Sunday, September 16, 2007

Day 9: More Clausarado

Day 9: More Clausurado

Slow day
- no windsurfing
- no tiki bar
- swam in ocean for 30 minutes (watched a kid try to use a straw for a snorkle)
- math error cost me in calculating Internet use in the hotel. (I ended up paying equivalent of $25 for 3 days, but still better than going to local Internet Cafe and having 17 year old behind the counter capture my passwords. Ok, I'm a little paranoid.)

Clausurado signs all over store fronts. The sign is a 18 inch square white sign. Then the authorities ran what looks like white crime scene tape across the front of the store. Apparently, if you remove the tape before the Federales (organization is called Seniat), you're screwed.

A couple of stores escaped closure, both of them minimarts. Word on the street:
- one owner hid so tax men couldn't find him
- a couple of others were closed last month

I went to one to buy beer and met a former American who had been living in Venezuela for a while.
- he married a Venezuelan and has a kid. (he's about 50 years old, she's quite a big younger. They have a child. I guess there is still hope for any of use who are willing to relocate.)

After talking to several local business types and long time residents about Chavez and his proposed constitution and policies, here are a few highlights. (I take no responsibility for inaccuracies due to drunkeness, obtuseness, or senility)
- individuals will no longer be able to own or sell businesses. (instead you'll get a long term lease)
- employees will work 6 hours and get paid for 8 (this it to encourage full employment)
- people can only own 1 car. (I've always liked this kind of policy. A 20-year old millionaire athlete needs 10 cars about as much as he needs a dog-fighting operation.)
- schools will all become public schools (so everyone will be indoctrinated in the Chavez way)

Tip of the Day: Doing Laundry the Tropical Way

Being that it is typically in the 90's every day and that my back has turned into a zit field from the humidity, I do laundry every day. After experimenting with a few options the following technique has worked best:
1) get in the shower with clothes on
2) soap up as if you weren't wearing clothes.
3) rinse with clothes still on
4) take clothes off, wring, and hang outside on porch

Note: if clothes smell particularly gamey, pretreat by jumping in the swimming before showering.

Note: I have not tested this technique with dry-clean-only suits, cashmere sweaters, or expensive leather dress shoes.