"......Ho-tel.... Car-a-cas.... La playa....No se....."

The national guards are getting angry, frustrated.
"You are in Venezuela. You don't have a passport! You cannot be here without a passport!"
"La playa..... Venezuela a Venezuela..... Ho-tel.... No passport..... Ho-tel"
(If only I could fake my fluency as well as my lack of comprehension...)

One army official says to the other... "GRINGOS!"
With a sorrowful look I peer at our bus driver, he says, "Get back on the bus."

Oh Morrocoy... with all of the drama.... I can't wait to see you again (passport in hand).