Thursday, December 25, 2008
Anyhow, we wish you the very best in this night and merry Christmas.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Kind of ironic the existence of this holiday in the modern world as the most famous holiday in the Jew calendar, maybe because of its proximity with Christmas (and the similarity of gift’s giving); in the past other civilisations tried to eliminate it but a miracle happened instead. These days are supposed to be full of reflection, rededication and renewing votes.
Anyway, I am not going to explain the Chanukah or its significance; if you are Jewish then “Chanukkah Sameach!”, if you are not but want to know a bit more click here... And if you don’t like Chanukah at all (maybe you don’t like Jews) then happy holidays and let the joyful inside and the hate out.
Well, the only thing this government really knows to do is that damn propaganda; nothing else for sure. Sadly even in Australia I will see this kind of waste or resources in propaganda meanwhile the poorest sectors in my country of birth dies because of the lack of urban planning, bad health system, bad police coverage, quality and service, corruption and many other diseases, reasons of my departure to overseas.
Hopefully the financial crisis and Christmas will make many to think about issues running wild free on the street. Meanwhile the country is preparing itself for the upcoming consult of amendment on the constitution’s article related to limited re-elections (which Chavez wants to change it to unlimited re-elections).
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
One day after the elections, we (Venezuelans) have the opportunity to see how our leaders react with the results.
Yesterday Venezuela had a regional election in every state except the Amazonas state. This means we had to elect our governors, mayors, great mayors and council members. As the day went off and the night came the CNE (responsible for electoral results in Venezuela) didn’t showed any signal of being processing partial information until today at 12:00 a.m. when began to express the results state by state. Here you have some statistics:
Participation: 65.5% (record compared with the last few years which didn’t reach 50%)
Results by state you might check it here. Is kind of pointless to write it here.
What those results means?
Well, opposite factors to Chavez government will rule on 5 regions (states and districts) of Venezuela and pro government factors will rule 19 regions. But interestingly, those 5 regions (Grand Caracas, Miranda, Táchira, Zulia and Carabobo) where opposite factors were elected represent the 45% of the total Venezuelan population and the abstention was higher on the lefting states. In addition, Venezuela is not very attached of second rounds or filter candidates, selecting those with real chance to win and then match it in the elections, which means that some of the votes were distributed among several candidates not attached to government proposition neither opposite factors.
Which reaction did we watch on the government?
The president started blaming the local government as the responsible of failing earning people heart (“but isn’t his fault at all”) then continued saying “We lost where the rich people lives… for example, we didn’t won on Sucre town because those zones are filled up with golf fields, luxurious restaurant and exclusive places were rich people goes to drink… There you can find rich and racists people who force the black people to work as slaves doing tasks as ironing, cleaning and driving…”…
I am going to show you with pictures the rich’s town where the government didn’t get the results they wanted.
Expensive deluxe restaurants
Kids enjoying a play in the golf field...
"Those rich bastards...."
Surely you can watch several golf fields and plenty of space to planned buildingi n this aerial view…
No? Well, there isn't any.
This is how poor people lives in Venezuela.
Crowded places with endless hallways as laberiths.
Anyway, at least I know I have done part of my civil rights as Venezuelan citizen, acting and wishing the very best for my family and those who wants to fight for this country (even though I will not be here for long).
Till next comment or post and thanks for reading.
PS: remember to leave comments, is important for me.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Since very early in the morning (4:00 a.m.), a crowd marched to the voting centre and queues to cast their opinion and then return home to wait for the results. As usual, the start wasn’t quick, with undecided people and technical issues to be fixed the process started with delays and gradually gained speed and agility.
So how, I knew this, so I waited until the lunch hour to cast my vote. It was very simple and didn’t take more than 5 minutes to complete the entire process. Here is a picture of my pinkie finger and my wife’s proving we had voted.
Anyway, now all that matter (and we will have to wait for it) are the results which should be given at anytime near the midnight...
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Venezuelans are preparing for tomorrow’s elections to vote for their governor, mayor and other regional positions. This time, the elections have huge importance because it will determine the course of the entire country for the next 4 to 5 years in the best case...
Because the Venezuelan current president is trying to get elected for undefined amount of time and this is a way to achieve it. I am going to mark this post with my political point of view of Venezuela (sadly, but if I am emigrating from Venezuela it is more than obvious I am doing it because unpleasant issues bothering the day to day).
Last year Venezuela had another electoral process to determine if the president could be elected unlimited times plus validate Venezuela as socialist based society; the result of this electoral process was deny any constitutional changed proposed by the president for the rest of his period. But he managed to find a way to stick to the presidential position (not attached to any constitutional dictation or regulation). Seriously I would like a change for the Venezuelan people, at least someone else who might do something good and try to fix this government mistakes; for my family sakes and for those who don’t want or can’t leave Venezuela pursuing happiness somewhere else.
I would really love to see every Venezuelan voting tomorrow but the truth is, Venezuelans don’t like to do their responsibilities, such as voting. Instead (and highly possible) most of the people will be travelling to the beach, mountain or any other recreational place to forget about the government, economical situation and other daily problems. The future looks uncertain for now.
What will I do?
- Bring a thought to those who don’t think Venezuela might have hopes.
- Promote the responsibility of voting between the people I know.
- Help and guide as much people I can.
- Finally but not less, I will be voting as well.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Background check in Venezuela was pretty much plain the first time. All we needed to do was request to the ministry of justice our records. The request had to be made during morning hours (between 8PM to 10PM) any working day. The difference this time was, now we needed to take a number to be served and just the top 20 from the line were the ones to lodge the request.... Silly, uh?
Medical examination was also different, partially because we wanted to have another panel doctor instead the previous (which we didn’t liked at all), also there was a substantial fee difference. The first time we had to pay US$ 490.00 (sort of) and now US$ 750.00 (quite a difference, uh!!?). Thanks god, everything went as it should and our documents got to the HOC without incidents.
The magical question, why did we took every examination again?
The answer has two parts; first, we didn’t want to have a tight deadline to get the visa activation. Rush often comes with mistakes and we don’t want and can’t afford mistakes. And second, is recommended to send new documents before expiration, otherwise your case officer could put your case on hold and send a formal request for new examination, which is translated into time wasted.
- We (Australia) need to protect the Australian market and funds.
- We need to assure work places for those who might lose their jobs and are currently in Australia.
- We don’t want people arriving at Australia, looking for job, because Australia might have a rough time.
- Workless people means an impact to the national budget, and the budget must be protected at all cost.
Making story short, if you are waiting for the Australian visa at the moment, make your mind for an unprecedented delay for grant letters and approvals. Plus you got to include the high risk of your company to consider you disposable in case they are running out of funds, messing up a little bit more your process.
Please, express your feelings, is important for me to know what you think around the world.
Till the next post or comment.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
First… those whom are reading this blog (or my blogs in general) thanks for checking it every now and then. Also thanks for the feedback, is very important for us.
Ok… well, kind of late but here is the update of how Halloween is celebrated on this part of the globe and right next to it, my wife birthday.
In Venezuela, the Halloween celebration was a not common celebration (in some cases unknown) till the last decade. The 90’s was a decade where Venezuela absorbed several traditions from USA, and Halloween was sure into the most popular and solid party.
Getting into this post content, my wife asked me if I wanted to go to the club/spa party the Halloween’s night before her birthday as a warm up for the big day, so we went to it. It was nice most of the time, giving a try to some spare time to share with mates.
Next day, it was her birthday which was sad and cheerful at the same time, because this time is more probable than ever to be the very last in Venezuela for a long time... Again, it was in the spa sharing food with mates and trying to get the mind off the visa...
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
She just said it thoughtfully: “Well, if we need another adapter for my notebook... aren’t you going to need another for that external drive you bought at Amazon?”
Thankfully there is this website were explains very well all the electrical problems our electronic devices may or may not suffer once in Australia.
Here is the answer:
Basic information of Australian electric system
Voltage: 220V – 240V (US and Canada 110V – 120V)
Frequency: 50Hz (US and Canada is 60Hz)
Plug type: I or V (http://www.kropla.com/!i.htm) (US or Ca uses the A&B http://www.kropla.com/!ab.htm)
- If your electrical devices have AC/DC adapters check the specs for the multi-voltage label. This label says you will need just a plug adapter from A&B (or the one used on your country) to I or V plug type because your adapter already transform the electricity for your device.
- If you have compatible electricity systems with different plug type, all you have to do is get one of those adapters.
- If your device is 110V-120V or the frequency is different, you will have to buy an electricity converter (which isn’t recommended because consumes lots of electricity) plus in some cases, the proper plug type.
- Most of the hair driers, iron and those stuffs with inner electric resistances used to generate heat is better to be sold and get a new one in Australia. Otherwise get the converter paying high price for your electricity consumption.
Check the label at the back of the AC Adapter or device; could be also be found in the user’s manual. The keyword is “INPUT” which contains information such as:
Input: ~100-240V 50/60Hz 65W: If you find this info. Your device is multi-voltage.
Input: 115/230V 50/60Hz 200W: your device is US compliant. These devices commonly has a switch at the back, all you need to do is switch it to the 230V side.
Input 120V 60Hz 2.8A: Means your device is US only compliant (just supports the 120V standard). You will need a converter in case you want to use it in Australia.
The picture shows the Wa-16 travel plug adapter for Australia, Chine and Argentina compatible with the I Plug (the V plug doesn’t have the middle stick). But keep in mind you may be needing an converter in most of the cases.
More Information check out this website
Hope you find it useful.
Friday, October 10, 2008
“Pabellón”. The dish that any Venezuelan could remember for the rest of his/her life is the pabellon. This dish consists in a portion of black beans, rice and shredded meat or beef. Also have some variations such as the “pabellon con baranda” (Spanish for pabellon with guard rails) which adds fried sliced plantain or “pabellon a caballo” (Spanish for pabellon riding a horse or horseback riding) which adds a fried egg on top for the rice, beans and beef “riding the horse”. No doubt about the “pabellon a caballo con barandas” (Spanish for pabellon horseback riding with guard rails... you surely will understand that is a mixture between every pabellon dish). The pabellon surely is one of my favourite plates among the rest of the Venezuelan dishes because combine the sweet of the plantain and the beans (sometimes you add it sugar on top or white cheese... depends on your mood) with the neural flavour of the rice and the salty and spiced flavour of the shredded beef.
Arepas. How to describe what an arepa is... The arepa is somehow bread without being bread. The arepa is.... arepa! Hahaha, no description could fit in what an arepa is. But it is made with corn flour (or rice and corn flour) with a cup of water and a pinch of salt, is flat round shaped and cooked on the budare till it sounds like a drum. Then is it half split open and filled up with almost anything you might want at the moment... Cheese or meat or jam or avocado or chicken or jam tomatoes and mayo, etc; you make your own arepa’s flavour; the important is the existence of the arepa itself the rest is just a contour or add in. This is my second favourite dish and the one I eat more often (almost daily).
“La cachapa” or Corn pancakes. This is an extremely traditional dish in Venezuela made out of cord grits mixed with some sugar and a pinch of salt… Some people also like to mix it with flour and milk (as a real pancake). It is cooked in a hot “budare” (a rounded flat piece of steel) till is brown, then is filled up with white cheese or “queso de mano” (the exact translation is hand’s cheese, but is a tender white cheese with taste of ricotta but saltier). The cachapa is commonly expended at “road stores” and I could say that no one who comes to Venezuela leaves without to give it a taste to this exquisite dish.
Empanadas. The empanada is made with the same flour as the arepa with the difference that is totally flatten when raw, then filled up with anything you may want (rice and black beans, shredded beef, cheese, cheese and black beans also known as domino empanada, shredded fish, etc) and then is fried till gets a light brownish colour. This is more commonly eaten at Margarita’s island as a must, but it is widely know and eaten as breakfast around Venezuela.
The “hallaca”. A traditional Christmas dish, the hallaca is... well... is.... Hahaha, let me go to Wikipedia to take the someone else’s description. “An hallaca typically involves a mixture of pork, beef, chicken, capers, raisins, olives and onions wrapped in maize (cornmeal dough), bound with string within a plantain leaves, and boiled or steamed afterwards...” The hallaca among other dishes of the Venezuelan cuisine requires many hours of intense work and unites the entire family to make some of it (typically on family can make several dozens of hallacas, enough to the entire holiday season and sometimes to endure the holidays and the first days of the upcoming year. What else could I say?... Oh, the hallaca has great taste and texture and some Venezuelans living overseas makes decent living just by selling a bunch of this per day.
Well this is enough for today... I think I will have to write another post continuing the qualities of the Venezuelan cuisine.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Someone’s values will define his/her the character, charisma and the type of person. The three types of values should not be confused nor mixed, but in conjunction makes a perfect citizen, neighbour, employee and family member. The opposite representations to those values are the capital sins (or seven deadly sins: gluttony, greed, pride, envy, wrath, sloth, lust) and somehow you can measure the importance the society gives to the personal and family values existence just by taking deep examination into the common citizen behave.
Well, the last couple of months I have been comparing the current Venezuelan society against the one I knew in my childhood. The result reassure that my decision to migrate to a healthier and well structured society (such as the Australian one) is the best way to ensure mental health, prosperity and correct offspring formation. Sadly this values lost isn’t a process that begun with the current government (but it was an accelerator). The entire situation makes me feel worried about the family that stays here and my new family generation which will grow in such a polluted and valueless environment.
The current Venezuela is a land of nobodies, where the common thing to watch every day is murder, crime, prostitution, corruption, felony and effrontery. Even the simplest event (such as, a pregnant woman gets the bus and most of the people start avoiding to watch to woman just to not let her sit or get a comfortable position; people with some disability is ignored too (even though the government says they do so much for the people and those in need, this is a façade avoiding the reality than the family and personal values are gone). I got to admit the issue isn’t just the government fault; this is a 90% people faulty formation, degraded family structure and extreme poverty...
And what had happened with those members of the society, the motivators, educators and those whom inject into the society some values to avoid the total collapse? Those are being persecuted by the government because those are the very few who stands up against the felony and the corruption spotting the rotten society’s members… or as I am doing and some other families already did… choosing not to fight anymore and leave. Sad isn’t it?
If you’re thinking at this point… “You coward! Because of people like you is that your society situation is worst. People who decide to leave, people who doesn’t fight.” I just got to tell you: you might be right; I was coward and didn’t want to stand this horrible situation… this deploring situation. But fill up my shoes, imagine be in a self centered society where numberless citizen has been fired from their jobs because of believes, mentally tortured and persecuted, which every day worst educational systems and more cultural damage… year after year for decades… Don’t you give a thought to moving out? What you think?
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Well, obviously it will be more frequent the other way around. You having to visit them every now and then, planning your family holidays to go back and meet the old buddies and catch up. But, in my family this Australia life is causing some kind of curiosity. My mom is asking about the weather or what kind of goods she could buy, presents and stuff, or even how do the people look like...
So I decided to look deeper into the requisites for anyone who wants to go for visit and the result was a bunch of different visas or permits that anyone could get easily and I break it into three (3) different posts (each according the type of visa provided by the department of immigration.)
The sponsored family visa is designed to allow people overseas to visit their family living in Australia. The applicant for this visa must be relative of an Australian permanent resident or citizen willing to sponsor them. The sponsor must ensure the Australian government that their guest will leave the country before the visa expires. Support is provided to the sponsor by the visa decision-maker. This visa costs US$100 and has to be lodge by the sponsor.
The requisites for this permit are:
- Be outside of Australia.
- An adult (over 18 years old) permanent resident or citizen has to be the sponsor settled in Australia, with no unsuccessful attempts records in the last 5 years.
- Applicant must be healthy. So medical examination is required. Health insurance will be requested but isn’t mandatory.
- Applicant financial status proves.
- If the applicant is underage, must present a parental permit.
- Fill and send the required forms. [More info]
The granted visa could provide a stay up to 12 months (several circumstances may apply), and it is highly possible to be granted because your sponsor acts like a backup in some cases (and has the obligation to make you leave the country). The visa should be granted faster than the tourist visa.
- The visa can’t be extended, so you will be requested to leave the country at the end of the maximum allowed term.
- Is valid for one entry only.
- If you want to apply for the visa again, you must be overseas.
- Can’t work. Can’t study. Only visiting.
- Medical insurance. If you are at a risky age, make sure you buy a health insurance before travelling Australia. Otherwise you might pay the full price of a good health system.
- A security bond may be requested if there is a possibility that the applicant do not leave Australia when the term is done. The bond will be refunded once the visitor leaves the country and it variates from US$ 5,000 to US$ 15,000 or (depending on the case) any other amount.
Links to the other posts
Main post “How to: visit Australia.”
How to: visit Australia (tourist visa).
How to: visit Australia (ETA permit).
The requisites for this visa are:
- At the moment there are no health requirements to request this visa.
- Character requirements. You got to request the police checks as prove of your good behave.
- Financial requirements. You got to prove you have enough money to go back and forth.
- Children of underage. You need to have the common permits from your parents to travel.
- Plus a form, which you may want to take it online or if you prefer send it by standard mail.
Well yeah, in case after a couple of months in Australia you want to stay a little longer, an extension can be requested to the migration department, in some cases the extension could be up to 6 months.
There are some remarks which you have to review just in case you are sure you want this visa to be the one to use.
- You can’t work. At least not a paying job. Voluntary is accepted. It’s ok; you surely don’t want to use a recreational visa for working, are you?
- Medical insurance. If you are at a risky age, make sure you buy a health insurance before traveling Australia. Otherwise you might pay the full price of a good health system.
- If you are planning anything longer than 3 to 12 months (case to by studied) you should start thinking about this visa doesn’t fulfil your requirements.
- Takes a couple of weeks to be approved. The visa requirements are checked at Howard, Tasmania, so it might take a while before you know if you get on of these. If your country belongs to the common wealth or to the European Community you should check the ETA permit which is way faster and cheaper.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The requisites for this permit are:
- Be outside of Australia.
- At the moment there are no health requirements except if you are going to have studies at a class-room environment in which case you will requested to get a chest x-ray examination.
- Have a valid and listed passport.
- Each family member must request their permit.
- Fill up the online form.
Does this visa have any other benefit?
Except that the permit is valid for multiple entries and almost instantly approved... No. This visa is pretty much flat. You get it quickly, and you get it for visiting, that’s it.
- The permit can’t be extended, so you will be requested to leave the country at the end of the maximum allowed term.
- Can’t work. At least not a paying job. Voluntary is accepted with some limitations.
- You may be requested to have medical examination.
- Medical insurance. If you are at a risky age, make sure you buy a health insurance before traveling Australia. Otherwise you might pay the full price of a good health system.
- Even if you are from the list of allowed countries, you got to be legally clear. If you have convictions then you have to apply for a tourist visa, the ETA will be automatically rejected.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
< John Secada - Just Another Day >
But as a good thing, we were able to spot the thing that keeps us to the expectation, which is you don’t know for sure when your case is being on the lookout or when you are just in the pile of files waiting to be assigned to a case officer. Anyhow, I am taking things more slowly, trying to enjoy every moment with my family members. As told before, the new date for arriving Australia will be the very end of January (if god permits), maybe will be a nice season to get there (summer), kind of sunny kind of hot… It will be perfect to be active and adapt better to changes… What do you think? Any better idea?
Thursday, August 21, 2008
The waiting is the most awful stage of this entire process, but this is disappointing because the plan was to get the papers on July and get to Aus as fast as possible before the year ended; but now, doesn’t matter if we get the visa approved this month or the upcoming, now we are going to be moving on January… So our project gets an unpleasant six month delay… This reminds me the commercial of “where the bloody hell are you?”...
<Where the bloody hell are you?>
Monday, July 21, 2008
As I don’t get any Aussie signal in my TV set, I decided to start looking at some shows through youtube. Thanks to a blog that I like very much I was able to find this hilarious TV show called The Gruen Transfer. The point of the show is to find funny a pitch for a ridiculous situation... how to sell an idea which is unsellable by conception.
Here you have some videos. Enjoy it.
< Gruen Beauty Cream >
< Aus to Invade New Zealand - TV Spot #1 >
< Aus to Invade New Zealand - TV Spot #2 >
Saturday, July 12, 2008
The time goes by and we do not have any answer from the migration department. We do not know if our case is being on the scout or if is going to take a little longer… In any case, July isn’t over and we might get the visa to the end of this month.
Anyway, here is a sum up from the previous post up today. Since the last post I have been full day on work stuff (thankfully this helps to get a little bit distracted), my mom’s b’day happened and today is my b’day… Cool isn’t? hahaha, big sum up.
Anyway, the last couple of days (last two or three weeks really) I have realise my mom’s feelings about me moving away and this kind of anger which really is unmanaged frustrations. The problem is that for your parents, you are the little kiddo whom is trying to forget about them moving away, even if you are not... My mom took things pretty bad although she stays cool and quite, trying to avoid no matter what the moving issue. Sometimes it is easy to forget that they are trying to defend their point of view such as “why to move that far away?” or “Don’t you have everything somewhere closer?” because they just try to vanish the idea behind the illusion of “if I ignore the reality isn’t going to affect me”.
Since then I've tried to involved them more into the situation and trying to expose them how others have handled the distance and the fact that there is 14 hours of difference between Australia and Venezuela (or 10 hours the other way around) and I have notice a better reaction. since then. So, as the time goes by there is a bigger need from my family to ensure we will keep in touch and the distance isn’t going to matter that much.
As time goes by you also have to finish up the final arrangements (even though you do not have the visa granted) in order to avoid running from one spot to the another trying to solve last minute issues. This is a suggestion I haven’t followed. As for my wife and I, the world has just stopped spinning with the day to day activities and the hundred and one issue to solve with our family members before the departure day becomes our present day.
That’s the sum’ up to the present (July 11).
I hope you have found pleasant the Frank Sinatra song.
C’ya around cyber mates.
Monday, June 2, 2008
The worst thing is, I know my visa isn’t going to come yet… because they haven’t called to my jobs, nor my case manager gave me some feedback, and to be honest I am expecting my documents on July, maybe August.
What are you going to feel at the same stage of the process?
Well… sort of exasperation, depression, hatred and stress. Not all at once, but at least for the Venezuelans these are the feelings most of the people had told me before I felt it.
Why Exasperation? Because want to go away from the situation and reality which, at the moment, isn’t yours anymore. My mate Raul said this mood is called bubble moment stage… you feel some sort of barrier between the reality around you and what it really matters to you… awful.
Why Depression? Well, you can imagine what to feel when you are on this train for two years now and all of the sudden you are quite ready to go… but… not yet… is like we have walked so much but there is a few steps to get to the finish line; you can’t see it but knows its there… so you ask your coach how far the goal is… and you receive a “dunno dude”. DIAC has a web site to give you updates of your case, but the update is a big sum up, which doesn’t tell you much.
What to hate to? Why Hatred? The entire process, it should be shorter or at least with much more feedback.
Why Stress? Because you want to buy new furniture, but no, we’re gonna move soon, isn’t necessary… we wanna move to a nice apartment… but again NO, because we cannot invest the money in something silly… we are going to be moving soon, right???..... right???
Anyone, blogging helps me to set the emotions to the lowest, let the soul to rest and resist for a little longer.
Talk to you later guys. Thanks for reading such a useless post.