Thursday, April 28, 2011

Venezuela: Zombie Cars

After our two-week adventure in Venezuela, it feels so good to return to Colombia, where once again we feel peaceful and safe. Just about all the rumors/warnings we heard about Venezuela before our trip were confirmed during our trip: shockingly-cheap gas, messed-up currency exchange, widespread police corruption, constant military checkpoints, dysfunctional government, garbage pollution.. Sadly the list goes on.

I want to talk about the cheap gasoline first. Guess how shockingly cheap?

2011-04-15 16h22m50s DMC-TS2 P1100848

We paid BLOODY US 1.2 CENT PER LITRE!!! And this isn’t the cheaper gasoline either, it was for 95-octane premium. So for 10 litres of gas, it’s only 12 cents; 40 litres, barely half a dollar! Yes, drool on that math. At times I wish I could gulp down gasoline like Casa - it would have saved us loads. 

While we enjoyed the almost-free gasoline, we also suffered its side effects. Traffic jams make a daily and constant hair-pulling exercise. Maximum filling limit has been set for cars at border towns, so it was common to spot dozens of car line-up over-spilling the gas stations.

Most annoyingly, thanks to lack of government regulations, any car with four wheels can be on the road, even those that should have died ages ago. I call them the Zombie Cars. They are the hell twins of Cuban vintage cars. The Zombie Cars are so poorly maintained that they often break down in the middle of roads, which, you guessed it, add to those frequent traffic jams.


The truth is that I found these Zombie Cars so disturbing yet fascinating. So I decided to dedicate the last day of our journey in Venezuela to taking pictures of some of them. It turned out to be such an easy task. These featured in the photo album are only a few of the many that we came across within a couple hours. Enjoy!

2011-04 Venezuela Zombie Cars

Oh, if you do recognize some of the car model, feel free to point them out.

We are very glad to have seen the controversial country with our own eyes, but one time in Venezuela is more than enough for a lifetime. My whole body let out a big sigh as we left these zombies and Venezuela behind. Can’t say I will miss you much.

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