Saturday, September 13, 2008

An Interesting 15 hours

Thursday afternoon/evening into early Friday morning...

3:00 – 4:00 PM: Played a practice volley ball game, teachers vs. students. It rained so it was like swamp ball.

4:00 – 4:50 PM: Go to apt. shower, get ready to go to Lecheria for Grand Opening party at the new Tony Roma’s.

5:00 – 8:15 PM: Epic 200 km drive in rain, dark, a water crossing with water over my axles. The most sever and dangerous driving conditions in Venezuela. Pick up wife for party.

8:30 – 12:00 midnight: Party at the Tony Roma’s. Open bar…scotch or red wine, free ribs, cesar salad, hot wings, and those onion things. The first person I see is Peter, and he tells me about the Chavez announcement of kicking the ambassador out and calling us Americans, “Shitty Yankees.” This is the big topic over whiskys and ribs. Every one is excited. We decide we better head out about 12:00. I drop Tania back home, and we head out because we need to go to work.

12:00 – 1:50 AM: Rocket back 200 km to El Tigre. Very light traffic, road is dry. Hit speeds of more than 140 kph (~90 mph) from time to time, but mostly cruised at 130 kph (~81 mph).

1:50 AM: As I am getting into my apt. I get a cell phone call that my boss, Aaron has a flat tire.

2:30 AM: No new word on Aaron’s status, so I go to bed. Need to be at work at 7:30.

2:31 AM: Cell phone rings, Aaron wants me to bring my spare, his is bad.

2:40 AM: Head out with two other teachers me in my Kia, the others in a Ford Fiesta. We are hoping one of our spares will work on a Chevy Corsa.

3:00 AM: Arrive at Aaron’s car.

3:00 – 4:00 AM: Neither spare, Kia or Ford, will fit the Chevy. We try all sorts of things. Finally getting worried that our odds are increasing for potential danger from bad guys in the night. Aaron is reluctant to leave the car because Corsas are the 2nd most stolen cars in Venezuela. We abandon the car on the side of the road, collect the tires to look for a 24 hour tire repair place. The teachers in the Ford go home.

4:00 – 4:10 AM: Drive back into town looking for a 24 hour tire repair place.

4:10 AM: Pull over at a 24 hour tire repair place, but it is dark. Oscar and Aaron get out to see if anybody is in there. Security gate is closed, but they look through the gate to see if there is a phone number on the wall or anything.

4:10 – 4:30 AM: A pimped out Fiat Uno drives past, then back up. The window comes down and the woman in the passenger seat starts asking Aaron and Oscar where they are from. Oscar tries to explain the situation. The driver starts arguing with Oscar. Aaron and Oscar get back in the car, Oscar says “Let’s go! That guy want to fight us!” The guy cuts me off, so I put it in reverse and pull away. The driver gets out of the car. He has a dark blue police uniform (dirty) on. He pulls a BIG FUCKING nickel-plated revolver (probably a .357), looked like a cannon, from under his tunic. Oscar yells, “Oh shit, he’s got a gun! Let’s go! Let’s go!" The guy points it at the car and stays, “Para! Policia! Para!” Like a deer in the headlights, I stop and freeze. My heart is raising.

The guy is obviously high on something. I think he was smoking crack! He won’t listen to reason. He uses his cell phone and more Police Anzoategui come screaming in sirens wailing.

Those guys take over the situation. Oscar gets us off, but has an interesting conversion with these putas that call themselves police. Oscar let it be known that the driver of the Uno never identified himself as a police officer until he pulled the gun. The guy was a genuine malandro and lunatic.

4:30 – 5:00: We look for another tire repair place, but decide we should wait till daylight. The sky is already getting light.

5:00 AM: I get to my apartment.

6:15 AM: Alarm goes off to wake up.

1 comment:

painter said...

Frightening. Such a beautiful country and now so dangerous. Where (and what) are you teaching?

(There is a control in your blogger preferences panel (profile?) which allows for a 3rd option - under choose an identity - when people want to leave you a comment. Works well for people like me who never check their gmail or use their blogger accts. My blog is )