Monday, August 25, 2008

About the title bar

The title bar may well change. For now, it has a small version of this (click for hi-res version). These are, across the top and then across the bottom:

Beautiful fat people at the beach. Many Venezuelans are fat. This may be because they drive so much: gasoline at 10 cents a gallon warps the entire culture, so even many of those without cars don't walk. That link shows a graph of obesity in Venezuela and next-door-neighbor Colombia, which has similar demographics and climate but pricier gasoline. And the U.S., just for good measure. (Tell you what deserves a post all its own: the weird excess obesity among Venezuelan men. More on gender ratios, real and peceived, someday.)

A red fly. The invertebrates here are something to see.

An ambulance owned and operated by Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the oil company that runs just about everything you see in Venezuela. It's like Water and Power in Tank Girl. Except goofier.

A home in the barrio La Naya, near my house. Looking out from that balcony, these people can see into the olympic pool at the Italo-Venezelano Club. Because life is fair.

Sabana Grande, in Caracas, seen in the evening from Plaza Venezuela. Cars going fast. Grafitti on the wall says "Viva Raul Reyes," the Colombian guerrilla leader who was killed when Colombia sent troops into Ecuador and blew up a camp. Note the modernist urban planning. Behind that wall I think they are building a new subway line.

Across the bottom, left to right:
One of the cooperatives that collects and pays for almost all the country's cacao production.

A Lacoste alligator logo on a red shirt worn by a Chavista commentator on TV. I get a kick out of the many red Polo, Lacoste and other brand-name shirts one can see on Venezolana de Television, the state news channel. And yes, that jacket cost as much as the monthly income of the median Venezuelan.

A barrio (poor neighborhood built by its residents, often without securing title to the land first) in the state of Vargas, where some 20,000 people were killed in mudslides almost nine years ago. Lacking alternatives, residents have rebuilt some of the barrios there, many in the same deadly steep-sided canyons atop unconsolidated sand and gravel.

A beetle. That bamboo stalk it's eating is as thick as a finger. The beasties fly around like slow-moving hummingbirds. But are 4 inches long. Did I mention the invertebrates?

Bolivares fuertes, the Venezuelan currency. Visitors find it odd to be somewhere that ATMs are hard to find, hard to use, and a waste of money (because of the overvalued currency). They sometimes find pleasure in having (what looks like) so much cash.

1 comment:

Katie said...

I have never thought of Venezuelans as fat. Strange how you perceive a culture based mainly on what you are looking to perceive. I always feel that women with low body fat is the result of urban life. The gap between women and men in countries like Zambia fascinates me more.