481 Years on, We Salute the Maracucho Nation

The 481st Anniversary of the founding of Maracaibo is a perfect excuse to repost this classic Brian Nelson hatchet job on that Pit-of-Pestilence-by-a-Heavily-Polluted-Lake y’all call home…

Some fun bits:

"The combination of heat, humidity, and poor sanitation make Maracaibo the perfect incubator for tropical diseases, a paradise for germs. I know this not because the travel books warned me (they didn’t) but because many, if not all, of these diseases have been kind enough to take up residence in my overly pampered first-world body.

"In a six-week period in 2003 I was host to the following Maracucho maladies: a pectoral fungus (how careless of me not to put talcum powder there), scabies (that wonderful ailment that necessitates burning half your wardrobe and boiling your underwear), a prostate infection (I’ll spare you further details), and intestinal amoebas (between trips to the bathroom I would devour obscene quantities of refined sugar—chocolate, bonbons, coke, anything—because, as you may know, one’s diet gets a bit quirky when you are eating for a million)."

Read it all. (Actually, do read it all…the piece takes a brilliant turn from glib and funny to deadly serious and insightful around the half way mark: well worth it.)

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