I thought about this all yesterday and all yesternight and finally after much concentration was able to comb through the best of my memories to bring you this one n only true n sticky story:
A few years ago my husband and friends and I would take a lot of road trips in the Mexican state of Michoacán.
Now, if you don’t like to read the news, Michoacán is one of the worst Mexican crisis failed states due to drug trafficking.
The nucleus of the problem resides in the secluded hills surrounding Tierra Caliente, which translates as “Hot Land.”
Tierra Caliente is literally a vast desert region between the Sierra Madre forests and the Pacific Ocean.
The only way to get between the ranches in the secluded hills and civilization is by taking one of two roads- “La Libre,” non-toll road, or “la autopista,” a high-speed toll road.
We lived in Uruapan, (meaning ‘place full of green’ in Purepecha) which is a beautiful town with a National Park full of waterfalls right smack in the middle of it, two hours northeast of the desert.
We would all volunteer at least once a week to go visit deaf people in a city named Apatzingán, situated in the middle of this desert, often taking the “Libre” road to save money.
These roads have military checkpoints along the way because of the drug trafficking ordeal.
Ok, we are getting to the sticky part.
One of our friends had mentioned to an elderly woman in one of the towns that she was experiencing joint pains.
The elderly woman gave her a bottle full of marijuana leaves so she could use them as an ointment.
My friend in her (honest-to-God) innocence, (I don’t want to say naiveness), took the bottle in a gesture of politeness and didn’t think to ask what was inside it.
That week we had decided to stay at some friends’ house for a couple more days and while there our other friend got her period.
She had stuffed all her dirty laundry into her backpack.
Neither my husband nor I nor a third friend were aware of either of these situations.
We had been on the road for only a few minutes when we came upon a checkpoint.
We were accustomed to this and many of the soldiers were also accustomed to seeing us.
We all got off the car except my friend who had the bottle of weed.
My husband opened the trunk as they asked the typical questions:
Where are you from?
Why did you come here?
Where are you going? etc.
He pointed to the backpack and asked us to bring it out.
Our friend, the one on her period, grabbed her backpack full of dirty laundry and stood there hugging it.
The soldier gave her a suspicious look. “What you got in there?”
Soldier: “Let me see that.”
Soldier: “Let me take a look.”
Soldier: “I need to inspect it.”
Friend: “It doesn’t matter how many times you ask me, I’m not going to let you look inside my backpack.”
My husband and I stared in disbelief.
We didn’t know what was going on.
She was acting strange even by our standards.
Finally she managed to stare down the soldier, who I can only imagine must have had several sisters, and he retreated in his requests to invade her personal property.
Exasperated, they let us continue on on our trip.
When we boarded the car again, our other friend, lost in thought, said, “It’s a good thing they didn’t check my bag cause an old lady gave me one of those home-made-remedies.”
Response to WP Daily Prompt: Saved by the Bell