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Uncle Ruckus: Alive and Well in Caracas

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Jan. 9th, 2008 | 11:05 am

Ah, the new year.

The last week of 2007 began with vampire movies.  Lots of vampire movies.  Why vampires you ask?  I don´t know, El Novio downloaded a bunch of movies and we just keep picking the ones about vampires I guess.  Ever seen Vampire Hunter D?  It´s pretty good.  I think we´re going to watch Van Helsing tonight.  I thought the end of Interview with the Vampire sucked by the way.  Oh and action movies.  I never usually mess around with those, but for some reason I´ll flip to a channel and remain there, watching people like Tom Cruise, Vin Diesel and Tom Berenger keep popping up, never getting shot, jumping out of exploding buildings, screaming stuff like "damn you, Scott!  You can´t give up now!"  you know the type.

New Year´s Eve. Five of us sat around until about 11pm (nothing exciting...no food or alchohol), then headed out in the night to a nearby park on a hill.  But this isn´t just any park on a hill. This place happens to have one of the best views in Caracas.  It has several levels of stairs, squares, woods, little abandoned chapels, etc. The problem is it´s really steep...remember those stairs from Rocky?  Forget about those...these stairs were created to bust tendons and crack knees.  Of course, I had the luck of going there with a couple of health nuts who thought it would be fun to run the entire way up.  But my veneer of "pissed-offedness" wore off once we reached the level where we could view east Caracas.  Everyone was shooting fireworks.  It was a multicolored night down in the valley, up in the hills, from plazas, apartment building balconies, contrasted against the darkness of the mountains. 

Did I mention that caraqueños are crazy as hell?

After a while we decided to go to the other side of the park to take a look at West Caracas.  As we were coming up near a small police post, we were surprised by some bottle rockets they set off that exploded right above our heads.  Of course once they saw us coming they tried to pretend they were actually working and not partying 5 seconds ago.  Riiight.  After viewing fireworks for about an hour or so, we noticed that smoke in the air looked a little different and definitely smelled a lot different.  "Hmmm...that's not sulfur....that's more like a burning tire.  Is the hill on fire?  Maybe we should go home."  So we rushed out of the park to a few burning trashheaps but nothing serious. 

Did I mention that fireworks are illegal here? Hehehehe.

Who would expect that on this night we would run into no other than the USA's own Uncle Ruckus?  En Español?  As we were saying goodbye to each other near our friends' building, we heard some slurred shouting.  Then a dark-skinned wino came into my view, and he was clearly upset with us.  He was supertoasted, so I didn't catch everything, but I did get that "¡Somos racistas en Venezuela! ¡Somos racistas! ¡Vayate!"  "¡Suuuucios! ¡Suuuuucios!"   We all nonverbally communicated that beating up a clearly confused bum would get us nowhere in life except as dirty as he was, so we said "Feliz Año" to him, our friend stared him down for a second, we said our goodbyes and went on our way.  Of course he followed el Novio and I for about 2 blocks.  It's not clear to me whether he was trying to insult us "¡Puta Negra! ¡Puta! ¡Maldito!" while maintaining a safe distance, or if he was so wobbly he couldn't possibly keep up.  He must have passed out or got tired or something because he stopped after we rounded the corner.

Now I have a story for the hoardes of white Venezolanos that step over themselves to tell me that there is no racism here.  (Meanwhile they call Chavez a "monkey" and a "negro en mierda" when no one is looking.) 

Palabras del Dia:
caraqueño = resident of Caracas
el pedo = a fart
correr = to run
fireworks = fuegos artificiales
somos = we are
sucio = dirty

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Comments {2}


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from: switch_beat
date: Jan. 26th, 2008 07:32 am (UTC)

ohhh that mountainview is beautiful and
a nice way to usher in 2008. glad to see you
are well and adventurous.

p.s. ohh racism and the passive aggressive
niceties that takes shape... no matter where you are.

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(no subject)

from: whittles
date: Apr. 2nd, 2008 07:39 pm (UTC)

We're throwing a party for fightingwords. Check it out -

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