Sixteen months of the new normal, and onward to month seventeen.

July was the month where I detached myself the most out of Venezuela’s convoluted affairs and ongoing complicated livelihood, not because I don’t care, but because this was the month where I said I would start focusing more on myself and my goals — or at least that was the intention.

My plan called for a few days of rest during the first week of July, followed by my brother’s birthday on the 9th, and then come back reinvigorated to start work on the next phase of my fiction novel series and other projects — alas, things didn’t go out as planned.

The month started with an unforeseen and quite stressful complication that could have potentially cascaded into something catastrophic (a tale for another time perhaps). With that all sorted out in a satisfactory manner, I then focused all my efforts on giving my brother a great 26th birthday within the limited framework of the country’s situation and within a reasonable budget.

While I was doing all preparations for it, sectors of the western half of Caracas turned into a warzone, as armed gangs that flourished with the tacit blessing of the socialist regime were now waging an armed conflict against the regime’s forces.

Those were some very complicated days for that part of Caracas. At least 30 people lost their lives during the crossfire, including an 11 year old child. Since then, things have drastically calmed down, and all the inhabitants of those areas can do is hope that it doesn’t further escalate.

As one side of the city was caught in urban warfare, the rest of it remained crippled by the still ongoing gasoline shortages, and the eternal water woes that have plagued my life for so long. None of that deterred me from carrying out my desire to give my brother a great birthday, and that’s exactly what I accomplished.

The 9th of July came and I invited our two youngest cousins to spend the afternoon with us. We four had a simple but cozy pizza lunch. There’s a special significance to that afternoon, because if all goes as planned, that’s gonna be the last time my brother and I get to spend one of our birthdays with our younger cousins, so I wanted to make it count.

And that was, by far, the best part of this month. Seeing my brother happy with his pizza, and my two young cousins smiling as they had their way with theirs made the ~123,000,000.00 Bolivars I spent more than worth it..

Because there is no rest for the wicked, my graphics card died literally two hours after that lunch. This now dead Geforce GTX 680 served me amazingly well for the past nine years, from the WoW gold shenanigans to everything else. The fact that as of the time of writing this entry I still have no working graphics card means that I’m severely limited in what I can do at the moment, and I’m not talking about video games specifically.

Thankfully, this motherboard allows me to use my old processor’s integrated graphics card as a temporary solution. While I won’t be rendering videos anytime soon with it or doing anything that’s remotely graphically intensive, I can at least use my old desktop computer for these types of things alongside my banged up ten year old laptop.

Setbacks imposed by malfunctioning hardware aside, the biggest setback and problem that I’ve been dealing with during the month was my own health. I, in my infinite desire to make my brother smile, went ahead and purchased a pack of Nesquick, one of his childhood favorites that he hadn’t had in over a decade.

I made it perfectly good, and it gave us a good evening of chocolate reminiscence. What I did not know was that the powdered milk I used to prepare it would affect me so badly. My body spent five days with the worst stomach woes, diarrhea feverish, and feeling extremely weak and anemic.

This is not the first time powdered milk all but destroys me from within, back in 2019 I had a similar reaction to it, but at a drastically lower intensity. I guess powdered milk is off the table for me; my mom always preferred skim milk and I grew up accustomed to it, so there’s that.

Someone suggested that I boil it first, but right now I’m in no condition to carry out that experiment, besides, I ended up giving away the milk to someone that needed it more than I do.

The irl complications did stress me out more than I’d like to admit, the material (GPU) is just material and I’m sure I’ll find a solution for it soon — my health issues are the biggest point of concern for me, as I’ve lost most of this month to this ongoing stomach woes. I’m still waking up a bit past midnight either nauseous or with stomach pain, for what it’s worth, it’s much more manageable than during the first days.

I hate making excuses, but this is why I had nearly zero productivity and content creation for my site during this month, something I’m working to fix. Once again, please accept my most sincere apologies. I also said I would start exercising more during this month, but alas, the stomach woes left me with no room for that, next month, I promise.

As for the state of Venezuela during this past month, just because I detached myself from its ongoing affairs during this month doesn’t mean that I wasn’t paying attention — unfortunately, for better or worse, there is not much more new to say.

Vaccination is still going at a snail’s pace, while the elderly, who had been receiving the first dose of the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine, are still at risk of losing the first dose, as there’s still no news about the arrival of the second dose.

I still haven’t tried to get vaccinated after wasting twelve hours for naught in June. I’m already spreading too thin worrying about a myriad of other things right now to add more weight to the pile, plus with these stomach woes I’ve been in no condition to stand in line for hours.

The rest of the country goes as usual, that’s why I don’t have much new to say. The bolivar continues to plummet further and further, and we’ve crossed the 4,000,000 per single USD threshold. Rumors of zeroes being axed once again have floated for some time, but so far, nothing official has been said about it.

As for my ongoing efforts to obtain a visa and start a new life, progress has continued, slow, but steady, and no amount of stomach pain stopped me from that. I’m now waiting for a very important response that, if positive, means I can finally start the next step of this long process. Additionally, I’ve started to make some important preparations so that I can have everything ready by the time we finally board a plane towards a new life.

I am also now in the final year of my passport’s life. Whatever happens has to happen within the next weeks, which will be very crucial to me. The international six month rule will kick in in exactly a year, and that means that on July 25, 2022 I’ll be stranded in whatever country I end up in — and that includes this one…

That means that I’ll be sleeping with the constant feeling of a ticking clock on my mind, time’s running out for me, and it’s now or never.

I’ll keep recovering my health and try to get in shape during the next month, at the same time, I will redouble my efforts to continue solving some of the pending bureaucratic affairs and things that I still have to solve, as well as focusing more on preparing my Crimson Dream for its inexorable publication once I’m outta this country.

I promise once I get better I’ll ramp up more content for this website asap, once again, apologies for that.

Stay safe, and all the best wishes for all of you, may August be a fantastic month for us all.

Until the next one,


1 Comment

The Continued Lockdown: August 2021 | ckaleb[dot]com · August 28, 2021 at 1:42 pm

[…] battered country and its ever so tiresome and entropic status quo — for the most part that is. If last month’s big event was the literal urban warfare between the revolution’s armed forces and gangs once in […]

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