My name is Martine Retting. I am from Oslo, Norway and used to live in Venezuela.

This blog has posts from when I used to live there as well as some new posts about current issues in Venezuela.


67 Responses to About

  1. Alexandra says:

    Welcome to Venezuela, people from Barquisimeto are very nice

  2. siradaniel says:

    You’ll get to use! Hope you enjoy the rest of your stay! I remain at your disposal for any query you happen to have about Venezuela..

  3. por cierto.. you have lucky indeed, Barquisimeto its a very calm and beutiful city, at least more than caracas

  4. Jesús says:

    Hope u enjoy this experience, welcome

  5. luis zerpa says:

    I really want to meet you I’m from barquisimeto, I would like to talk about your experience

  6. The guy above is right, you´re pretty lucky, Caracas is bit of extreme but you will fine the same kind of joy and welcoming from it´s people. Keep updating 🙂

  7. Cristina says:

    Welcome to our beatiful chaos. Im an International Relations student from UCV – Caracas. If you’re ever in town, write to me, I’d be glad to show you around.


    Cristina. cristiciordiat@gmail.com

  8. Sofía López says:

    Is good to have someone that let us know how we look like from outside. We sometimes forger how much we deserve. 🙂 Live the experience. Is true, is shocking, but is a verry happy trip too. Kisses. (Let me know if you come to Mcy)

  9. Buenas !! jaja i really laughed hard at this… it’s amazing how you just described in general the venezuelan people, i think even better than how a venezuelan would do it… I am from Barquisimeto btw, it would be really nice to be in touch…indeed, i am thinking of moving to Norway in the next few years, I guess you could help me out as well by answering some questions jaja! feel free to add me on facebook, cheers and feliz navidad!

  10. Big Fan! says:

    I absolutely love your blog. I was raised in Caracas, Venezuela (lived there for 14 years!,) and now I live in the US. To read about your experiences takes me all the way back to my childhood and teenage years, and all I can say is ‘thank you so much’ for sharing. I’m not sure if this little town is good any more, but I had family in a small little town near Barquisimeto called “Quibor” which was beautiful..and a million degrees cooler than Barquisimeto, which I remember being as horribly hot as you mention. Anyways.. I admire your courage to just volunteer to go out there the way you did. I wish you success and PLEASE don’t get complacent. You’re still in a very dangerous place. Have fun, hun. Xo.

  11. I am from Barquisimeto and this is a great city, and like Nelson said it, Barquisimeto is calmer than Caracas.

  12. jebiencours says:

    I hesitated a lot before finally decide to write you. I’m a Venezuelan living in Europe now. I just wanted to to remind you there’s a reason why people is leaving the country, a reason why our beautiful and happy place is the way it is right now. Trust no one girl, it is really easy for bad people to hide between so much kind people, people trying to take advantage of you in every possible way.

    I really wish you for the best, enjoy your stay, and I hope you can reach the end of your travel without any bad experience. Thanks for giving my country the change to be known for the little good thing we have, now I’m using your blog to explain why I seem like such a weird person.

    Good luck.

  13. Sue says:

    Hi there! As a venezuelan living in France at this moment,I can laugh and relate a lot about your posts of our country, it’s a fresh look in the middle of all the struggling we’re having there. Please continue with this blog, take care of you, a norway in Vzla is such a strange thing and, because of that, you’re going to be welcomed, well treated, you’re going to have unforgettable moments, so go ahead and have fun!
    I’m doing a thing like you in your blog, but in my FB, just sharing my french experiences with my friends, and how lucky we are to have the opportunity to adapt us to a very different environment. Sharing other cultures can be stressful or funny. Just a matter of choosing the way of looking at things…
    May be I’ll do like you, may be a blog could be nice….

    Enjoy your experience and welcome to my country!


  14. Manuel C. says:

    It’s amazing how much I have laughed with this blog, because every single word you use to describe us is 100% accurate. I really hope you keep enjoying (or maybe not) our beautiful and crazy country.

    I wish you a (late) merry christmas and a (early) happy new year.
    PD:You will soon see that the happy new year celebrations in here are the best

  15. Javier Leal (@pers_chan_83) says:

    Hallå, Martine!

    I just read your blog describing us and most of those things apply to me!
    Very impressive piece of writing, to be honest.

    Enjoy life in Venezuela!

    Tack før din blog! (Sorry I can’t speak Norwegian; all I know is some Swedish… hehe… see? Here’s another example of oversharing. 😛 )

  16. Martine:
    My father was Danish and my mother Venezuelan. You can imagine the cultural “conflict”.
    When we were invited to a Dane’s home, or to the embassy, the invitation would read something like this: “from 8:15 to 10:15”. Not “8 to 10”. We would arrive at 8:10, and wait in the car until 8:14, when we would see many other car doors opening, other families doing the same thing. On the other hand, if we were invited to a Venezuelan home, say at 8:00, that’s when my mother would go in the shower, although my father would have been ready to go for half an hour. She was just tired of always being the first to arrive. In my own case, in college, when my friends organized a party, they would say “at 7:00…. Christian at 7:30”. Glad you are enjoying my country. I haven’t been back since 1985.

  17. Tomas Chang says:

    Hello Martine!! I am a young Venezuelan living in the Netherlands for a few months now, I am experiencing the same culture shock that you experienced but the other way around hahaha. I am so happy that you enjoy living in my country and I would love to go to Norway too!! Hope to meet you there some time -or maybe here if you happen to pass by the “low lands”-. Wish you the very best in your upcoming adventures!! Cheers!! 🙂

  18. Ale says:

    Hey there! Im a venezuelan living in Spain and i can relate to all your posts. I have been laughing so much reading your experiences and remembering all the good times I spent there. I love your blog and hope you keep writing, it has bought me so many memories im now homesick (in a good way, craving some arepas and wanting to go out with my friends). Thank you for sharing.
    Enjoy our dyscfuncional country and be safe.

  19. Evelyn Moreno says:

    Hei Martine! Jeg er fra Venezuela men jeg bor i Norge fra 2011. Tuuuuusen hjertelig takk for at du har skrev dette. Det er kjempekoselig å vet at du har det fint i mitt land. Mange klemmer og kysser også! Hehe

  20. Welcome to Venezuela!
    Be careful and trust no one, Venezuela could be a very dangerous place, please, pleaseee enjoy everything, specially the food and beaches! I miss so much the food… And make friends. A lot of friends. You’ll never fiend another place where people is so open to tell you what they feel and think. 🙂

  21. As I see with all these replies definitely Venezuelans are something else than just “latinos”… I hope you enjoy of your staying here, and please learn so much of what we have and how we act… not all is that “relaxed” and just be careful of where you are and the people who you are with. The fact that you are a foreigner in our country can be as good as bad (because that of the people may get advantage of you, specially talking about money)…

  22. rosangeljs says:

    Hello. I enjoyed a lot reading your blog. I live in Barquisimeto and through AISEC had the opportunity to work in Lima. It was a wonderful experience and I hope that your stay in my city is magnificent. I love how you describe your experiences and positive reflex glass to your blog. To be “Barquisimetana” I suggest: January 14 to attend the procession of the Divina Pastora! You will impress! If you like desserts you should eat the apple tart in Dulceria. And enjoy an authentic rich “jumbo” selling exclusive Dey Donuts! You must eat “cachapas” and of course “tequeños”
    If you like classical music I suggest you go to our symphony concert at UCLA are free.
    If you enjoy dancing like “salsa” you should go to a concert of Mafia Son Star
    I hope you continue to enjoy my quiet and pleasant city
    I’ll be alert of your upcoming publications

  23. Hello,

    I absolutely love your entries!

    Some might agree with me… You HAVE to live the subway “metro” experience in Caracas. I can tell you we do have stop busses in Caracas but the lines… I have no words to describe them.

    I would love to see your post after staying in Caracas for at least 3 days. Barquisimeto is heaven and I mean it. I also lived there for a few months.

    One of my bestfriends is a member of AIESEC, this makes me think you are aware of how dangerous this is…I bet they have warned you. I´m from a town that´s 40 minutes away from Barquisimeto. It´s called Acarigua. If you ever come to Acarigua visit this museum http://museoaaa.org/vzla/.

    This year I visited Barinas. There is a French lady who owns a campsite by a wonderful river and does the best raftings in the world. http://www.guamanchi.com/
    She also has one in Merida where you can scape from the heat!

    I advice you to visit this website. http://www.valentinaquintero.com.ve/. This amazing Venezuelan has traveled all around the country and knows ALL about it. It will be very difficult to travel around but it´s worth it. You will have another reason to love the country. Plus, you will be surprised/pleased of the incredible amount of free days you will have in your job. I happen to be an English teacher and working by the school calendar is very nice.

    Did you ask for this?

    I guess this is our thing!

    Welcome and make the best of it!

  24. alexander juarez says:

    Welcome to our country, when you visit Caracas, give me a call and will show you others nice things about our people.

  25. Melanie says:

    Hi there! I’m an American girl living in Caracas. It’s been over a year now. My work schedule is demanding so unfortunately I am mostly confined to staying within Caracas. It is certainly an adventure though. Good luck and have fun.

    • Chloe says:

      Hi Melanie, I’d love to ask you about your experience living in Caracas as an american woman. Your transition- work and life… if I may ask about it! I’m american (from hawaii) and living in Canada. But my boyfriend is from Caracas. Please email me if you are willing to share your experience with me 🙂 thanks!

  26. Maria Eugenia says:

    thank for share your experience in your blog!
    it was a pleasure to read you!
    you show us a critical, simple and funny description about our society.
    I hope you keep enjoy it your time there!
    and thank again for time and your lines.
    María Eugenia

  27. Hey, welcome to Venezuela! I´m from Venezuela but I currently living in Madrid. Did you know MiNube.com ? I was born in the city next to Barquisimeto San Felipe. Do you have an email? I´m looking for people who likes to write about Venezuela and share picture from Venezuela for an interesting project.

  28. espaiderman says:

    Great blog! You’re becoming venezuelan already, you obviously have a “palanca” that helped you make this blog a hit! 😉
    Looking at the facebook page that explains Norwegian social culture it is pretty evident the drastic differences you’re experiencing, it is great to look at Venezuela from your eyes!
    Happy New Year and Happy Blogging! Hope you keep enjoying your stay!

  29. Carolina says:

    I’m a venezuelan living in Oslo. Your blog really touchs me. Good luck with your adventure. Looking forward to reading more 🙂

  30. Carito says:

    It is so nice to read your words to describe us so well. I am a Venezuelan living abroad since I was 17 years old and now I am almost 53! Yes… those are all the things that I miss the most … my people, their smiles and their good heart!

    Thank you!
    Please Take Care!
    And ‘Keep on writing’!!! 🙂

  31. María says:

    Me ha hecho reír, y asomar lágrimas, realmente un mundo loco, alegre, divertido, con calor humano. Muy difícil de describir. Con tan solo un poco de orden sería un paraíso terrenal, que lástima en lo que se ha convertido, donde la vida no vale nada. Y eso tiene a los venezolanos vueltos locos huyendo del país. Añorando… Definitivamente: hay que recuperar los valores pues hay gran potencial y gente muy buena, simpática, amable. Dios los bendiga.

    It made me laugh, and bring tears, it truly is a crazy world, happy, funny, with human heat. Very difficult to describe. With just a little of order it would be an earthly paradise, it´s a shame what it turned of where life doesn´t even matter. And that made the venezuelan people crazy escaping from the country. Homesickness… Definitely: we need to retrieve the values because there´s a huge potential and very good people, nice, friendly. Good bless you.

  32. Héctor says:

    Hi, i’m Héctor and i live in Barquisimeto, nice to read the experience of someone from abroad right here in my city. If you need a chinese or venezuelan food tour just write and i’ll be more than happy to show you. Keep writing 🙂

  33. adriale says:

    Hi Martine!
    I’m working with Global Voices en Español, mostly as a translator, and I’m writing a quick read post about your blog. Could I use any of your pictures to illustrate the article?
    let me know
    your thoughts about it and if you suggest me to use a photo in particular.

    Thanks in advance!

  34. hello martine, loved your blog, let me know when you come to maracaibo, i would be nice to show you around and give you good tourism

  35. marioly1819 says:

    Hi Martine!!!! I like your blog it is so relaxing to read about the positive side of the country!!!, now when it is a totally different country from 15 years ago…., now ,we admire and we like Norway, their system, and specially how they are so trustful and honest, two values that disappear here, and you will find just few people that still have them. I’m the mom of one of your fortunate 4th grade students here in Barquisimeto, she is always telling us about your conversations with them, and the questions they made to you. She asked you one time: What did inspire you to travel around the world? , and she told us it was your grandmother, and we really thought how fortunate is our daughter to have you as her teacher too. We wish you the best in your life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Hi Martine,
    It was wonderful to find your blog. I love the way you write about my beloved country, Venezuela. You are in a beautiful city, Barquisimeto, the Venezuela’s musical city, as you already know… I hope you find the lovely music we make in Lara, and not only the loudy one you listen everywhere. Thanks for sharing your experiences here, and keep focused in the good things… God bless you, please be safe, I’ll keep on reading. Greetings from Maracay.

  37. Magnolia says:

    Disfrute haber leído su blog, siga escribiendo lo hace muy bien

  38. Filiberto says:

    Strangely enough you, a foreigner, have made me feel a little more optimistic about living in this country, reminding me to always look on the bright side of things. For that i thank you 🙂 take care and keep up the great blog.

  39. Sergio says:

    Im glad to hear about your comments and experiences. I have many norwegian friends and they are great people. One thing that makes me sad, is that Venezuela is a great country, maybe even the richest country in the world, and also full of beautiful people, but sadly is a country that was destined to fail. Not only the country was destined (and is destined) to fail, but its people are also a failure to its country and its communities. Historically, you can see Venezuela is a country that goes to worse year over year, and this will continue to happen until the end, so what is the purpose to talk about its beauty, when it is really not a beautiful situation in the long term? I wish people take action and fight for its freedom, because everything is downhill (even during the opposition, and even worse with the current regime…simply nothing works).

  40. Dubrasca says:

    demasiado bueno! te seguire leyendo jaja disfruta nuestro pais, nuestro loco pais pero lo amaras cada dia mas saludos

  41. Hi Martine,
    I have taken the liberty of sending you a private message to you Facebook account (it has been sent not to you “in box” but to your “other” messages folder). I truly apologize for the intrusion, but I didn’t know how else to contact you. It would be amazing if you gave it a read and lt me know your thoughts. Thank you a lot.

  42. Briggitte Rodríguez says:

    I didn’t know people from other places actually going to Venezuela knowing the actual situation, I’m glad you did and that you are writing this it’s wonderful to heard from someone that is not from my country how is it like to get to know our crazy life style…I’m from caracas and I’ve been living in Ireland for almost 2 years now. I used to say nothing like my Venezuela and I’ll keep saying it,our people are the best,the kindness that you find in Venezuela you cannot find it anywhere, It’s brilliant I hope you can bring something with you to Europe.

  43. Katherine says:

    Hi Martine! this is awesome that you’re in Barquisimeto. I grew up there until I was 15. You’re gonna have a blast. People from Barquisimeto are better than other Venezuelan cities, Valencianos are more superficial and are Caraquenos wannabes, and Caraquenos are believers that Venezuela is Caracas and that’s it. I bet someone from there would flinch at this but it’s a true thing! lol. Anyway, enjoy your time. Be safe. And good wishes from the U.S. 🙂

  44. Carmen says:

    Hey Martine! love your blog! keep posting!… I am ” a guara ” living in USA for the last 10 years. Your journal makes me feel close to my caothic beautiful country which i feel so proud of even with all the crazyness… enjoy every single minute cause that survival mode you are developing will help you in many aspects of your life when you go back to Norway hahahaha… you’ll feel different than anybody else phisically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
    If you plan to come to Orlando, you are more than welcome, we venezuelans are a big community here, so you will feel like Barquisimeto but no lines in the bank, crazy drivers and loud music, which ironically is what i’ve started to miss the most lately and was the reason why i left… nothing is perfect!. But i definatley thanks God for giving me the privilege of being born in VENEZUELA mi lindo pais!

    Real name Carmen, nickname “Mela”
    “Everybody in Venezuela has a nickname” LOL

  45. Daniela Skroce says:

    In honor of my venezuelan non-existent blod (born and raised in Caracas) and my entirely european familly (both sides) I will like you to call, write, share… As you said, we always want to have a new friend.

  46. You definitely are nuts (brave)! but WELCOME TO VENEZUELA! el pais de lo imposible! do you have some page at FB? seria chevere seguirte por algún otro medio.

    • I will be get marry with a British Citizen, its too funny read your blog, its pretty similar the way how he sees my country. Im really enjoy it your blog, jajajaja
      I hope to continue reading about your experience.

  47. Kathe Carrillo says:

    Hi Martine! Just because I have been reading your blog I feel like I know you a little bit already xD I must say you are so brave because of taking the decision to come and have this wonderful adventure. Im so happy of the fact that you can see, feel, taste, smell and enjoy my country, and the best of all, you can share your experience with the rest of the world. Unfortunately things have been going kind of crazy the last 14 years (yeah… such a long period) but Venezuela is MUCH MORE than what people can watch on TV ot read in the newspaper. If you come to Caracas I´ll be happy to meet you and hang out around the city with you. Keep learning, keep living this venezuelan experience and PLEASE KEEP SHARING IT!!!

  48. Iruani Yanez says:

    Hi Martine! My name is Iruani Yanez. I am Venezuelan and I just love your posts. I’ve heard some foreigners impressions about the Venezuelan culture before and all but I have to say your posts about our culture are just fantastic 😀

    I am very glad to know that another Scandinavian person appreciates the Venezuelan ways. I really hope you have a fantastic time while you are here. I won’t lie, some of your posts can really make me cry hahaha…

    Keep the mood up girl. What you are learning is just priceless.

    Best wishes from another crazy Venezuelan guy!

  49. Hola martine! Soy de la parte “Mas calurosa” de Venezuela, en Maracaibo! Que feliz estoy de poder leer todas tus anecdotas en mi pais! Continua con el blog, me parece super interesante todo lo que dices! Saludos!

  50. Here’s another Venezuelan expat who loves your posts! Looking forward to reading the next one…

  51. Sofía Victoria says:

    Hi! Welcome to Venezuela. Hope you enjoy your stay here.

    I would like to invite you to visit “Universidad Central de Venezuela” so you could know the best school of political sciences in this country. I’m a Political Science student too. Greetings from Caracas!

  52. Manuel Anzola says:

    Hallo Martine, jeg heter Manuel, jeg bor i Barquisimeto, jeg boede i Molde (Norge selfolgelig) som utveskeling student med AFS fre 1995 til 1996, jeg har leaser din blog og sinnes det er veldig fint, min norske er saa daalig naa, jeg har glemmed altfor det (it took me like 30 min to write this). If you want we can meet and share experiences (og practisk litten norsk, har du noen brun ost med deg?) Hope you enjoy this City, the next 14-1 its probably the best day for being in here in Barquisimeto. My e-mail: manuel_anzola@hotmail.com

  53. JL says:

    Please! be careful. It was refreshing to read the way you describe us Venezuelans, it reminded me of the good things, the happy side of my people. Unfortunately, I got tired of living looking over my shoulder and hoping not to get shot for any stupid non sense reason. Do not take it lightly.
    Greetings from Aussie land!

  54. Ana says:

    Hi Martine!

    First of all I want to thank you for all the beautiful things you write about my beloved country. I’m Venezuelan currently living in the UK and reading your posts remind me of the positive and great things about Venezuela, and at the same time they make me feel a bit closer to home.

    I wanted to tell you that your blog has inspired and motivated me into writing a blog (but the other way around) a venezuelan moving to the UK. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences.

    Take care and loads of love!


    P.S. I’d love to get a reply from you!

  55. Tatiana Silva de Vørts says:

    Martina: You are a crazy and Sweet girl !! I really enjoy a lot you blog !! Omg I laugh a lot !! I hope you enjoy a lot the time in Venezuela !! My country have many problems , this is true ! But you always be found somebody help you !! Please continue written you adventures !! I Learning a lot with this , because I’m Venezuelan women that live in Aalborg ( North of Denmark ) and I live that same ” cultural shock ” but in another side !! Can you imagen a venezolans live in Nordic country ??? Yes !! This is crazy !! But I enjoy that you be in my country !! Please take care and if one day you will visite Denmark !! You are welcome to my home !!
    Tatiana Vørts – tatiana@hotmail.dk

  56. KariAle says:

    Quisiera leerte pero esta todo en Ingles 😦

  57. Juan Ledezma says:

    I’m really astonished at the way you get to see things around this country. I think it’s beyond optimistic. Either way I like it… I really like your blog, and yes… We have only 2 decent beers ” polar tercios” and “Solera Verde”(The green one). I always wondered what would a Scandinavian think of this mess… I think I got my answer.

  58. Katherine: the birthday girl :D says:

    You’ve let me speechless… honestly I don’t think that even in my condition as a Venezuelan I could EVER put my “peculiar” cultural experiences into words (LOL) at least not the way you do! way to go girl! I became you N°1 fan instantly! tell you what: I noticed that your blog its “English Only” and that even thought I wanted to share your amazing stories with my buddys I could’nt… ’cause, you know “the language factor” does not help… so please contact me if you ever need a translator 😀 (also thanks for the Norwegian Happy Birthday song XD)
    P.S. here’s my email: kathy_alexan_94@hotmail.com

  59. Hi Martine, I would like to know if there’s a chance to get an interview from you, (I work for a Tv Channel, and I’m making a special about Blogs, and well… your blog is quite interesthing) Here’s my Email: Rbolivar14@gmail.com, hope that we can talk with more details

  60. fran says:

    Dear Martine, i guess you are now in Norway again, aren’t you? if you ever come to Barcelona, Spain, please let me know it, I really would like to meet you and talk about your experience in Venezuela, I am Venezuelan and i am very keen on your experience. Thanks for this blog and for your love for our country!



  61. Lili says:

    Thank you for writing all of this… I am half Norwegian and half Swiss, but I was born and raised in Venezuela and I am torn by what is going on…
    I live now in the United States and hate the fact that my two daughters will probably never be able to see where it is that I come from… please do keep on writing… I have not been able to find many posts in English so people around the globe understand what’s going on! Tusen takk…!!!

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