Travel

The Real Hustle

The road from Oaxaca to Puerto Angel is famed for its windiness, and when I took it I dreamed I was doing donuts in my car back home. For my friend Johnny, though, the ride was a lot less pleasant.

Bandits aren’t common in Mexico, but they do exist – and such a group happened to stop the bus Johnny and his friend Sam were on. They had little impact on Johnny who was fast asleep even when the bandits boarded the bus. And his friend Sam, who upon seeing the automatic rifles they were carrying instantly put his hands up, felt that any sudden movement to wake him might make them put him into an even deeper sleep. This was exactly how the situation remained all the while the bandits were dispossessing the passengers in front. Sat at the back of the bus Johnny was still fast asleep – neither the children’s crying nor the mothers’ whimpering could wake him.

Eventually having robbed Sam they got to Johnny. At first he received some sturdy pats on the shoulder to wake him, to which Johnny in his drowsy state batted away. Slightly embarrassed, the bandit started prodding him with his gun, which Johnny (still sleeping) thrust back at his assailant. Finally in order to avoid complete humiliation and probable loss of face within the bandit community the robber put his gun against one of Johnny’s cheeks and gave him a brutal slap across the other, to which a startled Johnny screamed (and I quote)
“who the fu—(upon noticing the gun) whoaaaaaa-oh-holy shit-fuck “

After this outburst, a copiously sweating and rather confused Johnny proceeded to top up the bandit’s heist by giving them absolutely everything on his person – from his brand new iPod to his old wallet. Whilst he did lose most of what was important to him, with the exception of his passport, he was actually rather stoical about the whole affair, and after all the thirty dollars in his wallet could never have bought a stranger experience than that which he experienced on the road that day.

Hareen Potu

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