Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The little things that changed.

Today I was running a few errands and took a couple pics with my iphone.

This one is yet another one of those analogies of what happened to our country since the economic collapse of 2001.
Iron storm drains get stolen to be sold as scrap metal. Instead of replacing them with iron storm drains, they just hammer a few pieces of hard wood into place. Of course many parts don’t even have sewer systems, so this is done in the good parts of the suburbs where a) there’s a sewer system to begin with b) they at least bother to place the pieces of hard wood, probably Quebracho.
It’s a good example because it represents the decay we’ve been going through. Its not as if they didn’t fix it at all. They half heartedly do something about it when there’s no other choice, but doing it poorly. Perfect analogy of the world not ending, just getting worse than the one we once knew.

As I took the bus, I was surprised to find that now even this is subsidized. The price of the bus ticket has doubled since 2001, but still you get told that the ticket is “subsidized by the national state”. Our power and natural gas bills have similar writing. It’s a way of saying, “look the government is good and is paying for your expenses”. Most people are stupid enough to actually believe that.

After that I went to the supermarket and bought some groceries. Ended up paying 1300 pesos about (350 USD) for a shopping cart full of groceries. Nothing fancy just food, toiletries, diapers and cleaning products. As I paid I remembered a time not that long ago and told the lady at the register “ You know, I remember a time when you could pay for a full shopping cart with…” . “A hundred pesos” she said. “ Not that long ago (before 2001) a full shopping cart cost a hundred pesos”. She stole my words “Yes, exactly. Oh well, have a nice day”.
Its crazy to see what you end up getting used to.



Cycling In Hollywood said...

please take more pics Ferfal, it really helps fill in the whole picture of the situations you write about

Anonymous said...

I bet you did not see that in Texas... but glad your i phone worked.
Cycling follow ferfals basic survival tools I don't want hin risking hinself for crap. You go risk your life to get the story!
Ferfal has enough going on already.
Blow this guy off if he wants the story he'll get it. You need to be safe

Yulek said...

In Poland we solved the problem of stealing iron storm drains (and other iron caps) by replacing them with ones made of steel reinforced concrete - works as well, and not worth the effort (in remote sections of citeis it's good to have a working flash light at night, you never know whem some cretin stole the cap, and getting killed by falling into the storm drain or other hole in a street is rather dumb way of ending your mere existence)

Julia said...

We have such problems outside of Chicago (far SW suburbs) at times. They do replace them and keep an eye out for it. Told to me by someone in the know...

Julia said...

Ferfal - On the right side of the blog, are these supposed to be links?

Got to have water: SIGG Stainless Steel
Emergency blankets. I Have several of these around.
Moleskine, the ultimate little black cover notebook :)

In firefox, they are just bolded phrases, no links.

Pom pom pom said...

You pay your (subsidized) bus ticket in dollars in Argentina?

FerFAL said...

That's pesos but yes, we have to pay for something that is supposedly subisidized. ELectric power and gas, they are also subsidized but the amount you pay none the less is more expensive than in USA.

Julia, yes, they are supposed to be adds, dont knwo what went wrong.


Anonymous said...

Well, they're stealing the copper plumbing and wiring from foreclosed and abandoned homes here in the U.S., as well as old copper gutters from churches. Lots of bronze memorial plaques have been taken and sold for scrap, also.

Bob Dylan wrote in a song years ago "the pumps don't work because the vandals stole the handles." I always think of that as the epitaph for western civilization.


Anonymous said...

I have lived, worked, and played in Detroit. Every time I read one of your accounts, I start remembering stuff about Detroit. For example, thieves stealing manholes...