Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Stuck In The Middle

It is getting harder to be in the middle class here in Venezuela. There are different food shortages and I sometimes have a hard time finding ways to acquire such basics as, white sugar, black beans, mayonnaise, and butter! (Of course, the lack of mayo and butter are helping my diet along!)

It took us trips to 5 stores to be able to find chicken. The owner warned us that he did not know when he would get more. What is hard for the middle class, is that the poorer people have chicken and beans. They go to the government stores, stand in line and buy chicken at the subsidized rate. The rich people have chicken because they can send their maids to the stores. But those in the middle class don't have the time to stand in line for hours waiting to buy chicken because they have to actually go to work. So, I have not had black beans for many months now. And eat more fish and pork than I care for!

We have been having a lot of student protests again near my house. I live in an area where there are several universities. The other day we could not get out of the neighborhood because the students had burned one vehicle already and ended up burning a bus as well. If you are on foot, they let you pass, but if you are able to afford a vehicle, you are the "oligarchs".

Things calmed down for the Chavez appearance . There were armed soldiers about every 50-100 meters or so for a few days. Today is also quiet as it is a holiday.


Elízabeth said...

Rita, no black beans either in this house, since october!

I have an aunt whom always finds white sugar and she is so kind to buy some kilos for us. If not for her, I haven't seen sugar either. Let me tell you, you definitely cannot make caramel out of black sugar! (for quesillo).

The chicken... hmmm I have to shop for it this week. My freezer is getting low and I'm afraid.

Sometimes I make my own mayo (in the blender), that is, if I have eggs...

Sounds like I'm joking, but everything is true. Going to the supermarket is not fun here.


Cheryl said...

Hi. Thanks for coming by my blog. I have been reading a few of your entries also. I've always wondered what it would be like to live in Venezuala. Is your blog censored or monitored? I will be back to read more.

Blessings from Canada
Cheryl...from the belly of the whale...

Jungle Mom said...

Liz, At least I am not alone! We are all in the same boat. I guess I'll try the mayo in the blender. I have a recipe, but...sometimes it's hard to find eggs! LOL! Well, maybe I'll get skinny after all.

skislady said...

I found you through Tori's blog. So, how do you put all those cute cartoon things on your blog? Our church supports you? How cool! What is your name? Do you know the Cartes?

Elízabeth said...

Rita is very easy,
-1 egg
-1 cup of corn oil or your salad oil (don't waste your olive oil)
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp sugar
-1/2 tsp powdered mustard (or from the bottle)

Put the egg ,a 4rth of a cup of oil and the rest of the ingredients in the blender. Whip at medium/high, when you 'see' a difference in color and texture, begin pouring the rest of the oil in a steady small stream, using the little hole on the cover. Never turn off the blender, till you finish pouring the oil.

Works best in a glass container, specially because you can see the process. Renders like half a jar, of the medium size you buy in the supermarket. Tastes very good!

Me dura muuucho, en la nevera ;-)


Jungle Mom said...

Liz, Hey, do you know how to make red beans into black beans, too?!?!?! LOL! Thanks for the recipe.

Elízabeth said...

Lately I'm making chile con carne.. instead of pabellón. But I truly miss my caraotas!!!!

Nighty Rita,

Jungle Mom said...

Cheryll, No we are not censored yet. There is talk of it coming though. Thanks for coming by!

Skislady, I sent you an email, let me know if you get it or not.

skislady said...

I got one email from you, but can't reply to you from that email. Did you send another?

Pam said...

It's so hard to imagine going into a grocery store and not being able to get what I want. I am one of those spoiled Americans! I pray that I will never take our blessings for granted though. I do believe change is afoot here and we are walking a slippery slope!

Abouna said...

Wow, it sounds like the old Soviet Union, long lines in the stores and nothing on the shelves. Not to sound like a kill joy, but the situation will probably only get worse. What would happen if people here in the States were to send you black beans and such, would you get it or would Chavez confiscate it?

Anonymous said...

It sound like it's time for you to pull up stakes and head on home...good luck.


Jen said...

I am with Pam, I am spoiled(as an American with 24 hour walmarts) and I do believe that the wind is changing in the US. I am embarrassed at times seeing how very much that I have.

Penless Thoughts said...

I'll bet you are counting the days.

Jungle Mom said...

Penless, Not really! This is a very hard move for us.

Beemoosie said...

I just can't even imagine what your life is like down there. What a blessing you and your family are!

Jackie said...

Would you like me to send you some black beans?? I can't imagine living without them! :( It's bad enough not having arepas...but no caraotas on my homesick days? Impossible!! It's my ultimate comfort food!

Elízabeth said...

I'm starting to think about a nice business... exporting Harina Pan to Uruguay!

Just kidding, I feel very sorry for Jackie. Nothing like an arepa!

Don't they sell cornmeal down there? she could bake a polenta, which is the closest thing to arepa (if you cut it and toast it after baking it)


Happymama said...

What are the price differences there? Like, what do you pay for white sugar or black beans? What causes the food shortages? Or did I miss that?? Are you allowed to have things like this shipped to you? Or is the government nosy with your packages?