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Going local in Venezuela

Vicky Baker is travelling around Central and South America guided by the local people she meets on social networking websites. This week, she is in Venezuela

‘My grandmothers keep telling me to start charging,” says Javier, as I walk through his front door in Barcelona, Venezuela. I’m the 36th traveller to stay in his apartment. “But if we’re talking karma,” he adds, “then I’m the one with the debt to pay.”

Javier is just back from a 10-month travel-networking trip around Europe. There he eked out his small budget by hitchhiking, occasionally dining only on plain rice, and never, ever paying for accommodation.

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Patrick Barkham on why train drivers aren’t seeing the funny side of suicide

‘Let’s set a comic caper on the London Underground. Two people are killed under a train. In a slapstick way! Let’s say if its driver kills a third he can retire with 10 years’ salary in compensation. So he goes out to find a suicidal alcoholic he can pay to jump under his train. Brilliant!”

It is depressingly easy to imagine the brainstorming process behind the film Three and Out. This week train drivers took the unusual step of protesting outside the movie’s premiere and challenging its star, Mackenzie Crook, about the comic potential of suicide.

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