Monday, March 21, 2016

Did I buy crack today?

The 'biscuits' in question.
I'm not sure what I bought from the lady on the road today. I want to think it was biscuits. Or cookies, at the very least. But the more excitable parts of my brain want it to be something more ... exciting. Anyway. Let me explain.

It's La Semana Santa, or holy week. So pretty much everybody is on holiday or observing the religious season (Mexico is a heavily Roman Catholic country). When I have no set plans, I've taken to walking as far as my legs will carry me in one direction, finding a food place in the vicinity, having a good lunch, then walking back home. That way, I get to see the sights at a leisurely pace, take pictures if I want to, and also try completely new, unplanned foods.

This time my walk took me west, and I was on my way back from a rather uneventful stretch of residential streets when a woman with a covered basket approached me. She said something in Spanish and I understood enough to make out that she was selling galletas (biscuits or cookies) for eight pesos. I was feeling peckish, so I said why not, and took out my purse to pay her. I had no change. Just four pesos. She smiled, said OK, took the money, and gave me the biscuits.

"Para te aprobarles," she said. (Translated: For you to try them). There were two kinds in the basket: some dusted with a white powder, some without. I wanted the ones without, but she insisted that I try the ones with. "Son mejores," she told me. They're better. I smiled and nodded OK, took the biscuits, and carried on.

Well, I pulled the package and tried the first one. It was sweet. It tasted like ... well, like biscuit. So I had another. And that was when something went wrong. My head felt light. I was walking up the ascent toward an overhead bridge, and I honestly had to stop and just hold on to the railing for a minute. My head felt so very light. And everything felt so very very surreal.

As I continued to slowly make my way to the other side of the overhead bridge, a thought hit me: what if the biscuit induced the lightheadedness? What if the white powder wasn't sugar, as I had supposed? What if that was why she had the basket covered with a towel? And wait, my lovely brain started to tell me, wasn't she glancing around a little suspiciously when she was selling me the 'biscuits'? I had to stop and laugh at myself.

It was probably dehydration, my common sense told me. I had been walking in the sun from morning without ingesting any kind of liquids. I shook my head and continued walking. But I glanced behind me a couple of times, just to see if I could spot the woman ... just to see if anyone was following me ... just in case ... .

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