My Big Fat Mexican Drug Deal: a honeymoon story

I just knew that my new husband and I would end up spending our honeymoon in a rat infested prison cell a la Midnight Express.

I had every intention of smuggling a fat sack of medical quality marijuana on my honeymoon to Cabo San Lucas, but I chickened out at the last second.

I was all ready to go with a weed filled maxi pad cleverly pasted into my underpants when the Super Shuttle pulled up outside our apartment and I freaked out.

“I can’t do it!” I wailed.

Carrying crotch weed on a domestic flight was one thing. International drug smuggling was, in my mind, an entirely different story. I’d never been to Mexico before and somehow I just knew that if I tempted fate, my new husband and I would end up spending our honeymoon in a rat infested prison cell a la Midnight Express.

“We’ll be fine without it sweetie,” my hubby said as the airport van driver leaned on the horn outside. “We don’t need pot on our honeymoon.”

I pulled down my slacks, ripped the maxi pad full of weed out of my underpants, tossed it on the coffee table and headed out to the airport an eighth of an ounce lighter.

The second we breezed through security on the ground in Cabo, a wave of regret washed over me. Asshole, I told myself. Nobody gives a shit if you bring weed INTO Mexico. Fuck. My pothead husband and I had just set ourselves up for five straight days of stone cold marijuana sobriety — the longest either of us had gone without weed in years. We had booked ourselves a honeymoon at the equivalent of an inpatient doobie detox retreat.

We decided to make the best of it. What choice did we have? It’s not like we were going to go trolling the streets of Cabo San Lucas for weed on our honeymoon.

Wish you were here!

The hotel wasn’t exactly our style. My husband and I are introspective artist types. This place was like Girls Gone Wild meets a Disney cruise — cheesy frat guys vomiting up pina coladas in the pool, a creepy activities lady who tried to pressure us into joining a burrito making class and a 24 hour Eurotrash techno soundtrack over the loudspeakers that was only interrupted once during our entire stay — so a group of “traditional” entertainers could perform a Mexican Hat Dance by the pool in period costume.

We started drinking heavily — and we’re not drinkers. One night of poolside Pina Coladas and we were both in the bathroom throwing up. We woke up the next morning with raging hangovers, jonesing for weed twice as badly as the night before.

That’s when the panic set in. The trip now seemed poorly planned all around. We were potheads who had accidentally booked ourselves on a booze vacation — or maybe a cocaine vacation. Also, despite the hotel being really beautiful, our super el cheapo online booking deal had gotten us a room with two double beds — for our honeymoon.

All of it would have been hilarious — the frat guys, the double beds, the 24 hour techno soundtrack-if we’d just been viewing it through our traditional marijuana-soaked lenses.

Instead? The world was looking increasingly stark — frighteningly in focus.

The reality lay before us. We were going to have to try to buy some drugs.

We were addicts in need of a score. It was just like in Requiem for a Dream, I thought. I hoped against hope I wouldn’t have to recreate Jennifer Connelly’s ass-to-ass-with-a-giant-dildo-scene to close the deal.

I had no idea where to begin. I turned to God and begged for guidance. There was no response, so I decided to look it up on the internet.

I Googled: “Where to Buy Weed in Cabo San Lucas”.

And there it was: – “A Traveler’s Guide to Getting High.”

WeBeHigh had suggestions on how to find weed in more than 1100 cities worldwide from Minsk to Montana. The website had this to say about trolling for bud in Cabo San Lucas:

The main beach vendors or any of the small trinket shops can hook you up. If, for some reason, you’re not approached by someone selling weed, any of the street or beach vendors can point you to someone who will.

Sweet. This was going to be easy. We made plans to trek into town in the morning and then crawled into one of the two double beds and fell into a fitful, but hopeful, sleep.

We were too poor to rent a car or take a cab into town so, in the morning, we shuffled across the highway outside the resort to wait for the bus so we could go to downtown Mexico and buy drugs. On our honeymoon.

It was hot. Mexico hot. We waited in silence on the dusty strip of highway littered with trash. The bus stop looked like that spot in the movie Babel where that lady got picked up by Border Patrol after she left Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett’s kids under a bush.

Trucks sped by us, their beds filled with day laborers packed in standing room only. At least they had a ride. I tortured myself with thoughts of the extra thick Kotex maxi pad stuffed with rock star quality weed sitting on the coffee table at home as we finally climbed aboard the steaming, spitting Mexibus that rattled forward into town.

When we arrived, we both knew I was going to have to be the one to make the “buy.” My husband looks like a junior high school music teacher. If he went up to someone on the street in Mexico and tried to buy drugs, I was sure he’d end up in a tub full of ice somewhere sans kidneys.

We wandered aimlessly down shady side streets until we found a “trinket shop” near the main drag. I sauntered inside, trying to look sexy and cool.

“Do you sell papers?” I asked casually.

“Yes, yes we have all kinds of papers. Whatever you like,” said the smiling clerk. He and a friend were sipping cups of coffee and flipping through the newspaper. They were both very polite.

I selected some Zig Zags, handed him the money and then donned my most doe-ish look and said slyly: “Uhh,…do you know where I could get something to go IN these?”

The smoke shop owner looked at me blankly for a few moments before he realized what I was asking. His expression turned from pleasant to stern.

“No,” he said. “I DON’T.” His friend frowned at me disapprovingly. I was awash with shame. This must be what Jennifer Connelly felt like, I thought. I ran out of the store mortified.

We walked briskly through the touristy part of town looking for throngs of helpful street vendors that had insisted would be waiting to guide us to conveniently located weed selling spots.

A tiny woman ran up alongside us with an armful of sarongs and jewelry. She grazed my arm with her fingers. “You like colors? You like sarong? I can make?” she said quietly. She seemed non-threatening at least. Maybe she could help.

“Marijuana?” I asked with an insulting accent. “Do you know where?”

She looked confused for a moment and then crushed. “No,” she said. “No weed. You like bracelet? Anklet? I can make?”

She looked desperate. I was between semesters of social work graduate school and felt overwhelmed by white liberal guilt. I paid her $30 for a cheap fabric sarong and an anklet that broke off a few feet down the road.

She thanked me and shuffled off. We forged on. A sketchy, filthy dude with a handful of brown teeth trotted up to us with a handful of silver bracelets.

“Beautiful bracelets, jewelry, necklace, bracelets,” he asked running alongside us as we picked up our pace.

“No thank you,” I said brushing past. We barely had enough money to buy weed already. I couldn’t be taking on every single charity case that crossed our path.

“Jewelry, bracelets, necklace, you wanna get high?” he mumbled on.

We stopped short and I spun around.

“Yes!” I said.

He didn’t miss a beat: “Weed or blow?”

“Weed,” I said firmly.

“I get you nice stuff,” he mumbled on. “Very green. Sweet bud. You stay here. I go get for you. You want coke too?”

“No, just weed,” I said as if passing on dessert at my local IHOP. “Thank you.”

He hooked one of the silver bracelets around my wrist as a marker. I already liked his professionalism.

“Here, you keep this. You will wait for me,” he said and went running off down one of the sketchier of the sketchy side streets.

We sat down on a bus stop bench and waited. I felt pretty fucking hardcore.

We sat there for 45 minutes until he returned. I was feeling a lot less fucking hardcore by then.

“I look all over for you!” he yelled at us accusingly. We hadn’t moved more than 20 feet from where we’d first met him.
He flashed the bag of weed at us quickly. It looked more brown than green.

“Good stuff! See?” he grunted. He waved the bag under my nose quickly without letting me look too closely.

There was definitely a scent of marijuana to the bag — it was faint but it was there. I wanted it. I wanted it like a Survivor contestant wants to win that Fun Size bag of Doritos on Day 24 and is willing to be waterboarded with liquefied stinkbugs to prove it. Whatever this guy was selling, it was the best we were going to do.

And so the haggling began. I am, without question, one of the worst business people alive. My chief negotiating tactic is to start creating a story in my head about why my opponent has every right to rip me off.

I imagined this man trying to provide for a family of 16. I imagined he relied on ripping off pothead tourists like me to feed his kids. I was a rich American headed back to a hotel with unlimited burritos and reasonably comfortable double beds. This guy had every right to rip me off. I imagined that his wife was one of the Mexican hat dancers scheduled to degrade herself later that evening at the La Cucaracha performance back at the resort.

“Gimme 100 dollars,” he said.

My empathy waned. I couldn’t give him $100. We had $120 left for the next four days in Cabo.

“I can’t,” I said.

“You have bracelet,” he said gesturing to my wrist.

“Still too much,” I responded. It was the most business savvy I’d ever been in my entire life.

“Okay, 80,” he said.

“Okay!” I heard myself blurt out before I could stop it. I forked over the cash brightly and he slipped the bag of weed into my hand. Then he deftly plucked the silver bracelet off my wrist and took off. I had thought I was going to get to keep that as part of the deal, but I guess not. I rationalized that he probably needed it as a gift for his wife or 16 daughters.

We bussed it back to the resort and smoked the seediest, stemmiest, brownest $80 dime bag I ever hope to see. It was bad, but it took the edge off — a little bit anyway. The entire stash lasted us almost a full afternoon.

We spent the rest of the trip sipping virgin coladas by the pool, passing judgment on the alcoholic resort guests, and looking forward to the reward tucked inside the Kotex jumbo sized maxi pad on the coffee table back home. Oh, and fucking.

The weed may have sucked, but it did give me the chance to confirm that I really loved my new husband — even when I was sober. True love transcends all — even a shwaggy bag smoked on a double bed