The blackout and the huge parking line

(Readers: sorry for taking this long before posting anything new. Work and life got in my way...But expect more updates in the following days since next week I'm on vacations!! (next week that is).. and, unfortunately, staying home. I have received some encouraging e-mails from Venezuelans wanting to participate in this blog; I have strong hopes that my proposal will materialize eventually. Back to topic, this post was written last Friday, when a brief blackout took place in Caracas and at least 11 other Venezuelan states).

In the morning, my mom heard on the radio a declaration of our energy minister: Mr. Rodríguez- Araque, saying that there was nothing to worry about: the energy crisis which has kept our country in some sort of state of emergency for more than a year, it’s over. Everything is O.K…And it was until 3- something in the afternoon when a massive blackout surprised us in Caracas and many, I suppose, in the rest of the country.

I was alone in my office when it happened. My boyfriend called me immediately to check if he was the only one who was left without power in the middle of his work journey. My boss followed. He was at the bank and recommended me to leave the office immediately and go home, since the blackout was massive and “who knows how traffic is going to be later on, without traffic lines to put an order to it.

I obeyed (because who doesn’t obey a boss who asks you to leave your work early?) and called my mom to let her know I was on my way home. But she insisted on picking me up instead “the metro is closed and all busses must be collapsed”. I had no choice but to agree.

When my mom picks me up at work, she usually takes from 15 to 30 minutes to reach my office. But this time, half an hour had already pass and she was still near home. “This is not traffic, this is a huge parking line” – She told me, via sms, and had to turn back home, frustrated.

By then, it was 5:00 O’ Clock already and I was afraid of staying in my office alone after dark. Electricity came back at least where I was, but normality did not.

I went out to see what I could do. The metro remained closed and the streets were unusually overcrowded. And traffic looked, like my mom wrote, like a huge parking line. I started walking until I reached an area where traffic was not so high. I stood at a bus stop watching busses passing by because they were already too overcrowded.

Then, a miracle happened and one bus stopped. It was hard to believe another could fit inside it, but before I noticed, I was in. The bus driver announced he would not complete the route, leaving everybody just a few blocks away.

I spent another 15-20 minutes in that bus, squashed against the rest of the passengers, unable to move a single part of my body; while seeing hundreds of people walking usually empty sidewalks, hopelessly trying to reach their homes without any public transportation system available.

I got down the bus (or more likely, the crowd inside the bus pushed me outside), walked for a few and took another bus to my boyfriend’ place. Luckily, this bus was no overcrowded since is a low demand one.

When I show up at his door; I was red, sweating, feeling a bit dizzy and tired as hell. I called my mom, also exhausted after going down and up 12 floors to get in the car and try to pick me up.

My boyfriend took me home two hours later, when traffic had already went down. I fall sleep in the sheets of a chaotic country were our journeys, affected by both our government’ inefficiency and our consequential paranoia; can’t hardly make for an organized, normal routine.

Image taken from HERE. No copyright infringement intended.