I need a dollar, a dollar is what I need

You´d better bring a healthy stash of that soughtafter green if you´re planning on going to Venzuela. They´ve got an official exchange rate of 4 Bolivares to a dollar, so that´s what you´ll get if you take it to the bank, or the ATM, but nobody is interested in the official rate; in Choroní we head on down to Usamas little surfshop with a wad of cash strapped to various parts of our sunburned bodies.

The unofficial rate is somewhere between 7 or 8 Bolivares to a dollar. They´ve got a different way of doing things here. The buses depart once every hour, but when that “once” occurs nobody knows. It´s a hassle to book anything in advance; hostels, hotelrooms, any kind of ticket for transfers.

At the goverment-run busterminal not far from the La Bandera-station, the last remaining tickets for the busy christmas holidays are being auctioned out at 6 a.m on the very same day you wish to travel.We´re here a day to early, a little click of touristy misfits in the midst of a chaotic environment of holiday-stress and a blur of bodies rushing from one ticket vendor to the next.

Overseeing it all is a group of security guards in bright yellow vests, military boots and big guns.

I really wouldn´t wish to attend one of these “socialist ticket auctions”, knowing the level of stress and aggression the slightest mishap or delay in our own public transportation system instigates. If we didn´t have such strict gun regulations, the constant breakdown of the railroads would probably be prone to much more tragic outcomes.

We´ve been schooled that time is money, so ten minutes of tardiness can cause chestpains, and an hour will make you see red as the veins in your forehead goes snap, crackle, pop and the blood seeps into your eyesocket.


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