On Thursday, I encountered my first drug dealer of the season, unless one counts the man who sits at the entrance to his souvenir shop and mutters “ganja” under his breath every time I pass. Usually, one of the pan de banano ladies sits diagonally across the street from him. “¿Quiere pan? ¿Quiere pan?” she hawks. Through three previous trips to San Pedro I haven’t wanted her bread and doubt I ever will. I tasted it once and the “ganja” from the man across the street would probably be fresher and taste better, too.
I met the street dealer while I was on my way to the Internet café to have lunch and to suck up more of their Wi-Fi. The cafe makes a great ham sandwich. They also make an omelet sandwich with cream cheese, avocado and lettuce and tomato. It’s a bit unusual, I think, but delicious.
I first ran into my friend Bedalia on the street who decided that she would come with me to the café. I was happy for the company. On the way, we talked about our friend Jan and, lo and behold, we spotted her in a small tienda and went in to talk to her. This really is a small town and generally when you either think of someone or ask about them, you’re practically guaranteed to run into them.
After we had talked a bit, I stepped outside into the path of the drug dealer who asked me first if I had a light. I suppose it was to light the poorly rolled joint that was in his hand. I said, “Lo siento.” Sorry, I don’t smoke. Maybe he thought I meant cigarettes because he then asked me if I wanted to buy some weed. I turned him down as kindly as I could because I determined him to be either stoned, or drunk or both and he might take my refusal in a negative light. He did ask for a dollar. I don’t know why he would think I would be carrying dollars here and told him, “No tengo nada.” My Spanish may be bad overall, but I can come up with the right phrase when necessary. It’s interesting to me – and I remarked about it later to Bedalia – that the drug dealers all seem to have a working knowledge of English. I can’t help but wonder if there’s a secret trade school in town where wannabe dealers are taught just enough English to make the sale.
I still see from time to time the drug dealer who pursued me all over town for two days on a previous trip. He’s branched out into bicycle and motorcycle rentals. I’m glad to see that he’s expanding into other areas.
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