1003611_463907160470117_2047314739014301341_nI can now say every time I come to Cartagena, I learn something new about drink or drugs.

During this stay I tasted my first mojito. Delicious!

And during my prior visit to the city, I learned to stay away from pot.

I first came to Cartagena with my parents and my brother when I was about twelve. Back in (that) day, you could easily purchase pot on the street. My mother has always been an adventuresome type. Over the protests of my father (who feared she would be arrested) she bought a joint from a sidewalk dealer and tried it.

My brother and I stared at her while she took several hits. I don’t remember what we expected to happen, but it certainly wasn’t her announcing, “I don’t feel anything,” as she tossed the remainder of the joint into the trash.

Had it stopped there, who knows? I might have been tempted to try pot myself (which of course would have led me to crack the following week and heroin the week after, with a possible detour into meth).

Instead we went to lunch. My mother, who was 5’4″/115 pounds for all of her adult life, usually ate a salad for her midday meal.

Not today.

Instead, she ordered the vegetarian enchilada plate, which came with lots of rice and beans on the side. She had my father order it, too. My brother and I ordered vegetable fajitas.

When our meals arrived, my mother gobbled hers down. When it was gone, she helped herself to one of my tortillas filled with veggies, then stole several big bites from my brother’s plate before he made her stop. She finished up by eating most of my dad’s rice.

At this point, she’d consumed so much, her stomach was visibly bulging. (She had to undo the top bottom of her pants.) The rest of the afternoon was spent with her making little moaning sounds along with complaining how much her stomach hurt.

So my takeaway from the experience was a compelling one: IF YOU SMOKE POT YOU WILL EAT TOO MUCH AND NOT BE ABLE TO BUTTON YOUR PANTS.

It’s been a lifelong lesson. Even though I live in Colorado, I have yet to try pot. Thanks, Mom.