I’m beginning to think that I’ll be an expert economist by the time I leave Venezuela.
In high school, I had to take Economics to graduate. I took AP Macroeconomics and passed the AP exam so, theoretically, I know the basics.
I didn’t dislike the class, but it wasn’t enough to make me major in it. Economics, at least while I was there, was one of the most popular majors at my alma mater. Yet people were surprised when I said I had been introduced to it in high school.
That’s a great public education for you.
I’m dusting off all of that high school Economics material now because while economics always affects my daily life in the US, it was a little breeze reminding me of its presence. Sometimes the breeze picked up and annoyed me, but it was never anything too major (discounting my Aunt Sallie Mae debts, of course).
Here in Venny?
That little breeze might pin me up against a wall to remind me who’s boss and then walk lackadaisically down the street…ready to rough up someone else.
Case in point: many major airline carriers stopped selling tickets to Venezuela. In other words, there was trouble getting my return ticket home to the US for the summer. Or out of the country, really. And this is in January.
Why? Well, one factor is that the bolivares fuertes (ironic since fuerte means strong in Spanish and it’s not a strong currency at all right now) was devalued twice in one week. Thus, airlines needed to figure out how to price their tickets in order to still turn a profit. A second reason is because the government is in debt to these various airlines, and we all know what happens when you stop paying your bills. Your service gets cut off. The blog Caracas Chronicle, which is highly critical of the current government, explains what happened.
Since United is not flying, I do not have a direct flight from Caracas to Houston. I will fly on a different airline to Atlanta and double back to Houston. Along with the two or three hour drive I have to make to get to the Caracas international airport (the one in Valencia is closed for renovations), I now have layovers that are adding hours to my travel day.
Exhaustion will be my carry on when I travel in June.
In the grand scheme of things as long as I get home I’ll be OK.
In the entitled, white collar way of seeing the world, I’m annoyed that a direct ticket wasn’t booked before United suspended sales.
There are worse things in the world, but my annoyance has me wondering if I’m becoming more particular because I’m just willing to own what I like and dislike as I get older, or if my annoyance is because I’m becoming more entitled while living this expat life. One thing I don’t want to be is an entitled person. I despise entitlement in a way that I cannot fully describe.
But, yet again, I have been in privileged circles since I chose to attend college.
Madame Economist or Madame Entitled?
Which title, or neither, will be an apt description of me in the future?