39 Years Later
Checking Out the
Then we struck out across town and I got the
chofer to stop in front of the Bella Vista Club
which used to be the old Shell Club.
It is very colonial looking, the only thing is that they put
up another wall. And it looked just like I remembered it, not
that I knew it that well but I did know it because I had been
there many times with Humberto. Then we went to the Basílica
Chiquinquirá. It was about almost 2 pm.
Forget it, it was closed. So I took a picture anyway. Almost
all of it is done in "trompe l'oeil". From
there, we went to the Cathedral and the car wouldn't start again…Oh
dear, dear, dear, bad news. We're stuck and it's hotter than
hell. It was getting really hot. It is about 2- something pm.
After we went to the Asemblea Legislativa,
I think. Then he took me to a super little block of historic
painted houses at last. I don't know where they were back in
the olden days. They were probably there, I just never went
(of course they were there since they go back to about the 1800's).
That really bugs me, the little culture that there was to be
had at the time, I don't think we ever went to see them. I know
that if I had gone, I'd remember it. I mean, come on, the basics.
Then we went to the Mercado Guajiro
where they sell pom poms to go on their shoes and hammocks and
belts. I bought myself a little bitty hat, a magnet to stick
on my refrigerator. I don't where the magnet is, but it's gone.
Pretty expensive, it was a whole dollar! Good grief! I just
didn't want to haggle for one hat.
Heat and Medio Bracelets
I'm just dying on the street. I went into a
jewelry store ha, ha ha. This is such a riot. I mean NOT a riot.
It was extremely hot. They had bars on the windows. I asked
to see something and it took the guy about 10,000 hours to bring
it back. Meanwhile this other guy in the shop was dressed in
bathing trunks sweating up a storm. I almost think I'm cool
next to these other people that are starting to get really hot
in that small house/shop. He went in the back and pulled out
a fan he brought in and plugged it in and asked me to sit down.
Then the guy brought in medios and reales (coins we used to
use but no longer are in circulation since the metal is worth
more than the value of the coin) and a 5 bolivar piece and a
2 bolivar piece (Mmm I don't remember the 2 bolivar piece).
He had a whole bunch but hadn't made any jewelry out of them
or anything. Oh well. What am I going to do with these? Just
stick them in a drawer, they're not decorating anything.
Before that I went into all these little tourist
shops that sold stuff that would have been smashed to smithereens.
Besides, when you get home, what are you going to do with a
little maquette of a house made of adobe and plop in down on
your desk? It'll look terrible in Paris so I didn't get it.
You can't DO anything with it and there's no room in my kitchen,
so forget it. What I did want to do is buy a flag. I see some
little warped looking flag that looks like a key chain, and
the woman pulls out that one and I see another one that is a
plain old key chain with the flag of Venezuela on it Ahh, snatch
and grab. I want it! Do you think I sat there and haggled over
the price? NO. Just one key chain for two bucks. I think I can
afford that. So I got it and it's mine, I'm so happy wa wa wa
Going for a Ride
Then he took me to the Paseo del
Lago, a place where you can have piñata
parties and have picnics and you can rent a little thing and
have a private party and it's really neat. It's on the lake
which is supersonic but it's about 10,000° Centigrade. I'd
never rent one of these, it's too hot. It was really neat and
I took a picture of a man on a bicycle vending machine.
He took me back to the hotel after that. When
I got in I went in to thank the lady for everything she had
done so I could go to the Creole Club.
She wasn't there so I talked to her sister who was in the book
shop/newsstand. I went in and told her how super fantastic it
all was and thanks to her sister I had gotten in and had lunch
and it was super great. I talked for ages. Lot of magazines.
Came back up and had a big Coke. I was spittin' two tons of
cotton by then let me tell you. I went back down to buy some
postcards and came back.
Then I went to the centro comercial next door.
Looks supersonic. When you walk in almost all of the shops are
unoccupied. There is a McDonald's
running full blast there and a Haagen Fruz
(copy of Haagen Daas?). I had been
smelling popcorn ever since I got in there so I went up and
found a movie theater where they are playing 5 movies (Masque
de Fer with Di Caprio). I didn't want to see a movie but
I sure did want some of that popcorn. So I bought myself a bag
of popcorn (cortufa in Spanish). There was nothing basically
to do so I took a couple of pictures. It was a cavernous thingamabob
Centre commercial where there are hardly any stores.
So I came back and I had to walk over hill
and dale on the sidewalk with old chopped up branches that had
just been left there after cutting. (why do I get myself into
these things? Every time I walk some place I have to climb over
all sorts of things). At one point, the tree overhanging the
sidewalk was so low I had to bend over double to get under the
tree without leaping onto the street and the oncoming traffic.
Trying Out the Pool
Put on my bathing suit and went
down to go swimming. Well, if I had run a hot bath for
myself, it wouldn't have been any hotter than the water
in that pool. You don't hesitate one second to get in.
You almost want to get right back out. In fact, it was
so hot, I was almost feeling oppressed. I didn't stay
in forever like I might have done if it had been cool.
God, I don't remember anything being THAT hot.
I got out pretty quickly and sat
down on the lounge chair and just wanted to dry off.
Just sat there looking up into space. By that time,
the sun was gone. Then I heard thunder, that's why I
got out of the pool. Then I went over and stood by the
lake for another 10 or 20 minutes. I haven't seen that
in a long time. Then it got dark so I came back up and
got dressed up.
Saturday Night in the MaraBar
I went back down and had a drink in the MaraBar.
Then the guy came on and sang and it was just super estupendo.
(This is where I used to come dance when I was a teenager).
I had a Cuba Libre and reminisced about dancing there on that
little “piste de dance” about a thousand
years, well precisely 39 years ago. That was great. The music
was great. Hardly anybody in there (8+pm). I don't know where
all the people were.
Price of Wine
I had this brillant idea of going to eat in
this crappy pizza place (in the hotel). A little thimble of
wine cost me 2,000Bs. You've got to be crazy: I had a whole
bottle of the same thing (Venezuelan wine) for 4,000Bs at the
Valle Arriba (very chic place, that).
He brought over the price list and there it was, a bottle of
the same stuff was 9,500Bs here. I didn't have any more wine
in this part of the country.