A Lesson in Patience

Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the one ahead.  ~Mac McCleary

You’ve heard me talk about it before, so it’s not the first and probably won’t be the last time I mention traffic. It’s a monster.  It’s a being all of its own.  I’ve tried describing the cars like marching ants, but most times they’re like the snakes on Medusa’s head.  Everybody is going in every imaginable direction, including the wrong one.  It really is a form of anarchy.

A pretty calm traffic day.

A pretty calm traffic day.

Although the horns blare, mostly as a form of warning from approaching motorcycles, people here really just go with the flow.  There isn’t road rage like you’d expect.  Tempers flare, mine included and I don’t even drive here, but drivers have learned not to take things personally and they let whatever has offended them pass.  This is a lesson I need to apply to my life.

There is never a great time to run errands here.  Pretty much every hour is rush hour.  I normally have to mentally prepare myself if I know we’ll be in the car all day.  It took us 1/2 an hour to get through 3 traffic lights on Monday.  Are you starting to understand my pain?

Today Juan and I went to try to look for a car to buy.  It’s a next to impossible feat.  Buying a used car is very expensive, almost 3 times the price of what you’d pay in Canada.  There is no rhyme or reason.  Can you imagine paying $14 000 for a 15 year old Chevy? I think not. Crazy, isn’t it? There are two main reasons for this: the price of gas is practically free (we pay about $0.26 for a tank) and there is a mafia that controls the market. People list cars, the mafia buys it, repairs it (they have their own mechanics) and then they inflate the price.  It’s frustrating as hell.

I know what you’re thinking, just go to a dealership and buy a new or used one there.  Here’s the thing: if you can find a dealership that actually has cars in it (hard to picture isn’t it, but we went by 5 or 6 today and not one had a car in it), you order a car (which takes up to a year to arrive), only to find out that what they have for you isn’t at all what you’ve ordered.  In this most common scenario you have one of two choices to make: buy the car or walk away and wait another year.  10 times out of 10, people buy a car they don’t even want.  It’s a serious problem on many, many levels.

car-dealer

Although it felt like it, we didn’t spend our entire day in the car.  We stopped by a fruit and veggie market to pick up some fresh herbs (which cost pennies) for tomorrow night’s pasta and then we went to a fruit stand to have some juice.  There I tried a fruit I have never heard of; it’s called nispero.  Nispero has the same skin color as a kiwi, without the fuzz.  The favor was sweet; almost like a pear and the texture was a bit grainy.  I liked it.  Juan tells me that people here make ice cream with it, now that I’d like to try.

Nispero, the strange little fruit.

Nispero, the strange little fruit.

A large bag of long cinnamon sticks at the market.

A large bag of long cinnamon sticks at the market.

I’m pretty big on giving myself rewards if I’ve had a great day (meaning my swearing wasn’t at full capacity).  Today’s reward was a plant.  We stopped by a florist and picked up the cutest little fern (not entirely sure that’s what it is) and some flowers for Juan’s mom. Plants make me happy.  Once we move to the island, our place will look like a jungle!

My reward

My reward

A small bouquet for Juan's mom.

A small bouquet for Juan’s mom.

My other reward for being patient today?  A Campari!  Salud

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About kimsimard

I'm a Canadian wandering around the world, discovering new food, cultures and friends. I'm currently in the homeland of the love of my life, Venezuela.

6 responses to “A Lesson in Patience”

  1. says :

    OMG I can’t believe the size of the cinnamon sticks!!
    and it’s a beautiful plant you got, very nice 🙂
    so what did you guys decide about the car?

    • kimsimard says :

      The car is an every day ordeal. 😦 We absolutely need it. We can’t go to the island without one. I had to smell the cinnamon sticks just to be sure they were real and then I took a picture. I’m sure the vendor thought I was a little crazy!

  2. Angie ~*sisterlove*~ says :

    Oh I love your plant!! Ivys and ferns are my favorites. I miss mine and can’t wait to begin my jungle all over again. I can’t even begin to imagine your frustration wiith the drivers or your incredible potty mouth restraint!! Let it out dear sister, no reason to hold it in. You’ll implode lol! The fruit looks a little um… ew but I’ll take your word for it that it was a good choice. Not a big fan of kiwi myself. The cinnamon sticks are incredible! More like cinnamon branches haha! I love Juans mothers flowers. Just beautiful.

    • kimsimard says :

      The flowers cost around $2.50 and my plant was about $7.00. Things like that are super cheap here.
      I’m more inclined to to say, how stupid! or how careless about the drivers here, accompanied with some major eye rolling.
      I was pretty shocked about the cinnamon branches too.

  3. Wendyloo says :

    Controlled chaos on the road? Black tinted windows, we had a discussion, I understand…Amazing cinnamon sticks….delish….

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