[Paisleychick-lj] still in Caracas
Beatrice M's blog
blmurch at gmail.com
Thu Nov 2 15:14:09 EST 2006
[![Pasaje Asuncion at night]] We've been staying in the neighborhood "Sabana Grande" - it's kind of sketchy. We've got a decent hotel for what we're paying. [![[info]]][**kragen**] likes it much better than the one we were staying at before we left for Maturin, but I prefer the other one as it was in better repair shall we say. We have taken [some interesting photos] though from our window. I'm looking forward to leaving Caracas but Kragen keeps on delaying us by not getting stuff done. He's a logistician's nightmare, I swear. Because we want to meet up with a friend in Buenos Aires later on this month, we are trying to figure out how to get there. It's very *not cheap* to fly there and we could take a bus, but that would route us through Columbia and we don't want to go there. So, we're looking at heading through the Amazon in Brazil and then down the eastern coast of Brazil down and down and down. It looks like we have about 2,000 miles to cover in about a week or so, after spending a week in Merida. I hope we can do that - here's for wishful thinking. Anyways, because we're looking at going to Brazil, Kragen needs to get a visa. The US gov't decided that Brazilians are scary and need a visa to come to the states, and Brazil said turnabout is fair play. I can just go in with my British passport and there are no worries there. The Brazilian consulate is only open in the mornings and Kragen keeps not on getting up in time to get this done. It's a point of contention between us shall we say. /snark To me, it's wasted time, he doesn't see it that way. I just want to get out of here. We've been in Caracas for three weeks already and I'm over it. We went to the Consulate this morning and it was fairly efficient, but we still need to get reservations out of Brazil so they can see that we don't plan on staying there and it's a little tricky.
[![Kragen's visa photo]]We did make progress though yesterday & today! Kragen got a hair/ beard/ mustache cut. He sort of got a crewcut! I was a bit shocked when he returned and had to reacquaint myself with my husband to make sure it was him. ;-) We then went to have his photograph taken for his Brazilian visa. This was, as everything seems to be here, more difficult than we anticipated. First, we had to find a place to take his photograph. Finally, we found the Kodak shop. Then we had to take his photograph. Now, anyone who had tried to take Kragen's photograph with the flash turned on knows that it's difficult to get a resulting photograph with his eyes open. We took photo upon photo and finally, after about the twelfth time, I got a decent result! We did get some pretty funny pics of him in the interim. He looks stoned/stupid with his eyes half-closed and again, for people who know him, you know that neither one of those states is him.
[![Kragen going through code]] As I mentioned earlier, I got fairly sick with a respiratory infection. Saturday, I had a sore throat. Sunday it progressed to a fever, coughing, and congestion. Boy what fun. /sarcasm Kragen advised me to take some of our antibiotics and I'm on day four and feeling *much* better. My being sick precluded us from taking a hike on Sunday with some friends from UBV. Very sad. I just knew that I wasn't up for the task and Kragen decided that he'd rather stay with his sick wife and look after her than go on a hike. The day before (Saturday), [Kragen gave a lecture at the University on computer programming - in Spanish no less]. It was well received and people were interested in what he had to say. They really enjoyed the demos of the software he had written and the rapid-fire way he used Emacs to go through some of his code and make changes to the program.
This week I voted! Because I registered as [a voter who no longer lives in the United States] I was only able to vote in the Federal elections (senator and representative). Bummer, but I guess I understand. I did call them on the phone just to make sure though as my ballot was a xerox copy of the ballot and didn't match the sample ballot in the Marin County Voter's Guide. I was looking forward to voting on some of the other issues. So, I voted as I could and sent the ballot back to the Marin Registrar of Voters via FedEx. That was an expensive vote, but I do *not* trust the mail system down here. Here's hoping the Dems take back control of congress and bring the executive branch of the government back into check!!! Karl Rove seems to be hedging his bets a little bit more, which makes me happy. I was getting really nervous when he was saying that he had "The Math" which told him that the republicans were going to stay in power. I was wondering if he was just saying that because he knew more about how the elections were going to go [because he's got them rigged (again?)]. No, I'm not cynical - no not me. I just really worry about how things are going. I don't like the fact that Bush has [got the power to declare Marshall Law], bring out the troops in case of "an emergency", [detain enemy combatants (can be us citizens who are then stripped of their citizenship) in the states without habeas corpus] and that [Kellog & Brown (subsidiary of Halliburton) got contracts to build prison camps] in the states. No, I'm not paranoid - no not me. Good luck everyone!
Oh - and for anyone in the Chicago area - my dad's giving a lecture on [Bode's Law] at the [Chicago Humanities Festival on Saturday]. I've been listening to his theories on this for years and it's very interesting and thought provoking. Go!
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