Tuesday, November 26, 1996

My companion and I got up at 4am, caught a taxi at 4:30 for the airport, and I was on the plane at 5. It seemed like I had been in Venezuela longer than eleven days because we had covered so much ground in that time. On the other hand, Venezuela is a huge country, and I had seen only a tiny part of it. I must return some day to visit Angel Falls and Margarita Island, and a few other destinations I simply did not have time for.

On the plane to Miami, I was seated next to a middle-aged man from Detroit who had been in Valencia on business with some division of Ford Motor Company. Beside him was a woman who appeared to be Indian, though I'm not sure excatly where she was from. The stewardess was unable to communicate with her in English or Spanish, and even tried a few words in Portugese, but to no avail.

The man from Detroit and I bided our time debating where this woman was from. She carried a U.S. passport which listed her address in Dallas. The Ford guy decided that she must be Mexican because she lived in Dallas. I explained to him that Mexicans generally speak Spanish, and do not put dots on their forehead. He thought I was trying to trick him, and he pointed out that her name was spelled out as a squiggly line, a dot, and another squiggly line, thus somehow proving that she was indeed Mexican. I pointed out to him that Mexicans use (for the most part) the same Roman alphabet that we use. We never did come to an agreement, maybe because everything I write also looks like squiggly lines and dots.


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