Venezuela: Life in Caracas – “Suena Caracas”
After spending Friday night home cooking to an unfinished movie on the sofa that cursed me to sleep, I was determined to enjoy my very first Saturday night out in Caracas. But, how? And with whom?
I woke up to a text from my house mate. Not sure what he was trying to tell me… As I walked out of the shower and entered my bedroom, a note fell from the door. It read in English: “Translate this”. The rest was in Spanish telling me about a concert in Caracas that was on tonight and if I wanted to go then I should write to him. Perfect, I thought!
Walking through one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in Caracas; Santa Rosa. Large signs banning guns propped up clear for all to see in the bars. I was a bit nervous at first but knowing I was in good company, I relaxed. Beer culture. And everything else seemed to have sugar in it. I gambled with my options on the menu and lost to an extra sweet guanabana smoothie. Not the best of luck.
Sporadic; Military and police on standby for crowd control and security checks. My feet were killing me in the only pair of high heels to be seen that night. Amidst the chaos in the vibrant crowd, we eventually made it to “Suena Caracas” – the city’s longest running and largest free concert of the year. The city united in the name of music. Latin Pop fused out from the speakers and everyone sang and danced along into the night. A dog passed by, brushing my leg and beckoning me to play, a bottle perched in its mouth. I tossed the bottle and watched the dog repeat its role of fetching. She then turned to my fellow companion for more attention.
Rain poured down soaking the lively souls that flooded the streets of Plaza Caracas that night. Some took shelter but we all embraced the music despite the rain. We took a break in time with the band and sat on a wall nearby. A one-legged-man on crutches approached me and started speaking in Spanish. When I asked the others to translate what he said, “It’s nice to see all the people come together on a night like this. I like it when this happens. And by the way, I’m Maduro’s boyfriend.” For context, Maduro is the current president of Venezuela. My fellow companion, “That’s the first time I met a gay guy of his kind.”
As the night came to an end, we had to make it back to our haunted abode, in the middle of nowhere! Taxi’s refused to take us there. I prayed in silence as I watched my house mate curse the rain and catch taxi’s in the middle of the street, only to be left disappointed. It was almost impossible. One taxi showed empathy as our luck changed and our lives, much drier. Topless in the back seat to dry out from the stormy weather, I fell asleep all the way back to the Caiza.
In a nutshell: Unexpected encounters. Spanglish. Intriguing facts. Red-hot-blooded Latino heat. Raw passion released into our veins; natural ecstasy. Musical thoughts playing in our bodies. Experiences tattooed in our memories. My first night out in Caracas – a night to remember.