How The Hell is the Devil Doing?

April 19, 2011

Well, fine thank you.

Enough of you have you asked that I feel I have to make a post. Other titles:

Hey, Devil, what are you doing?


What the Hell Is the Devil Doing?

Well, the Devil is doing ok. Ok, because moving is indeed Hell, the last three times I moved I said I would never move again. I swear by this now, until next time…Never say never.

Life is good, quiet, simple, lots of time for reading, but rather than reading “stuff” I am reading “junk”, lots of books in my Kindle/iPad combination, but I read mostly instantpulp. Kidding aside, I make a disclaimer, the author has an interest in that trashy website, but it’s not my business plans and it works!

Oh yeah! Lost some weight.

No regrets. I always look forward, I chose to be here and so I am , looking ahead. I gets lots of Venezuela news, gossip and the like, but somehow it gets harder, the news more irrelevant in the distance.

It’s Easter week, so Venezuelans are off on holiday and you even see them here. They come with their CADIVI dollars and you recognize them by their shopping carts full of diapers and sanitary napkins. I saw a couple today and felt like walking up to them, hugging them and saying: ” Hola, yo tambien soy venezolano!”

But even if everyone says I am outgoing I am in the end shy. So I said nothing.

But I do miss queso de mano. You can fake arepas, but it’s hard to fake a good queso de mano.

You want to know how bad this Government is doing?

Look at this press conference by Comandante Fausto :”Corpoelece will do maintenance during Holy Week”

Jesus, when you have to announce you are doing maintenance, things must really be bad. You would think a Minister would have better things to do than announcing normality. Except that maintenance is not normal here (or is it there?), ask the Metro (Subway) people, they forgot about it and it shows.

Meanwhie Aristobulo Isturiz seems to have lost any shame, if he ever had any, or smoked his bosses egg roll, using hyperbole at any turn, like saying April 2002 was as big as the 19th. of April or the Government will build 150,000 housing units. Sure Aritobulo, go smoke your lumpia (egg roll), because you are so far behind already and it just begun raining, so you will have go build them all in six months. But you like Ramos Allup, should just retire to a “Mansion”, for those politicians that will never get elected on their own, so stop trying, you are making a fool of yourself.

Meanwhile Venezuela is off for the week. You can’t find an airline ticket to go abroad, as CADIVI “cupos” are all being used and who can pass up $2,000 or $3,000 per person at Bs. 4.3 per $, including kids to go to Bogota, Miami and/or Buenos Aires. It is simply irresistible, like cheap gas.

And I take advantage of it to say last night I saw Atlas Shrugged Part I, the movie, enjoyed it, everyone should see it, even if there were some things that seemed out of place. I wonder what a Chavista would think about it, maybe he would not even get the subtitles. Or think it’s fiction.

In  solidarity with all of them, the Devil will not stay put either and tomorrow will go to another catholic, lazy country, where he at least expects good service, as he basks under the sun and catches up with his real reading.

Thanks for caring, thanks for asking!

44 Responses to “How The Hell is the Devil Doing?”

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  3. mediocriollo Says:

    firepigette – you can get the seeds for aji dulce at
    we planted them last year and they grew well but we lost them to frost – have to be very careful. here in Houston you can get harina pan most cheeses etc easily. Middle eastern stores are good – best one here is lebanese called Phoenicia

  4. bob Taylor Says:

    Thanks Island and Firepigette ! Yes I am In Margaarita !

  5. Steven M Says:

    Boca Condo King, when I was in college (USA) I once worked as a pizza delivery driver. One afternoon I delivered several pizzas to a fried chicken restaurant. I asked, “Does your manager know you guys are eating pizza?” The employee answered, “Our manager ordered the pizzas for us! We get awful tired of chicken.”

  6. David Says:

    queso de mano venezolano you can never get the same outside of Venezuela. In the US you can get the ingredients but you lack the sabor. Its just like going to a wedding or party in Vzla you can not reproduce that outside of the country. Venezuela tiene el jous non se quai.

  7. Eduardo Vasquez Says:

    Hi Miguel,
    Now that it seems you are close to Westonzuela, try the cachitos at panna express, if they are still there.
    Not sure if you still follow financial markets, if you do, what do you think about gold and silver, are those two the next bubbles ready to burst? or they will be marking new highs in the coming months.

  8. NicaCat56 Says:

    Miguel, I´m so glad that you´re doing well. I completely understand about not being able to find things/foods, etc., that we’re accustomed to. And, losing weight is GREAT!

  9. Carolina Says:

    I forgot, try arepas with a cheese called Haloom. It’s very good to make tequenos too.

  10. A_Antonio Says:

    I remember now how difficult is to find some fine cheese in Venezuela, I always find them in some areperas. Some time you only fell blue and wish something that no longer exist. Return and simple is no there anymore.

    In Spain are areperas, in USA should be someones. Try arepa with mozzarella or emmental. Or try some arepa made with mass with a touch of sugar and fill with blue cheese.

  11. Miguel Octavio Says:

    AIO: I am not “behind it” I just invested a lil money in a group of clever young Venezuelans with interesting social network technology and this is where it has taken them.

    On cheeses, I love all of them, but I am sort of a gourmand of the old style queso de manos. The best ones in Caracas can be purcased on Thursday at Arpa, Cuatro y Maracas in Chacao or at Don Esteban in el mercado de Chacao.

    Most countries have middle eastern groups, try the braided syrian cheese in arepas. Yes, in Westonzuela there is Mr. Zerpa’s queso guayanes, I tried it once, excelent.

  12. Roy Says:


    Thank you, dear, for offer of English Muffins. But I live in Nueva Esparta.

    I am sure that having a teenager in the house helps keep you current on pop culture. I have no such impetus. Living outside of the U.S., makes it even harder to keep up. It was only about 8 years ago that I first had access to U.S. cable television. And when I first started living overseas, we didn’t even have the internet yet! Anybody else still remember getting all their news from the International Herold Tribune?

  13. jsb Says:

    You lost weight? I’m going to have to cook for you sometime. We can take care of that. 🙂 Peace. –s

  14. Paula in BC Says:

    Hi Miguel, enjoy your Easter week 🙂
    I always miss el Queso de Mano, el Queso Guayanes, el Palmizulia, el Llanero, la Cuajada, el Suero o Natilla, y paro de contar! Even if some locals make the cheese it will never taste the same. The Mexican corn flour I have bought and tried is not even close to the delicious Harina PAN which I buy sometimes in the int’l food aisle of a small market when is available.
    Miguel, I sent you an email 🙂 I hope you see it

    For Island Canuck, here in North Vancouver we had a 3 days power outage back in 2006. Although unusual was bad and in the middle of Winter.

  15. Carolina Says:

    Here in Calgary it’s quite easy to find Harina Pan (made in Colombia), although lately I have noticed some shortage at the big stores.
    As for the food, I also miss the cheese like everybody else around here (Venezuelans and Colombians I mean). The good news is, since the growth of the Venezuelan community increased substantially in the last few years and the demand was so high, that a Venezuelan guy started producing queso blanco & queso duro industrially, so now it can be found at the latin stores and markets.
    In any case, it’s been so long for me out of my country, and being married to a local, I’m finding that I am not missing as much the food as before.
    El hombre es un animal de costumbres…

  16. firepigette Says:

    but you can still find it in English

  17. island canuck Says:

    I no longer see the link to the Universal English edition on their home page.

    Has it been eliminated?

    Bob if you are in Venezuela then just use an anonymous browser. Just do a Google search. There are lots of them.

  18. firepigette Says:


    I use google and my headlines are from BBC.In any case when I was in High School I took a speed reading course, so I learned how to skim over something and block uninteresting titles out in order to study for exams.It became a habit.I tend to block out both farandula and crime.If my attention doesn’t get caught up, the names go in one ear and out the other.Also it’s a question of values.I am not much on remembering the names of people I don’t know.The content of a book will stand out in my mind, but I am quite likely to forget who wrote it unless he or she is one of my favorites.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against movies, but the personality or the life of an actor holds no interest for me.

    On top of it all my son whose info arrives to me on a daily basis is a Geek of ginormous proportions, so I try to stay fairly well up to date with his world which for someone my age, can be challenging.Even that world, is way too irrelevant considering the pressing issues that we all face in my opinion.Age gives me this attitude I guess.

  19. bob Taylor Says:

    TRying to read Universal in English on the computer is now getting more difficult as the articles now are getting blocked ! Is there any way around this ? Thanks and best wishes Bob

  20. liz Says:

    Diablillo, me alegro que te estés acostumbrando a tu nuevo hogar.

    I’ve noticed that your posts are not the same thou… but I understand it perfectly! I happens to me when I travel abroad, I get detached even if I read the news and check the blogs on a daily basis.

    Hey, I think that making queso blanco and queso de mano would be a very good business in any foreign country that has Venezuelan immigrants. Think about the possibilities!

    I recommend you to buy good mozzarella cheese (la que llamamos aquí búfala, que viene en su propio suero y en forma de bolas). It’s the best substitute for our queso de mano or telita.

    Roy, ask Miguel for my e-mail. If you are in Caracas, I sell homemade English muffins!

    Last but not least, I must be very farandulera, because I recognized almost all of the people mentioned above LOL (the truth is that I have a teenager at home).

  21. Boca Condo King Says:

    Just wanted to share an experience I had with a recent arrival from Vz.

    Was eating lunch at a Boca Raton eatery next to a very well dressed very pretty woman. Six guys in matching red shirts and baseball caps walked in and started to talk with the staff.

    The woman started to shake a little bit and get very nervous, I asked her if she was OK. “Who are those people” she asked, looking at their shirts, I told her that they were from Five Guys hamburger chain picking up lunch. (Restaurant will often trade food with other outlets to provide variety for the staff who in many cases get a “shift meal”)

    Visibly relieved she informed me that she was from Vz and was worried that the same stuff happened in the USA.

    Unfortunately for me, she was way out of my league and my attempts to get her know better went no where.

  22. An Interested Observer Says:

    Roy, totally agree with you on Serkis. I was pleased to see him get a live action role in King Kong, and not just be the animatronic/video-captured/whatever-the-right-term-is form of the beast. He also had a great role in the movie version of Inkheart – which doesn’t live up to the book, but was entertaining nonetheless (and has another actor I really enjoy, Paul Bettany).

  23. Gringo Says:

    Love the anecdote on “you’ll know the Venezolanos by their shopping carts.”

    One time in the Galleria shopping mall in Houston, I overheard a pay phone conversation: “…verga…verga..” I thought to myself, “Sos Maracucho.”

    Going the other way, from US to Latin America, the food I missed the most was peanut butter, which I use with everything. The fruits and vegetables more than made up for the loss of peanut butter.

  24. An Interested Observer Says:

    firepigette, I totally understand the ideas of information overload, the lameness of celebrity gossip (I have no adjective for those devoted to it), and most certainly higher priorities, whatever they may be, than simply soaking up the info. I’m just surprised that, given the prevalence of headlines about all that rot, that you havena’t at least picked up some of the names by simply (as I do – nobody in my circle talks about it, either) reading the headlines. Seems like if you spend a certain amount of time online, it’s hard to miss. Though it might depend on which portal you use first. I often use Yahoo, and that has many more headlines than Google, for example.

    I’m finding it more and more amusing, as I think about it, to see Miguel behind InstantPulp in any way, shape or form…the devil is in the details, indeed! 😀

  25. Deanna Says:

    At the recommendation of my son, I saw a recent episode of The Good Wife (04/12/11) which portrays a lawsuit involved with the Venezuelan dictator Chavez, who just nationalized an oil company. Look it up in the internet.

    On my post above, those are the reasons I stay in Venezuela only 3 months a year, because I don’t think I can stand a longer stay!!!

  26. Deanna Says:

    I just got back from Venezuela and the first thing I did (at the Atlanta airport) was pig out on food that I could not get in Venezuela. It is true that I haven’t been able to get queso de mano (but sometimes it’s hard to get them in Venezuela also), but I don’t have to fake the arepa because I get harina Pan regularly at the local Trade Fair.

    A_Antonio, I live in NYC and I can get almost any cheese from all over the world, including American Cheddar, and from practically any good supermarket. The problem with Venezuela is not only the scarcity of food, but the lack of variety. And believe me, one does get tired of breakfasting on arepa and cheese everyday and I also love my bagels with cream cheese and English muffins.

    Miguel, while you have lost weight, I have gained it from eating too much good food.

  27. Roy Says:


    Well, certainly, I know who Lionel Richie is… Good singer; great performer. Gave us some classic recordings. Obviously, I didn’t make the connection, simply from the last name. But, what did his daughter do to merit celebrity status? I suppose she is simply famous for being on the A-listers’ party circuit. Wupdeedoo… Yawn…

    And of the other actors you mentioned, I only recognized Tim Curry, whom I remember principally for “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, and Andy Serkis who brilliantly brought Gollum of “The Lord of the Rings” to life. His portrayal of Smeagol, the corrupted Hobbit, not only matched my image of the character from my reading of the book, but added additional depth and nuance that my imagination had not.

  28. A_Antonio Says:

    The main problem is USA dot not have good cheeses. If you move to Spain, (OK, you make wet my mouth by only pronounce the Queso de Mano and Queso Guayanes). You make good friends by the offer here, and every country have their own original and special cheese. White soft Spanish cheese is ok for arepas, and the “Queso ahumado canario” is from heaven.

    I recommend look for import cheeses.

  29. firepigette Says:

    Here in NC we can get all of the Venezuela foods pretty much except aji dulce and the cheeses.The Mexicans( about half the town) sell all the root vegetables, harina pan, dulce de leche, de guayaba, parchitas and all the other fruits including tamarindo.


    There is SO much info available in this country and so much variation in taste and styles it would be impossible to keep up with it all.

    Right now I have had to retire, but I keep extremely busy caring for my 2 yr old grandson while my son is preparing for concerts and then there is my elderly mother, plus all the housework in a huge house and big wild yard, plus writing the biography of a Rimpoche, staying abreast of Venezuelan politics,reading books that I personally enjoy, keeping in touch up with all my friends and family in Venezuela, and the occasional movie is about all I can manage for now.

    “Lastima” because I am sure that there is much out there for me to learn and enjoy that I simply do not have time for.Howsomever,I googled that instant pulp stuff and saw that it is about celebrity gossip…..I despise that stuff.To me the worst aspect of US society is the corner called….”celebrities”…..and there are a growing number of us who feel the same way- I like to flatter myself and think that we are among the last bastions of simple sanity.

  30. Kepler Says:


    I have no problem whatsoever getting Harina Pan, the real one (made in Colombia, but exactly the same quality) in Belgium’s main cities, in the Netherlands and in Germany. You can get Harina Pan in Oslo, Norway.
    Here I usually go to my Chinese supermarket to get Harina Pan. There are also Pakistani shops galore where one can get that precious paquetito amarillo.

  31. An Interested Observer Says:

    Miguel, as I recall you are fairly talkative, but that’s not the same thing as outgoing. They often coincide, but not necessarily. Love the anecdote on “you’ll know the Venezolanos by their shopping carts.”

    I think I can understand somewhat how someone in Venezuela might avoid hearing about most of those people Roy mentioned (PD Roy, I’ll bet you’ve heard of Nicole Richie’s dad Lionel. He at least DID something to become famous.) But firepigette? How do you have Netflix and still not know any? I suggest you look up Isla Fisher. Her movies aren’t exactly Oscar material, but she’s a pretty good actress – she was the best thing about “Definitely, Maybe.” And I was just checking her filmography, and will definitely have to put “Burke & Hare” on my list – starring Simon Pegg, plus Tim Curry, Andy Serkis and Christopher Lee!

    Maybe chavistas would think Atlas Shrugged was as fictional as “Avatar.” In the “not just imagined, but could never, ever happen in our reality” category.

    I’d really like to hear Aristobulo talk about what the Ministry has done, rather than what it will (supposedly) do. But that dream has less to do with reality than “Avatar.”

  32. Antonio Says:

    The local mafioso from Kurdistan keeps both harina PAN and English muffins in his shop. He will even give me credit if I had the nerve to ask. But no queso de mano in northern Europe. You have to go to Mayorca for that (but don’t forget to take some fake arepas with you). Or go back to Venezuela, where you can get all three. Or just dream about it like I do.

  33. Juan Says:

    Miguel esta tienda de Texas te envia queso de mano, tequeños etc. Yo se que hay una en Florida pero se me olvida el nombre.

  34. firepigette Says:


    Rest up from the move and stay positive.As for Queso de Mano, i have never seen anything like it except in Westonzuela( Weston, Florida).What I miss most is aji dulce, which for me was indispensable and now where I live it is impossible to find.

    Roy, I got ya beat.I live in the US and have never heard of instantpulp nor of any of the characters mentioned.This is a big country will all types of people, and in my circle of family/ friends nobody has ever mentioned this stuff to me..I only watch a few minutes of news on TV, and for movies I download from NETFLIX.

    Island, That kind of water problem has been going on for the last 40 years in Venezuela.Nobody EVER cared.

    It is amazing and sad to me that people can even THINK about going
    on an entire week of vacation with the problems in Venezuela right now and then ever again open their mouths to blame anybody else for ANY of their problems.

    On thing I never got used to in Venezuela are the constant boring vacations everybody takes.I love to rest, and have fun but only in the context of also keeping up my responsibilities.I love a vacation just like the rest but not when my life demands something necessary.

    All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy, true, but All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy.

  35. island canuck Says:

    Your comment about the electricity “maintenance” really hit home.

    I’ve tried to explain to my Venezuelan wife that having lived many decades in Canada I can not remember the electricity ever being turned off for maintenance. Here in Margarita it’s a daily occurence.

    We now also have a water problem. A 72″ steel water pipe burst on the mainland & Margarita has no water. Can someone explain how syuch a pipe would burst?

    I bet that there has been no maintenance on it.

    There is an above ground major supply pipe on the 31 de Junio between El Tirano & Playa El Agua that is so rusty the you could probably put your finger through it. Each week new leaks appear & HidroCaribe generally takes weeks to repair them.

    There is a broken line on our residential area that has been pumping water down the street for 6 weeks now. We have called HidroCaribe 3 times. They take a report & then nothing happens.

    It’s like living in Bizaro land.

  36. Ira Says:

    Miguel, I think you mean that Chavez would think “Atlas Shrugged” is non-fiction.

  37. Ira Says:

    Is Queso de Mano the same as Queso Blanco? My wife’s not here for me to ask, but she’s never been able to find Queso Banco like they have in VZ.

    The food I miss most from VZ are langostinos enchilada, and shucked oysters on the beach at Macuto,

  38. Roy Says:

    You guys miss arepas, but here in Venezuela, I would kill for some English muffins and bagels. I have tried making both, but my results haven’t been completely satisfactory.

  39. HalfEmpty Says:

    I think its missing mouse piss or something!

    That’s not funny, that’s SICK!
    Why did I laugh so?

  40. Roger Says:

    Fake an Arepa. I have been doing that since Walmart stopped carrying Harina PAN made in Venezuela a few years ago. Red’s masa from the health food store is close. But, a few weeks ago I found some at the Mexican store down the street that is made in Colombia. First thing I noticed was the taste was different good but different. I think its missing mouse piss or something! I went back Sunday and they were all sold out of the Blanco so I had to settle for yellow. That also tells me a lot more people from SA are moving in.
    I saw nice orchids in the mountians of Puerto Rico when I was there.

  41. moctavio Says:

    It’s a long story, I invested in a technology used to make that site, I am really not interested, butvI am in other apps.

  42. Roy Says:


    Glad to see you are getting caught up on living. But, really… Instantpulp? Really??? Maybe it is because I have been out of the U.S. so long, but I am clueless about most of the people and things referenced in that site. To wit… just going down the headlines on that site…

    Khloe Kardashian: I know she is some sort of celebrity, but for what, I am not sure.

    Demi Lovato: Never heard of her.

    Vanessa Hudgens: I remember something about nude photos of her, and she is, or was, an actress. Beyond that, nothing…

    Nichole Richie: Heard the name, but can’t place from what.

    Kate Bosworth: Never heard of her.

    Prince Harry: Well, of course… I don’t live in a cave!

    Isla Fisher: Not a clue…

    Kara DioGuardi: Nope, her either…

    ‘Mob Wives’ Star Renee Graziano: Never heard of her or the show.

    Charlie Sheen: Heard way more about him, recently, then I really wanted to know.

    Lauren Graham: Not a clue…

    Etc., etc…

    Now, how can someone who just arrived in the U.S. have enough interest to bother with such a site?

  43. julicarbonell Says:

    Dear MiguelLOL with your fake arepas. Take care

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