Friday, June 30, 2006

Friday archives: your pastry shop vigilante

Maybe I should have used a more fashionable title such as Friday fluff, or Saturday Cat, if it were not such a serious post (with my deep excuses to the person I am lifting this post from).

I was looking aimlessly through the archives of "Chase me Ladies, I'm in the cavalry" one of these many blogs I should blogroll if one day I get around to update my link list (apologies to all of those who are expecting to be listed, I will get into it someday, promise, sure). I fell on this tiny gem of a post from Venezuela.

There are so many things to discuss about Venezuela and yet we tend to miss the real important stuff, the one that has become so embedded in our daily life that we have stopped paying attention to it, the stuff we have started taking for granted. One example is the ever present security guard, even the ones in front of your neighborhood pastry shop.



Harry Hutton and I have been to the same bakery shop. Not on the same day, but the same place, somewhere up in Las Palmas, the once semi affluent district of Caracas where many religious Jewish people used to live as they could walk to the Synagogue on Shabbat. They probably do not walk there anymore as they could get mugged on Friday night coming back home. The Rabbi probably issued a dispensation so they can drive their car to go to the temple. I think I actually remember the guard. I go there about once every six months as it is one of the places I meet my S.O. to go places on week ends. Then again there is a generic “je ne sais quoi” to all of these guards.

The only difference between Harry and Daniel pastry shop habits is that Harry noticed that even such a non descript pastry shop requires a security guard. Daniel has become so used to see them everyday, everywhere, that he stopped noticing such incongruities. But Harry reminds all of us how quality of life has degraded under Chavez, how criminality has become so rampant that even your neighborhood pastry shop must request the services of an armed vigilante, with his hand on gun at all time least patrons or shopkeepers get unburdened of their hard earned but devaluated bolivares.

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