This story is more a translation than my own narrative. It happened by accident and at the last minute, like most things that are written in the stars. I was halfway done with my fictional story when I needed some source of inspiration and I wanted to find out more about what it’s like to be living in Venezuela right now.

So, I reached out to two Venezuelans I know and asked them if they could, please, tell me their real life story about what it’s like to live in Venezuela, right now, as a senior citizen. I thought about seniors for the following reasons:

1. They have seen Venezuela through the decades, at least 2 generations.

2. It was their time to enjoy life and retire and it has been taken away from them.

3. They are among the most fragile and helpless and they have more medical needs.

4. They have to live off a retirement pension.

5. They have more time to write and lots of wisdom.

Gladly, they both accepted and what happened next was the key factor in causing me to drop my story and deciding to be just the translator. I found out that they are 2 separate individuals with the same real-life story and the same observations.

One person is a man, 62, and the other is a woman, 65. He lives in San Cristobal, Venezuela, and she recently immigrated to Spain. They are two strangers who have gone through different experiences and they are telling me the same story, bringing up the same aspects and even using the same words.

That’s when I felt the moral obligation to just step back and be the translator. I wanted to be the channel and let them be the voice that paints us the picture of what is currently happening in Venezuela. The story of millions of Venezuelans who have fled, even by foot, walking around the border for weeks; hungry, thirsty, under the burning sun, with their worn-out soles and their bruised souls. It is not that they wanted to, it’s that they didn’t have a choice.

The following two real life stories will tell you what it’s like to be in Venezuela right now, a country once rich and now in the midst of misery, chaos and starvation, under an inhumane regime, evil and dictatorial, that is killing its people slowly, but surely. Let me introduce you now to Pedro Saavedra’s and Elizabeth Viva’s stories.

(...to be continued…)

In the Middle – An International Transposition (Fiction)

Introduction to In the Middle – An International Transposition, edited by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey

January: Forgetting – Turkey, by Seyit Ali Dastan

February: The Unreal in Real – Armenia, by Armine Asryan

March: Catching Water – Argentina, by Javier Gómez

April: Unwanted – South Africa, by Toni Wallis

May: House with a Stucco Ship – Ukraine, by Gennady Bondarenko

June: A Girl Pedaling – Cuba, by Marilin Guerrero Casas

July: The Last Day – Poland, by Pawel Awdejuk

August: Through my Hands – Venezuela, by Veronica Cordido

September: Amelia’s Euphemism – Spain, by Jonay Quintero Hernández

October: Until Love Do Us Part – Uruguay, by Alejandra Baccino

November: A Journey to the Edge – Lebanon, by Rayan Harake

December: I Used to Smoke – Russia, by Kate Korneeva

Background – Context

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

More work by Veronica Cordido

The Crib of Uncertainty – Veronica Cordido (transposing emblem)

Instability, A Stable Reality – Veronica Cordido (transposing emblem)

Hanging by Extremes – Veronica Cordido (transposing emblem)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Cover photo: Valencia, Venezuela – The apocalypse – Francisco Dania (Shutterstock)

Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

Transposing emblem by Veronica Cordido

The people of Venezuela are divided into two political groups – Chavismo and the opposition. There has been extreme violence with riots in multiple parts of the country where over 100 people have died so far in protests. Students throw stones and Molotov cocktails as the army shoots rubber bullets, and sometimes real bullets, aimed point black at the heads and faces of the first line of protesters. Some have been run over by tanks and others have almost lost their lives from the force of water cannons. News of all this has circled the world through pictures, and it is just a typical day, nowadays, in the capital of Caracas.

And then there is extreme criminality as well, so extreme, that it’s common for armed motorcyclists to rob cars adjacent to them as you wait at a traffic light. Most people look away and let the robbery happen. It has become so common and so dangerous that we feel helpless. And what about the police? They might not want to get involved either. Criminals are better trained and armed than cops are and in some cases they are even neighbors who “run” the same block.

As if all this is not enough, we have extreme corruption, an extremely dysfunctional economy, extreme hyperinflation, extreme shortages of food and medicine, extreme poverty, extreme suffering, extreme chaos and, as never before, even extremist Islamic groups like Hezbollah.

There have been 173 official cases where it has been determined that Venezuela, a country that is not able to issue passports to its own people due to lack of supplies and working equipment, has issued Venezuelan documentation to people with ties to Islamic extremists to travel to other countries with Venezuelan documents.

In addition, Venezuelans have been exposed to an extreme socio-economic meltdown over the last few years. Middle-class families have disappeared; they have become part of the colossal impoverishment of the country and have no access to foreign currencies, while upper-class families have grown richer from doing business in a foreign currency, especially in dollars and euros.

There have been many people who, in order to avoid extreme poverty, have decided to “traffic” food and other scarce items and sell them on the black market at “scalpers” prices. It is illegal for anyone except the government to sell “regulated” products, which are those products distributed only by the government and at controlled prices and quantities due to their scarcity.

There is also a marked division between the opposition and supporters of the regime. The food basket that the government gives out to the people can only be obtained by holders of a special card called: “Carnet de la Patria,” which is only given to Chavistas and Maduristas who then are forced to vote for the regime and do lots of pro-government things such as marching, protesting and wearing their symbols and apparel. If not? The government threatens, the government punishes, the government sets up and imprisons.

When it comes to the economy, hyperinflation reached one million percent this year according to Forbes. Most Venezuelans now live way below the poverty line, and I would even say that many are living way below that, they are living in postwar conditions.

Why do I say that? Because the official state of being in poverty does cover meals, meaning, you are probably able to semi-afford food, a one dollar meal perhaps? In Venezuela, however, there is no food, and the food you can find, is sold at dollar prices and only the lucky Venezuelan who is able to make $10 a month, definitively not what you earn under the minimum wage, can afford this food.

That has forced thousands of Venezuelans to flee the country, even by foot, walking weeks and weeks to reach neighboring countries, some even dying on the way to get there. And what about those who stay behind? Many are eating out of trash cans when they eat. Others are fainting and giving up their kids since they are unable to feed them. The situation is really extreme. They don’t give up their kids because they don’t love them enough; they give up their kids because they love them too much to witness their death.

Even when it comes to migrating, Venezuela shows its extremes. There are people who have profited from all the scarcity the country faces and have migrated under investor visas while the majority of their fellow Venezuelans must suffer and work illegally, doing what no one wants to do and getting paid what no one would consider enough, only to be able to stay afloat and help those they left behind.

The situation in Venezuela has gotten so extreme that, especially in Caracas, many of the massive, dangerous riots take place in areas neighboring some of Caracas’s major clinics, which more than once have had to raise their “Red Cross flags” to signal a neutral zone and protect their patients from getting bombarded by tear gas and bullets, an act that has not stopped the ongoing bombardment nonetheless. If the government doesn’t stop it, who will?

And perhaps the best example to illustrate the extreme crisis nowadays in Venezuela is the number of kids and adults that lose their lives due to the national emergency in the area of healthcare because of the shortage and even complete lack of hospital supplies and pharmaceutical drugs.

Doctors in Venezuela are heroes and warriors, they operate with the assistance of cellphone flashlights during the constant, countless blackouts that clinics and hospitals experience every day, and they even get jailed and beaten up by government officials when they stand up for their rights and the rights of their patients in the countless protests that take place in the country.

They see people die who they could have easily saved with the help of antibiotics or a catheter, and they are struggling to survive hyperinflation like everyone else since they don’t make any more money than the police officers, the waiters or the bank tellers. They are always hanging by the thread of all the extremes that make Venezuela one of the best examples of the worst type of policy that there is and ever will be. 

            It’s like living in an apocalypse or the outcome of a successful New World Order agenda to diminish the population, as Venezuelans are dying silently and slowly. Venezuelan politicians are murderers. It isn’t the 100+ who have died in protests, it’s the many mothers who have lost their children to a high fever turning into meningitis due to a lack of medicine or the grandparents who have died because they could no longer find or afford their medication. And the list goes on, and on, as we hang by extremes.

by Pawel Awdejuk

“Just keep rubbing it in, you jerk,” replied Ania, with an ironic smile.

“Gladly!” – I laughed. “One of the main reasons I quit is that the Company is symptomatic of everything I’m talking about. There’s no honor in the place. No desire to do the best job possible. The clients are lied to on a regular basis. These aren’t just occasional incidents – it’s a standard. We lie in reports, during teleconferences, in root cause analysis after quality complaints. Falsehood is woven into the whole process – starting with false and unachievable promises made at the start of the project, continuing in fictional actions at particular steps and ending with fake quality control and complaint handling at the end. Top that with management based on politics, manipulation, backstabbing and micromanagement and you have a perfect picture of the company. Even the international standards are phony. The firm prides itself on being compliant with three different ISO standards? What’s the point of being compliant if we’re the ones who pay the auditors? Of course, they will give us a certificate every year – they don’t want to lose a client. And the sad part is, the company isn’t an exception. These are very common business practices – and it’s a small-scale model of our country’s government and politics in general.

No honesty, no clear rules, no honor.”

“Well, it doesn’t look that bad from my point of view, but I can see why you feel this way,” said Anka, swirling tea in her cup. By that time it had probably become totally cold.

“And finally we come to the third part of our national slogan, our ‘beloved’ Homeland,” – I barked, with an ironic emphasis. “Well, where is the love for our country? Poland has become a hive of xenophobia and nationalism. We fear the Germans, Russians, Jews, Muslims. We won’t let people from war-torn countries come to us because ‘maybe’ they’re terrorists. Is this really what ‘patriotism’ should mean? Being aggressive towards other countries? We show our ‘love’ by holding on to past resentment. We’re not able to forgive and forget. We stick to what Russia did to us, what Germany did to us, how Great Britain and France didn’t help us.

And we stick even harder to old myths of a Great Poland from the sixteenth or seventeenth century. Dusty romantic tales of how our country was the Bulwark of Christianity, the Christ of Nations – a martyr suffering for others. Or the belief that Polish noblemen came from the Sarmats, who – even if it was true, which it wasn’t – for some unknown reason were so cool, we should be proud of it. The model modern Polish patriot is a person full of hate and fear of other nations and beliefs with a head stuck in old myths.

And our politicians do nothing to change it. On the contrary, they fuel these resentments and wishful thinking. They throw the words ‘homeland, independence, freedom’ around to convince us to vote for them, but their later actions show they actually don’t give a damn about the Homeland they represent. They don’t want freedom, they want control. They don’t want a unified society, they want to divide and conquer for their own political gain. The party leaders don’t look for understanding. They sic their voters on each other. They ignore or fight their opposition instead of listening to criticism and searching for solutions.

Even on the most basic level of taking care of our country we fail – we throw the trash into forests and burn all our toxic junk in our furnace, just to save on wood, coal and waste bills. We cut our woods and poison our cities with smoke. What kind of love for the country is that?

‘God, Honor, Homeland’ has no meaning anymore – if it ever had. It has been replaced by ‘Church, Contract, Party’. And priests, businessman and politicians lead us, hand in hand, towards a catastrophe – like the blind men in Peter Breugel’s painting.”

Anka sat in silence for a long time, just looking at me and playing with her hair. A little smile was lingering in the corner of her lips and I could see a mischievous spark in her eyes. Finally, she sat closer, looked me straight in the eye and said:

“You know what? You could make a decent politician yourself. You certainly have a talent for long, convoluted speeches, my friend. Maybe this is the road you should take?”

“No freaking way!” – I objected instantly. “In my opinion, politics is the least honorable of legal professions. Even if someone starts playing this game with honest intentions, they soon sink in the swamp of intrigue, collusion, lies and shadow play. I would have to be a total głupek to willingly walk into that den of lions.”

“Ok, tough guy,” she said, winking at me. “So now you’re totally free. No corporation’s leash on your neck. No rules, no gods, no masters. What will you do with that freedom?”

“Whatever I want!” I shouted with a wide smile on my face. “That’s the best part. I don’t have to stick to the management’s ‘visions’. I don’t need to ask for permission. I can have as much vacation as I want, provided I have enough money to live on. As the old Polish song says: ‘Niech żyje wolność, wolność i swoboda!’1

I think, first and foremost, I’ll be a translator. I have some experience in this field and I like it. But I’ve also always wanted to be a writer. Who knows, maybe I’ll even write a story about the current situation in Podlasie? I like to travel, so I could also be a tour guide. Or even a musician. The possibilities are almost endless!

But whatever I choose, I’m done with office politics. This is my last day as an office worker. And tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life.

Time to do things my way…”

Notes

1. Long live freedom, freedom and liberty!

In the Middle – An International Transposition (Fiction)

Introduction to In the Middle – An International Transposition, edited by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey

January: Forgetting – Turkey, by Seyit Ali Dastan

February: The Unreal in Real – Armenia, by Armine Asryan

March: Catching Water – Argentina, by Javier Gómez

April: Unwanted – South Africa, by Toni Wallis

May: House with a Stucco Ship – Ukraine, by Gennady Bondarenko

June: A Girl Pedaling – Cuba, by Marilin Guerrero Casas

July: The Last Day – Poland, by Pawel Awdejuk

August: Through my Hands – Venezuela, by Veronica Cordido

September: Amelia’s Euphemism – Spain, by Jonay Quintero Hernández

October: Until Love Do Us Part – Uruguay, by Alejandra Baccino

November: A Journey to the Edge – Lebanon, by Rayan Harake

December: I Used to Smoke – Russia, by Kate Korneeva

Background – Context

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

More work by Pawel Awdejuk

Niepewność – The Road to Freedom – Pawel Awdejuk

Pole-arization – Pawel Awdejuk

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Cover photo: Warsaw, Poland – Through a large square – andrzej bochenski (Shutterstock)

Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

by Pawel Awdejuk

“Well, what can you do?” – she sighed. “That is how this world works.”

“No, it doesn’t,” I muttered. “This world doesn’t work like that. Animals don’t need thick volumes of laws, complex hierarchy, promotions and demotions. Our human world does because we let it. We’re taught to listen to authority, but not to think for ourselves and take responsibility for our actions. We’re taught religion, but not ethics. At every step we are to believe that there is a higher power, who knows better, who can tell us how we should think, act and live our lives.

What can we do? We can think! Think for ourselves. Analyze. Check the sources. Stop blindly believing what bosses, politicians and the media tell us.

Just look at the state of our country at the moment. We celebrate a hundred years of independence this year. But, are we really independent? Or do we simply switch our overlords from time to time? In 1918 we gained freedom from Russia, Austria and Prussia after the Partitions Era. And we had it for twenty years. Then, there was World War II and later we came back under the Russian shoe. In 1989 we got free again – or so they tell us. Because, for a free country, the influence the United States and the European Union have over us is surprisingly big.”

“Hold your horses, Jędrek!” she shouted, laughing. “You’re getting terribly worked up about this. We still have the constitution – and it was the first one created in Europe. We have free elections, free speech, freedom of faith, free courts. Poland is not an authoritarian state.”

“Are you sure we do, Ania?” – I looked at her closely. “You know how the issue of our supreme court was handled. And as for the other freedoms and values our country should represent, I also wouldn’t be so sure.

Think about it. One of the most popular Polish slogans is ‘Bóg, Honor, Ojczyzna’ – ‘God, Honor, Homeland’. But where is God in our modern world? Most of the people don’t study the Bible anymore. They don’t ask questions. They don’t compare scriptures of the Holy Book to teachings of the Church. They just listen to what the priests tell them. And the priests have turned most of what the Bible teaches topsy-turvy. They became politicians and businessmen, not the people of faith. We are supposed to believe in one God, yet we have hundreds of smaller gods, we call saints. We are supposed to reject idolatry, yet we surround ourselves with ‘holy’ images and statues. We shouldn’t use God’s name in vain, yet we do hideous things in His name: we kill, we wage wars, we steal and cheat and treat it as justified because someone told us it was done in the name of God. Often done against members of other faiths. Yes, you’re free to have a faith, but if it isn’t a Catholic one, you’re basically a second-class citizen.

“I disagree.” said Anka defiantly. “Look how many Orthodox churches are there in Białystok. There are even some mosques and synagogues in our region. Podlasie is called a melting pot of cultures!”

“Yeah.” – I smirked mockingly. “It is also called one of the most nationalistic regions in our country. Interesting contrast, don’t you think? Just look at the comments under internet articles regarding Jews, Muslims and Orthodox Church members. Look at all the news of devastation, swastika symbols, right-wing demonstrations. Podlasie indeed is a pot of cultures, but they don’t mix very well.”

“Ok, I guess you’re right,” – she sighed with resignation.

“Let’s get back to our great slogan. Where is honor in modern Poland? Lying is considered normal. Promising something on a ‘word of honor’ means nothing anymore. You need to sign an agreement and write down all the possible issues, so the other party won’t cheat you. And if you are cheated, people often don’t see you as a victim, but as a sucker, who wasn’t careful enough. Look at our company. Or rather ‘your company’, I’m not a part of it anymore.” – I added with a grin.

(…to be continued…)

In the Middle – An International Transposition (Fiction)

Introduction to In the Middle – An International Transposition, edited by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey

January: Forgetting – Turkey, by Seyit Ali Dastan

February: The Unreal in Real – Armenia, by Armine Asryan

March: Catching Water – Argentina, by Javier Gómez

April: Unwanted – South Africa, by Toni Wallis

May: House with a Stucco Ship – Ukraine, by Gennady Bondarenko

June: A Girl Pedaling – Cuba, by Marilin Guerrero Casas

July: The Last Day – Poland, by Pawel Awdejuk

August: Through my Hands – Venezuela, by Veronica Cordido

September: Amelia’s Euphemism – Spain, by Jonay Quintero Hernández

October: Until Love Do Us Part – Uruguay, by Alejandra Baccino

November: A Journey to the Edge – Lebanon, by Rayan Harake

December: I Used to Smoke – Russia, by Kate Korneeva

Background – Context

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

More work by Pawel Awdejuk

Niepewność – The Road to Freedom – Pawel Awdejuk

Pole-arization – Pawel Awdejuk

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Cover photo: Torun, Poland – Into the phone – Krzysztof Pazdalski (Shutterstock)

Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

by Pawel Awdejuk

I finished my beer and waved for the waiter to bring me another.

“Yes, but you’re a special case. I don’t know a single person in the company who doesn’t like you. Yet think about other managers and employees who have departed in recent months. And think of the reasons they quit or were sacked. It is always connected to him, one way or another.”

She took a sip of tea and held it in her mouth for a moment.

“I don’t think I’m that special. But you said so yourself – it’s similar in other companies.”

“It is,” – I nodded, “but it doesn’t have to be. We are too obedient, too accustomed to the fact that we have some kind of boss, who will tell us what to do – a manager, a parent, a teacher, a priest. That we don’t have to think for ourselves – someone ‘important’ will do it for us.

Have you heard about Milgram’s Experiment?”

“Yes,” she said, frowning to recall the details. “Milgram was an American psychologist, who performed a series of experiments on the influence of authority. Officially, the research he performed was about the influence of pain on the ability to remember. One participant was a ‘student’ trying to remember pairs of words. The other one was a ‘teacher’ dictating the words and sending electric shocks, if the ‘student’ made a mistake. And there was also a laboratory ‘official’ assisting the ‘teacher’. In reality ‘the teacher’ was the actual subject of the experiment. The ‘student’ and the official were actors, each playing a role: the ‘official’s’ job was to motivate the ‘teacher’ to zap the ‘student’ with increasing voltages, and the ‘student’ had to pretend he’s in pain. The machine sending the electric impulses had 30 knobs, starting with 15 V and ending with a deadly 450 V. For every mistake the ‘student’ made, the ‘teacher’ had to switch to another knob – each with higher voltage. If the ‘teacher’ had any scruples, the ‘official’ was there to remind him that it was important to continue the experiment. That’s all he could do. He couldn’t yell at the ‘teacher’, he couldn’t threaten, or hit him. He could just calmly remind the real subject of the experiment that he had to continue. The real question was: how many of the ‘teachers’ would be ready to send the deadly shock under the influence of authority? How many will switch the final knob and ‘kill’ the ‘student’, just because a guy in a lab coat told them it was necessary? Milgram and his colleagues thought it would be about 2-3% of the participant group. The result was a shocking 65%.”

For the whole time she was talking I just sat there stupefied.

“Damn, girl! I’m impressed! You know a lot!” I said finally.

Anka burst out laughing.

“Yeah, I guess I do.”

I took a long sip of beer to clear my throat, then I continued:

“You’re exactly right. Over 60% of the participants in the experiment ‘killed’ a man just because someone ‘important’ told them they should. And you know what? Last year that experiment was repeated in Wrocław. Do you know, what the results were when it was done on modern Poles? Over 80%! Doesn’t that ring a bell? We’re surrounded by ‘important’ people we believe have the right to tell us what we should do. We’re bred this way from infancy. We should listen to our parents and do what they tell us. No discussions, no doubts, or we will be considered ‘naughty’. Then we should listen to our teachers. No free thinking, no independent interpretation, no searching the sources, just stick with the program and memorize ‘facts’. Or you won’t get a promotion. And then we find a job and are expected to blindly listen to our bosses and believe they are always right. No matter how stupid, immoral or plain wrong their decisions are, we have to accept them.”

(…to be continued…)

In the Middle – An International Transposition (Fiction)

Introduction to In the Middle – An International Transposition, edited by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey

January: Forgetting – Turkey, by Seyit Ali Dastan

February: The Unreal in Real – Armenia, by Armine Asryan

March: Catching Water – Argentina, by Javier Gómez

April: Unwanted – South Africa, by Toni Wallis

May: House with a Stucco Ship – Ukraine, by Gennady Bondarenko

June: A Girl Pedaling – Cuba, by Marilin Guerrero Casas

July: The Last Day – Poland, by Pawel Awdejuk

August: Through my Hands – Venezuela, by Veronica Cordido

September: Amelia’s Euphemism – Spain, by Jonay Quintero Hernández

October: Until Love Do Us Part – Uruguay, by Alejandra Baccino

November: A Journey to the Edge – Lebanon, by Rayan Harake

December: I Used to Smoke – Russia, by Kate Korneeva

Background – Context

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

More work by Pawel Awdejuk

Niepewność – The Road to Freedom – Pawel Awdejuk

Pole-arization – Pawel Awdejuk

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Cover photo: Wroclaw, Poland – Olawska street – Lidia Muhamadeeva (Shutterstock)

Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

by Pawel Awdejuk

It was my last day. Sitting in the pub over a glass of Żubr beer and an unfinished plate of babka ziemniaczana I was looking through the window facing the main gate of Branicki’s Palace. City workers were mounting flags on the lampposts for the coming Labor Day. The spring was working overtime with trees and flowers blooming and birds chirping their throats off. My last day was sunny and happy, as it should be.

Even though it was Friday, the pub was almost empty. Probably because there were no big soccer matches on TV. Poles love their matches… I liked the place. Wooden furnishings, marine accessories, the steady rhythm of shanties flowing from the speakers. And the selection of regional food from Podlasie: babka and kiszka ziemniaczana, kartacze, pierogi. As well as the best beer snack there is: smalczyk – a slice of bread spread with a thick layer of lard mixed with greaves.

I was having another sip of beer, when a familiar voice sounded right by my ear:

“May I join you?”

I smiled and said:

“Come on, Anka. You know, you’re always welcome. Would you like something to eat? A drink, maybe?”

She sat next to me and shook her head.

“No, thanks. I’m not hungry. And I’m driving, so I can’t drink.”

Anka Wróbel. The only person in the company I truly trusted. Intelligent, experienced, compassionate and competent. Also, quite good looking with her model figure, cute face, innocent smile and those magical, jade eyes. She didn’t fit in our rotten corporation at all.

“How about a tea, then?” – I tried again. “They have quite a good selection here.”

“Sure, tea would be great.”

I’d chosen a small table, and in her company this meeting became almost… romantic.

“So, it’s your last day, huh?” she asked.

“Yup.” – I nodded in response.

Suddenly, she grew serious.

“Are you sure you’re doing the right thing? Your situation in the company wasn’t that bad. You had a good position, respect and the money was pretty good for Białystok.”

I quickly raised my hand.

“Let me stop you right there, skarbie. I don’t want my wage to be ‘good enough for Białystok’. We’re one of the poorest regions in Poland! Earning ‘quite good money for a beggar’ somehow doesn’t fulfill my life’s ambitions. This is a justification our bosses use and one of the reasons I quit. ‘You know, this isn’t Silesia. The money is quite good for this region’. Been there, heard that. And somehow they manage to pay themselves much more – despite the region. It’s not the Middle Ages anymore. I don’t have to be bound by region. The internet lets me find jobs paying much more than Białystok’s average.”

She considered my words for a moment, playing with a lock of her blond hair.

“Ok, you’re right. But doesn’t it scare you? You’re dropping everything and starting your own business in a brand new field. And you have a mortgage to pay…”

I took another sip of beer. It slowly started to become a bit stale. Dojlidy Brewery didn’t make their beers as they used to.

“Of course, I’m afraid. I’m wetting my pants here! But fear is like a crazed horse you ride. You can either let it dominate you and carry you wherever it pleases, or you can take control of it and use its energy to go wherever you choose. And you’re right, I do have a mortgage to pay. But I don’t necessarily have to pay it using the company’s money. It’s not the only employer in town and I’m not bound by working for any company at all. Doesn’t the cult of personality in the firm bother you? The CEO is basically a god. You’re not allowed to disagree with him, you’re not allowed to criticize him. Everything has to be done as he wishes, no matter how stupid it is. It’s not my first company and I’ve seen similar situations in other ones, but not on such a scale. You basically either agree with The Big Guy, or you’re his enemy.”

She smiled, and the whole room got a bit brighter with that drop of graciousness.

“Andrzej, don’t you think you’re exaggerating a bit? It’s not that bad. I’m a mid-level manager myself and I’ve disagreed with him many times. Yet, I still work there.”

(…to be continued…)

In the Middle – An International Transposition (Fiction)

Introduction to In the Middle – An International Transposition, edited by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey

January: Forgetting – Turkey, by Seyit Ali Dastan

February: The Unreal in Real – Armenia, by Armine Asryan

March: Catching Water – Argentina, by Javier Gómez

April: Unwanted – South Africa, by Toni Wallis

May: House with a Stucco Ship – Ukraine, by Gennady Bondarenko

June: A Girl Pedaling – Cuba, by Marilin Guerrero Casas

July: The Last Day – Poland, by Pawel Awdejuk

August: Through my Hands – Venezuela, by Veronica Cordido

September: Amelia’s Euphemism – Spain, by Jonay Quintero Hernández

October: Until Love Do Us Part – Uruguay, by Alejandra Baccino

November: A Journey to the Edge – Lebanon, by Rayan Harake

December: I Used to Smoke – Russia, by Kate Korneeva

Background – Context

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

More work by Pawel Awdejuk

Niepewność – The Road to Freedom – Pawel Awdejuk

Pole-arization – Pawel Awdejuk

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Cover photo: Bialystok, Poland – Evening – Jevgenijs Nikitins (Shutterstock)

Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

I finally made up my mind and found a nice affordable place to live. It’s been a few months and business is not going badly. In the morning I go to work. And in the afternoon, I teach English at home. I have a grupo of five estudiantes who are really eager to learn the language and somehow I’m motivada by this experiencia. I’m aware I’m not making big money but it’s enough to pay the renta and buy some food. My parents didn’t agree with my decisión at first because just like my girlfriends predicted, my boyfriend didn’t move in with me. He comes to see me almost every day but I don’t have the kind of económico and emocional support I need. I feel that our relationship is lacking something. Anyway, here I am, struggling to find a balance between what we both want.

Working in the Centro de Convenciones has been quite an experiencia. I really like the place and everyone around me is kind. I’ve been involved in many eventos internacionales that are carried out in the institución. Therefore, though I don’t earn much money while working for the gobierno, I enjoy what I do and I gain more practical experiencia in this field. And if someday I get the chance to live abroad I will be preparade to work as a traductora.

Carol is still confused about quitting her job. “What would you do if you were me?” – she asks relentlessly, seeking everyone’s opiniones when she already knows the answer. Of course, she has more posibilidades to thrive in the U.S. as a doctor because here salarios are embarrassing compared to other countries. But then there’s her familia, friends, all the people she’s leaving behind. Decisions are always hard to make and they usually have far-reaching implicaciones.

Tony still lives with his mom. He works as an English teacher at the universidad of Camaguey and he also tutors estudiantes at home. On weekends, his lovely child, whom I adore, comes to visit him. So most of the time he is busy and I am understanding enough to realize that children require a lot atención and love. He’s always been a great father. That I’m sure, and that’s exactly one of the things that made me fall for him in the first place. He is also pretty smart and he’s got a lot of technological savvy. His brother studied computer science in Havana city and has taught him a lot. So I can say they are both computer wizards. He’s been involved for months in this nonstop search for job offers abroad because he has always wanted to leave our country. And somehow I understand him. Today, most Cuban people, especialmente the young, are looking forward to travelling and settling in a country where there are better oportunidades for them and their familias. But it’s hard for me to know that I’m not part of his life proyecto. So “what am I doing with a guy like this? I have plenty of virtues.” I keep repeating to myself while I’m trying to have a real conversación with my brain without my heart interrupting us. “Look at you, Pat, you obviously deserve better,” my girlfriends tell me time and again. But it seems I can’t find the strength to end the whole thing. I’m not afraid of being alone, that I’m sure. I’m just in love. And from time to time, I get to hear his impredecible “I love you,” which takes me by sorpresa and changes my mind once again.

Today I wake up feeling strange. For days I’ve felt this swelling under my armpit. At first, I thought I was getting fat but my neck is now swollen too. My madre is worried so we went naively to see my uncle who is a doctor. His reaction got on my mom’s nerves. Obviamente, my uncle wasn’t kidding. The next day I went to the hospital and they ran several medical tests. I stayed there for a week. Everyone in my familia was concerned about my health. I didn’t realize how serious the situación was until my uncle told me they have to perform a biopsia. Everybody came to see me in the hospital that day: my boyfriend, girlfriends, familia, neighbors, coworkers, old high school acquaintances. It was kind of rewarding knowing that a lot of people care about me. The cirugía went well but I still don’t get what I’m going through. I may clearly have something bad. The atmosphere is really tense and despite the usual smile on my face, I begin to feel frightened. Tony has been very supportive these days. I believe he really cares about me. He has come to the hospital every night to see me and I’m pretty sure he’s done some research. But he doesn’t want to talk about it. He just keeps showing this rarely genuine afecto for me. So “what is happening to me? Am I this sick?” The test results will be available in a month or so. I’m quite desesperada right now. I just heard some medical students talking about something called linfoma in the hospital.’’ What is that?’’ I have to find out pretty soon.

Life is like a roller coaster indeed. One day you are enjoying the ride and the next you are screaming. But I remember somebody telling me once that we have to embrace the storms in our life and learn to dance in the rain. I just feel sorry for my parents, my beautiful sister, my familia, friends, boyfriend, and all the people I love. The next few months are going to be really hard. My mom can’t stop crying and wishing this never happened. But I know she’s strong enough to handle the situación. I am too. I come from a familia of fighters so I’m not going to give up so easily. I’m just 25 years old, for God’s sake. There’s a long road ahead of me. So I’m going to keep riding my bicicleta and enjoying every minuto of the whole trip. Don’t you think?

In the Middle – An International Transposition (Fiction)

Introduction to In the Middle – An International Transposition, edited by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey

January: Forgetting – Turkey, by Seyit Ali Dastan

February: The Unreal in Real – Armenia, by Armine Asryan

March: Catching Water – Argentina, by Javier Gómez

April: Unwanted – South Africa, by Toni Wallis

May: House with a Stucco Ship – Ukraine, by Gennady Bondarenko

June: A Girl Pedaling – Cuba, by Marilin Guerrero Casas

July: The Last Day – Poland, by Pawel Awdejuk

August: Through my Hands – Venezuela, by Veronica Cordido

September: Amelia’s Euphemism – Spain, by Jonay Quintero Hernández

October: Until Love Do Us Part – Uruguay, by Alejandra Baccino

November: A Journey to the Edge – Lebanon, by Rayan Harake

December: I Used to Smoke – Russia, by Kate Korneeva

Background – Context

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

More work by Marilin Guerrero Casas

Crossing the Uncertain Path of Life – Marilin Guerrero Casas (transposing emblem)

Emotional Estabilidad: The Key to a Happy Life – Marilin Guerrero Casas (transposing emblem)

Balance – Marilin Guerrero Casas (transposing emblem)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Cover photo: Camaguey, Cuba – In the center – Matyas Rehak (Shutterstock)

Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

Having said that, you may realize it’s very difícil for me to be in a relationship where the guy has commitment issues. And that’s exactamente what I’m involved in right now. I’ve been dating this guy for a year and it was very claro to me from the beginning that he was quite diferente from the guys I used to date. But then I told myself: ‘’Pat, diferente is good’’ and here I am, dealing irónicamente with our diferencias. What I first liked about Tony was his determinación and madurez and it kind of surprised me coming from someone so young. We were studying together when we started to go out. I found out he had a kid and I can’t deny I was scared at first, but then I got to know him better and somehow he managed to get what he wanted: me. He also has this sense of humor combined with some arrogancia that makes it imposible for women to resist.

To sum up, just a bit of creatividad was required to get me involved. Oh, I forgot to mention his powerfully perfect green eyes. The thing is that, like every relationship, at first we were happy together. We went out with my friends every time they came up with a party idea. We had great sexo. We laughed a lot at each other’s jokes. We spent hours talking about ourselves, our experiencias pasadas and fears, our planes futuros, our emotional landscapes. Most of the time, we studied and worked together. When his son was around, we both played with him and had fun in each other’s company. To summarize, we shared momentos increíbles together despite our diferencias.

Yet it’s been a year and my needs have changed. I no longer want to live with my parents. And it may sound crazy coming from someone who just started to work and whose salario is not enough for making big plans. But the truth is that I want to live alone. I’m just tired of not having the kind of privacidad I need. He also lives with his madre so I thought that I wasn’t so out of my mind after all. I know I can’t buy a house right now and it’s going to be many more years before I can save that kind of money. So, a possible solución might be renting a place that of course we can both afford. I think I can teach English as a part time job and work as a traductora in this institución gubernamental. One thing language profesionales have in their favor is the ability to work in áreas diferentes. During my major, I was trained to perform as a traductora or as a language teacher. Therefore, freelance teaching is a good job oportunidad indeed.

When I was in college, I was asked to teach students from the same universidad as part of our internship programa and I kind of enjoyed the experiencia. So, I know moving out is going to be a big step in our relationship but it’s definitely something we can do together as a couple. My girlfriends tell me I shouldn’t hope for it and perhaps they are seeing something that I am clearly missing here. I just know he keeps saying, “I’m not ready for that kind of change.”

Carol has also been involved in a relationship for more than a year, a very complicada one, I can tell you. Jim lives in the United States so it’s been really hard for them to have a healthy relationship when most of the time they are 90 miles away from each other. Yes, I know it’s not that great a distancia and once in a while she can resort to our poor Internet conexión to communicate with him. Besides, he is a web diseñador, so he makes the kind of money that is required to visit her frecuentemente. Otherwise, they would have ended the relationship a long time ago. I would have bet that Carol is not the type of girl who could stand distancia. So there they are, trying to cope with this situación.

Whenever he has the money and the time, he comes to Cuba and they spend the weekend in some fancy hotel. Last time they saw each other he proposed to her. She hasn’t made up her mind yet. A marriage proposal is not as simple as: two people love each other and want to spend their lives together. The truth is that they have never shared a place. They don’t know if they are going to get along once they have responsabilidades at both work and home. And there are other factores determinantes. If she decides to marry him and start the proceso of reunificación familiar in order to get a visa for the U.S., she must quit her job and she won’t be able to work as a doctora anymore in our country and it could be years before she can move away. I know, política is harsh sometimes.

Carol really loves her job. She is very passionate about it. She spends countless horas in that hospital because she likes to save people. She is always reading bibliografía especializada related to medicina so that she is continually up-to-date on the latest medical developments. So imagine someone like this being unable to do what she likes.

Jess is not dating anyone right now. Most of the time, she is pretty reservada and she rarely opens up about her feelings. I believe she is still afectada by her first relationship. It was really shocking for her to realize that all her planes were thrown away in just the blink of an eye. Obviamente she didn’t see that coming. But that is life, so amazingly impredecible that we cannot always controlar what happens around us. Albert Einstein said once that “life is like riding a bicicleta, in order to keep your balance you must keep moving.” So let us help you move, Jess!

Liz is not involved in any relationship at the moment. She’s been this way forever. I don’t remember the last time I saw her holding hands with someone on the street. But naturally she has affairs from time to time. Is there something wrong with her? Will she be able to open up to love again? Perhaps… But for now just let her be.

(to be continued…)

In the Middle – An International Transposition (Fiction)

Introduction to In the Middle – An International Transposition, edited by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey

January: Forgetting – Turkey, by Seyit Ali Dastan

February: The Unreal in Real – Armenia, by Armine Asryan

March: Catching Water – Argentina, by Javier Gómez

April: Unwanted – South Africa, by Toni Wallis

May: House with a Stucco Ship – Ukraine, by Gennady Bondarenko

June: A Girl Pedaling – Cuba, by Marilin Guerrero Casas

July: The Last Day – Poland, by Pawel Awdejuk

August: Through my Hands – Venezuela, by Veronica Cordido

September: Amelia’s Euphemism – Spain, by Jonay Quintero Hernández

October: Until Love Do Us Part – Uruguay, by Alejandra Baccino

November: A Journey to the Edge – Lebanon, by Rayan Harake

December: I Used to Smoke – Russia, by Kate Korneeva

Background – Context

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

More work by Marilin Guerrero Casas

Crossing the Uncertain Path of Life – Marilin Guerrero Casas (transposing emblem)

Emotional Estabilidad: The Key to a Happy Life – Marilin Guerrero Casas (transposing emblem)

Balance – Marilin Guerrero Casas (transposing emblem)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Cover photo: Havana, Cuba – Street party – Lesinka (Shutterstock)

Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

My girlfriends Liz, Jess and Carol are also keen to start working. Liz is an arquitecta. Jess is a sicóloga and Carol is a doctora. They all have personalidades diferentes but they are pretty smart indeed and there’s definitely something especial about them. I am a dreamer by nature. My girlfriends are more pragmáticas of course, especialmente when it comes to love issues.

I can say Liz is the most skeptical of all. It’s very difícil for guys to get to know her. She is a discípula of tough love indeed. Guys really have to resort to their imaginación if they want to flirt with her, which turns out to be an incredible feat. And once they think they have made some progreso, she says something like “I’m not ready for a relationship.” I think she really enjoys being single.

Jess is more sensitive. Love isn’t a mere word to her, though she sometimes claims the opposite. Her first real boyfriend was about to marry her. But then she found out he wasn’t so especial after all and he turned out to be a total jerk. So, I can say she’s in the middle of a psychological war between what she is willing to do and what she really believes in. I think we all have been there once in our lives.

And Carol….hhhmmmm…..It’s very difícil for me to describe her. She is a complicada girl, of that I’m sure. Carol is the kind of persona that writes a love poema, something she does amazingly well by the way. I think it is a gift she inherited from her mother. But then there’s this side of her that is so práctico it mixes your head up a little bit. And the fact that she’s always right about everything, keeps blowing me away. So I can say she’s a combinación of romance and wisdom.

And then there’s me. I’m the kind of girl who thinks “the greatest gift in life is to love and be loved in return,” a frase famosa I can’t forget from the filme Moulin Rouge. But that’s the way I feel about love. So a lot of people tell me I’m not práctica at all, that I’m rather sentimental. And perhaps they are right. Clearly it is easier for guys to strike up a conversación with me because I’m a very cheerful persona. I am always laughing at everybody’s jokes and it is likely that guys feel at ease around me. Yet, I cannot say that it is simple to make me fall in love. Just like my girlfriends, I have created this inner barrera to protect myself from being hurt. I don’t trust guys from the very start. They can approach me but I don’t let them get into my heart until I’m sure they are worth trying. I think that is something my girlfriends and I have in común. We have been deceived so many times in the past that we are very careful about falling for someone. And if, by any chance, we are mistaken about our choices, we are there to support each other and pick up our broken pieces. It’s certainly a privilegio to count on that kind of emocional comfort.

(to be continued…)

In the Middle – An International Transposition (Fiction)

Introduction to In the Middle – An International Transposition, edited by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey

January: Forgetting – Turkey, by Seyit Ali Dastan

February: The Unreal in Real – Armenia, by Armine Asryan

March: Catching Water – Argentina, by Javier Gómez

April: Unwanted – South Africa, by Toni Wallis

May: House with a Stucco Ship – Ukraine, by Gennady Bondarenko

June: A Girl Pedaling – Cuba, by Marilin Guerrero Casas

July: The Last Day – Poland, by Pawel Awdejuk

August: Through my Hands – Venezuela, by Veronica Cordido

September: Amelia’s Euphemism – Spain, by Jonay Quintero Hernández

October: Until Love Do Us Part – Uruguay, by Alejandra Baccino

November: A Journey to the Edge – Lebanon, by Rayan Harake

December: I Used to Smoke – Russia, by Kate Korneeva

Background – Context

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

More work by Marilin Guerrero Casas

Crossing the Uncertain Path of Life – Marilin Guerrero Casas (transposing emblem)

Emotional Estabilidad: The Key to a Happy Life – Marilin Guerrero Casas (transposing emblem)

Balance – Marilin Guerrero Casas (transposing emblem)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Cover photo: Havana, Cuba – Life – Aleksei Denisov (Shutterstock)

Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

Life is like a roller coaster. There are rises, falls, twists, and turns we cannot always anticipar. There are people who are constantly getting on and off and there are also others who stay to enjoy the whole ride. Fortunately, I’ve been surrounded by familia and friends my entire life so I consider myself to be a very lucky persona.

Perhaps it’s the way I am, so amazingly friendly that I’m likely to fit in everywhere I go. I can easily adaptar to any environment, situación, and even people – which sometimes works in my favor. I’m always seeking a way through when that seems imposible for others. And the truth is that I believe – no matter the hardships I have faced along the way. Because we cannot escapar problemas, we are doomed to fall at times; there are battles we are forced to fight; there are failures we are designed to learn from and sometimes there’s no other alternative than to start over. I remember someone telling me once that “no one starts off being excelente.’’ So in the end, the roller coaster will rise again, and this time the ride could be even more enjoyable.

So far, my ride has been pretty interesante. I’m thrilled by the many people who keep arriving and making a big impacto on my life. Every time I start afresh somewhere I’m easily liked. But work is definitely something new for me and my girlfriends who recently graduated from college and all became profesionales. For some of them the change is going to be very dramatic because somehow they are not used to making a living by working. We were always the bebés in our familias, some with better incomes than others, but all spoiled in our own way. As for me, it was clear from the very beginning that my parents couldn’t afford all the things I needed or wanted. That’s why I started to earn some money when I was still in college and somehow I enjoyed that kind of independencia económica. It’s something my girlfriends haven’t experienced yet. Anyway, expectativas are really high in the workplace. A new period has begun for us, although we are all aware of the poor salario we will receive. I know it’s going to be hard for us and for once, we are going to be in our parent’s shoes and understand their wise mensajes about saving money. I never had a clue before and neither did my friends.

Regardless, I feel happy because I’m going to work as a traductora in the only Convention Center that Camaguey has. Camaguey is not one of the most famosa cities in my country but there are many atracciones and valuable facts that make it worth visiting. Yet, I’m pretty sure I will never earn as much money as other traductores worldwide. Profesionales Cubanos are aware of the significant diferencias between us and other countries when it comes to salario and still we are eager to estudiar and be the best profesionales possible. That’s why working and not making the kind of money I want is not considered to be something bad as long as I’m doing something I enjoy. That’s what I keep repeating to myself: “Pat, it’s not how much we have, but how much we enjoy that creates happiness.” That is my filosofía of life.

(to be continued…)

In the Middle – An International Transposition (Fiction)

Introduction to In the Middle – An International Transposition, edited by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey

January: Forgetting – Turkey, by Seyit Ali Dastan

February: The Unreal in Real – Armenia, by Armine Asryan

March: Catching Water – Argentina, by Javier Gómez

April: Unwanted – South Africa, by Toni Wallis

May: House with a Stucco Ship – Ukraine, by Gennady Bondarenko

June: A Girl Pedaling – Cuba, by Marilin Guerrero Casas

July: The Last Day – Poland, by Pawel Awdejuk

August: Through my Hands – Venezuela, by Veronica Cordido

September: Amelia’s Euphemism – Spain, by Jonay Quintero Hernández

October: Until Love Do Us Part – Uruguay, by Alejandra Baccino

November: A Journey to the Edge – Lebanon, by Rayan Harake

December: I Used to Smoke – Russia, by Kate Korneeva

Background – Context

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

More work by Marilin Guerrero Casas

Crossing the Uncertain Path of Life – Marilin Guerrero Casas (transposing emblem)

Emotional Estabilidad: The Key to a Happy Life – Marilin Guerrero Casas (transposing emblem)

Balance – Marilin Guerrero Casas (transposing emblem)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Cover photo: Cuba – Through the water – Chandler Cruttenden (Unsplash)

Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed