Maracaibo Travel Blog› entry 4 of 8 › view all entries
Maracaibo contrasts significantly with Caracas, the institution, and more importantly it's reputation. Taking a vintage copy Aserca DC-9 (birth: 1964) from Caracas, the dimutive airport is noticeably smaller then what you might think the capital of oil should have. This is backed up by the drive from the airport to the city which takes you though the heart of Maracaibo's own shanty town.
Having never been so close to a shanty-town before it makes you truly wonder and truly appreciate the little things back home. 10ft by 10ft copper shaded "cells" with dirt floors and cable running roof-top to roof-top supplying a single light-bulb room. It makes me wonder how in seven years, even the poor could still be in favor of chavez rule.
Our arrival into the city was filled with more trash-ladened sadness. A town with much vibrancy muddled with such despair disillusioned my once joyous perception. WAKE-UP I told myself, time to experience the world and not mourn over my own desired norm that's not here. Our hotel in the city center was an interesting affair in it's own right! We struggled to enter our room having made several attempts to use the key provided to us, we decided to attempt to unlock the door by reaching through the crater-sized hole and twisting the lock. To no avail we settled on the non-bilinqual maid to help us out. We figured we must be a native to work the equipment.
Once inside, cleanliness or my extreme, under-ground, lowest standard of cleanliness was was thrown out the door. Se la vie I said and picked my bed that looked the least stressed.
Our first night there was filled with the lovely attempt to claim our first set of match tickets to Copa America. We taxied to the stadium and waited in line with the rest of the crowd. Waited. Waited. Waited. I felt as though I was in a high-school ticket line waiting for my bad dream to end. The tickets for the entire match were in plain view, just littered amongst boxes in no particular order. The ticket handling agent decided not to mail any tickets (although they were packaged into fed-ex style envelopes). Luis and I made attempts to block out people to get to the front of the line. It was us against the non-gringos (all 300 of them) and Luis ended up making "love" to a heffer...in public view.