Posts Tagged ‘Words to Live by’

What did I miss?!

Monday, March 21st, 2011

ChaosIn times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these. – Paul Harvey

It feels like since my last post, the world has turned upside down – literally. With the Japan earthquake causing another shift in the earth’s axis, it’s no wonder mayhem has erupted. I was disappointed to see that international military intervention (a fancier way of saying war) was necessary in Libya and who knows how many more casualties this will cause. And Libya is one of many countries facing unrest in the region…

Every once in a while, I get this feeling of doom and gloom. It seems like humans have made so many technological advances, but we still haven’t figured out how to settle disagreements without fighting. I always remember the irony of hearing how World War I was supposed to be the war to end all wars only to say 21 years later – just kidding. Even after World War II (they were supposed to mean it that time), we still are trying to solve with problems with the same methods that we’ve seen fail over and over again.

It’s no secret that Venezuelans are very polarized when it comes to politics. I don’t know if it’s all the other disasters/unrest that’s been going on, but lately I’m getting the sense that Caraquenos are feeling the doom and gloom, as well. This may be limited to the places I frequent the most, however it’s there. I usually blame the media for over-reporting on certain issues, but this time I don’t think there’s any way around it…big stuff is going down all over the world.

As Mr. Harvey states, there’s nothing new happening here – simply history repeating itself. I only hope that these times hurry up and go away because I could sure use some good news for a change Disappointed smile

P.S. If you’d like to help with the Japanese relief efforts, Google has set up this page to get you started.

The art of the Venezuelan cola

Monday, March 7th, 2011


One moment of patience may ward off great disaster.  One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life. ~Chinese Proverb

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to write about this, but Venezuelans have an amazing ability to form and stand in line – otherwise known as the cola.The idea to finally write about this phenomenon came after I recently saw people standing in line to get on an elevator. Yes, an elevator. I saw about 10 people in the line and had to do a double-take to make sure that there wasn’t something being handed out. Every morning when I’m taking the kids to school, you can see lines 30 to 40 people deep waiting for buses. I’m always impressed by the patience Venezuelans show when waiting and it’s probably because they know that eventually, they’ll get their turn.

What’s so interesting about these colas is that often no one has to ask that they be formed. In the US, there are places you go that have signs indicating  where the line starts, as well as a roped off area to help make sure the line remains orderly – completely unnecessary here. I remember discussing this with a friend who is also a foreigner and she said it’s so ingrained that if she’s standing talking with more than one person, someone will inevitably come up and ask “aqui esta la cola?” or “is the line here?”. So, it’s as if it’s become an inherent part of the culture.

I noticed that my kids have started picking up on this, too. I couldn’t believe my eyes when my little guy (3 years-old) stood patiently in line for 20 minutes to have his face painted by Spiderman at a party. While I will probably never enjoy standing in line, I can appreciate that they’re being given this subtle lesson in patience…Lord knows their generation needs it.

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