Photo: Cheo Carvajal retrieved
It’s comfortable to feel like Venezuela is chaotic because the government loves to generate chaos —like, it’s their fault. And although the government is indeed a chaos machine, it’s only because we, Venezuelans, are too.
The subway is filthy because it’s not regularly cleaned… and people throw garbage on the floor. The streets are filled with potholes… but many use them as an excuse to drive on the wrong lane and cut distance to work. And why park on actual parking spots when you can park wherever the hell you want?
We live on the edge, stretching every penny while avoiding choros and hoping to not get sick so we can avoid spending a good chunk of change on a clinic. We do much and then some to try and keep our sanity and goods spirits, and if we juggle everything with a few seconds to take a breath, the fact that no one follows the rules is evident enough to make you lose the little peace of mind you’ve gained.
The fact that no one follows the rules is evident enough to make you lose the little peace of mind you’ve gained.
Just this week I spent 30-plus minutes trying to convince a neighbor that we had to do something to enforce the basic rules of our building, like putting a leash on dogs and not parking in no-parking zones. Not only she dismissed me, she added “Why bother? Everyone will keep on doing whatever they want.”
And this, my friends, is not the government’s fault.
What if we all did our best to fulfill our daily responsibilities? What if the cashier actually paid attention while charging me instead of talking to her boyfriend on the phone? What if the men and women behind the wheels respected red lights? What if young people were to give up their seats for the elderly? And what if my neighbors could simply put a leash on their dogs?
I am one of those naive citizens, I guess, that calls out the government on its terrible and irresponsible policies, but it’s just as necessary to call out Venezuelans on our terrible daily behavior.
This is basic coexistence, we can all have more of quality of life while surviving chavismo. You went to highschool, you can read and follow simple instructions; stop spitting on the floor.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.