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Venezuela - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture Paperback – October 30, 2012
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More About the Author
Along the way I bathed in the spray of Angel Falls, the world's highest waterfall, trekked to the Lost World table mountain of Roraima (four times), rafted down jungle rivers with wonderful indigenous guides and swallowed my fear of heights to paraglide at impossible heights in the Andes. I also took my first faltering steps of salsa in Venezuela and learnt the lingo by watching slushy soap operas.
The results of my adventurings are gathered in the Bradt Guide to Venezuela, an exhaustive and comprehensive guide to where to go and what to do that is my small way of giving something back to a country that has given me so much.
I hope others who read the guide are encouraged to follow in my footsteps and explore this incredible country.
I am now based in the UK and it tugs at my heart strings some nights that I am too far from Choroni to hear the tambores on the malecon.
Fortunately my job as a journalist in England allows me to follow Venezuelan and Latin American developments and keep my Spanish up to scratch. The UK is also a good place to do research and meet other like-minded Latin-America-philes for proper rum and salsa sessions.
No matter how many trips I take back to Venezuela, I always find something new and unexpected, a dish I've never tried before, a mountain never climbed, something exciting that the world needs to know about. It's that kind of country.
To keep up to date with my articles on Venezuela visit my blog at www.venezuelanodyssey.blogspot.com
Top Customer Reviews
I was positively surprised, the book describes everything you need to know to get by in Venezuela, from business etiquette to interaction with people of the opposite sex.
What I found outstanding is how the every day life of Venezuelans is examined in this book, there's a guide on how to order coffee and arepas, it explains the importance of dancing in our social life, the attitude towards the law which is key both in business and to cope local life style. There's a chapter on Venezuelan's attitudes towards foreigners that I think will help "gringos" and "musiues" visiting the country.
Frankly the author covers every situation you can think of and in a very accurate manner. On top of that, the book is very easy to read. In my opinion is "a must read" if you're visiting Venezuela.
Unfortunately, as with a number of things in Venezuela over the last 10-15 years, it has to do with politics. This book was written during the final period of late President Chavez's government. It therefore does not cover the situation of late years with academic reports of over 150% inflation and over 55% poverty rates - higher than the 1998 figures by some accounts. The book can't predict the future but it lacks vision and portrays a sometimes romantic view of the government filling in gaps (Misiones, etc.) without addressing topics that in fact interests a lot of foreigners: nuanced separation of powers, self-gag reality, authoritarianism, etc. At some point the book seems to suggest that TV has given non-white models more airtime thanks to the government, at the same time it says the private media has essentially being antagonizing the government for years.
I have to say that as a Venezuelan I was mildly infuriated to read the assertion that the post-WW2 migration waves from Western European were a government supervised "whitening" of the general population. This is certainly not something anyone from my generation grew up with, and I failed to find serious references to anything other than a welcome reality to the ethnic composition of modern Venezuela.Read more ›
I deeply thanks to Mr Maddicks to take the time and the dedication to write this book.