Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Cross-Eyed Colombian Coke Dealer

by Scott

One way to get attention in Mexico, beyond just being a gringo, is being a gringo parked on the side of the road with the hood of your truck up. Most of the time, it's just friendly locals, including the police, checking to make sure everything's OK. Sometimes, it's local mechanics hoping to score some work. This time, it was all of the above, plus a cross-eyed Colombian cocaine dealer hoping to sell some blow.

After the environmental disaster that was the removal of the radiator (see previous post), I told Juan Jose that I'd take care of putting it back in on Sunday, and that he could help on Monday if I had any problems. After already being interrupted by a bunch of other people, a short, cross-eyed twenty-something hombre walked by and started chatting me Spanish.

At first, he asked if everything was OK. When I reassured him that it was, he moved on to more important if I wanted to buy some cocaine. I said "no gracias". As if he didn't hear me, he gestured to his backpack and said he had 2 kilo's if I wanted it. I reiterated that I wasn't interested. Naturally, he suggested that he could get me some organic marijuana instead. Again, I told him I wasn't in the market, and that it would be very dangerous for a gringo to be buying drugs in Mexico. He was shussing me before I even finished my sentence. Some other people were walking past the truck, so he picked up a wrench and started pointing at things under the hood that I was not working on.

After they passed, he got all serious, looked me in the eyes (with his good eye), and said, "tu sabes nada, tu dices nada". Translation: you know nothing, you say nothing. We then did a multi-part handshake, something we would continue to do every few minutes or so.

A motorcycle cop stopped in a vacant lot a block away and started watching us. I lied, and told him the police stopped by every day to check on us. In reality, they'd only stopped once, but I was trying to get rid of him. I said that it would be really bad for me if the police showed up and found 2 kilos of coke in his backpack. His reply was that I shouldn't worry, as he'd vouch that I had nothing to do with it. That made me feel much better. After all, if I can't trust a Colombian drug dealer I met 10 minutes ago on the backstreets of Chiapas, who can I trust?

So, we continued Spanish. He asked where I was from. I asked where he was from. He said he was from Colombia. When I asked if he wanted to go back to Colombia, he burst into tears. Real tears. Sobbing, he said he could never go back to Colombia. He ran his index finger across his neck, saying that his parents were killed in Colombia because of his drug dealings. Clearly, he needed a hug, but with 2 kilos of cocaine in his backpack and now 2 police officers watching from the corner, I just shrugged and said "lo siento" (I'm sorry).

He cried even harder as he told me about his girlfriend waiting for him in the states. From what I understood, some people think she's a "puta" (whore), but he says she's totally not. He also said something about the mafia. When I asked about that, he broke into song. Heather was in the truck, so this was the only part of our conversation that she heard. He said that "The Mafia" is a Mexican band, which may be true, but somehow, I don't think that's what he was talking about.

He finally ran out of steam, tears, and lyrics, and said adios, but not before yet another one-eyed stare, multi-part handshake, and reiterating, "tu sabes nada, tu dices nada". Smiling, but trying not to laugh, I wished him luck. As he turned the corner, the 2 motorcycle cops rode past the truck. I don't know if they were following him or what, but they never came by to ask me about him, which was good, because I know nothing.


Stevie, Tree, and Soleil said...


Anonymous said...

Best story ever.


Anonymous said...

only in Mexico... I was right there with you as you told it and could see your cool nature handling everything as you said. You are a wonderful traveler and human spirit! Thank you for sharing. Deborah y Gypsy

Anonymous said...

When I started reading this, I thought Heather was talking to the drug dealer....and I was thinking, where the heck is Scott? What's he doing? And why isn't he saving Heather from this conversation. Somehow it seems much "safer" when ur talking to the drug dlr! Melissa

mrazekan said...

And the adventure continues! Suerte Amigos! Or as they say in PV, "Animo!"