While I´m not one to usually post such personal things this is a post that has been in my head for a while now since I´m pretty sure I´m not the only person who longs to live in another country. And don´t get me wrong is not that I don´t love the country where I live because I do but sometimes enough is enough.
Living in Venezuela is not easy at all and most of the time you have to leave your house worried sick of what might happen. And it doesn´t matter where you live, the sensation of fear is always the same whether you´re low, middle or high class. (if such thing still exists!)
From forming lines everyday for something as simple as a loaf of bread to the devaluation of the money up to the point were you can´t practically buy anything, living in Venezuela has become nearly impossible and yet there are some who still believe that there is no better place to be living.
For me, however, this is not true and while it pains me to see how terrible this once beautiful country has become, I also know that as long as the goverment doesn´t do anything this is going to stay the same; a country where everyone has become so accustomed to having everythig handed to them in a silver platter that many now refuse to work for themselves. Also, and in some ways, thanks to the last president many have created a wrong notion for themselves in which it´s alright to steal as long as they need it for themselves or their families; which in turn has created a sort of resentment towards those of us with a litlle "more".
In an attempt of describing the situation in a balance between ignorance and being paranoid I have to say: I do not feel safe in Venezuela anymore. And this does not mean that I stay inside my house all the time nor is based on things I´ve heard. This is based on all three times I´ve been robbed in places as simple as the subway. Now when I walk outside, or take the bus or even something "safer" as hailing a taxi I´m paranoid most of the time, especially if I am alone. And if I had to choose between paranoid and cautious I would say the hardest thing to deal with in Venezuela is the feeling of insecurity that now looms in pretty much every corner.
Despite the fact that I love the culture that my coutry has to offer, I also have to admit that it´s exausting because we always have to be careful and there are few moments when safety is not part of my everyday thoughts.
Reading this you might wonder if living here it´s so awfull why do I stay? I ask myself the same thing and I always come to the same conclusion: While Venezuela is teaching me who I am, that does not matter in the big picture. What matters is what the coutry is teaching the rest of its people.
The consequences In a country where supermarkets lack basic groceries and everyday products like toilet paper, milk, butter, oil, soap and many others that I won´t list because otherwise we´d be here all day, and restrictions on how many products you can buy in a specific day of the week reflects in entire families who are forced to go to the markets during work and school hour in order to have food on the table and while I admit that I´m not one of those people who enjoys forming a line for more than an hour, I realize how much we took for granted, coming to a point where I see how extremely exausted people are from the situation in which we are.
Economy has also become a touchy subject in the coutry, no matter what social class you are. Nowadays the same food you bought last year for 2.500Bs is around 6.000Bs or even more (numbers are clearly not my forte). What does this mean? it means that we can´t afford the same things anymore because of the inflation; it also means working more. But not for saving for a vacation, instead venezuelans work more in order to save for food and everyday necesities.
So, how is it living in Venezuela? Since I was born here, living in this country has taught me more than I can say, but not about me. Living here has taught me what we can, and should do, to change the situation in which we are. Because the point is: yes we can leave but we shouldn´t have to, we should have the choice of living comfortably in a country that has so much to offer.
So yes, honestly I´m terrified of the situation the coutry is in and I can only hope that we, the young generation, find a solution for the future because if we all leave.... what will be left of this beautiful country.