ARTICLE: “Tales of a Venezuelan Expat: Dispatch #2 (Disorder and Progress)”

The second chapter in the travel chronicles of Eduardo Próspero is live on Metapsychosis, a site of the highest caliber. This time our hero appears in Brazil and, as per usual, nothing goes his way. He falls on his feet, though, and lives to fight another day. And no, I’m not spoiling anything. The story is in the journey, not in the destination. And it starts dramatically:

I’m not in control. I’m trusting the currents to guide my ship to safe ports, trusting the process, letting go. I’m learning along the way. The biggest lesson so far has been how to let friends and family help me, how to receive, how to depend on the kindness of strangers. Which is harder than it looks and I haven’t quite mastered. In my defense, my previous experience was limited. I’ve always been a proud, hard-headed, stubborn idiot. 

Then the author whines about not being able to get a job, understand the language, or help his family from the distance; tells you about the three houses he stays in, and suddenly hits you with this scene:

I receive the new year at the Avenida Paulista surrounded by millions of strangers, watching Jorge Ben Jor and Gal Costa tear it up from a giant stage. In the midst of all that joyful chaos, I find a woman I haven’t seen in a decade or two, from my University years, and she gives me a shot of arvejas. In Venezuela, it’s tradition to eat those green beans on the last day of the year to bring money into your life. These particular ones haven’t worked so far, but hey… 

And near the end, he gets political because that’s the nature of these pieces: they depict the relationship between an inmigrant and his home country, and how Venezuela still affects me everywhere I go. I mean, him. Venezuela affects him, Eduardo… anyway, here’s the quote:

My cousin, her husband, and the kids arrive while Juan Guaidó comes onto the scene. I’d never even heard his name and suddenly he’s the President of my country. Or so he thinks. My hosts are ecstatic, they believe, they have hope. Me, I’ve been burned before. Normally I avoid discussing politics at all costs, but this event’s everywhere, our phones are buzzing, social media is burning, our families can’t message us about anything else. 

I definitely recommend you all to read the whole thing, it will be worth your while. Eduardo poured his heart out and you can feel the sincerity, the angst, the blood, sweat, and tears… I mean, me. I was the one that went for it and poured my heart out. Me.

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