“What’s that you have there in that little box? Why do you have those little seeds?”
“Well, well!” let see the other pockets, frisk, frisk………….!
The officer called for backup as she slammed the handcuffs on my wrist like I was a big wanted criminal. But since I’d had a drink or two at the aeropuerto I didn’t feel very panicked, I knew I was not a criminal- after few minutes they would apologize and send me off to continue my trip to Canaima with Tad. I had nothing to fear, wrong!!!!!
Well it was not exactly like that! Now the two of than he once on civil clothes she call on earlier and her (officer Salazar) were looking at me. The big one sad possession of drugs, si? I said no no no let me explained, silence and answer the questions, then officer Salazar said “Follow me please,” and we entered into a little room, and suddenly she closed the door, saying “:Wait for me here.” Like I could go somewhere out of this hot dirty hellhole! Claustrophobia was already setting in and I began to sweat. I didn’t like this at all! I was going to lose my flight.
After about ten minutes which seemed hours., she walked back in with a paper saying that the contents of my pockets, the little silver box with seeds of marijuana and maybe 3/4 of a roach, was ILLEGAL. “Take off all your clothes” What!???? ” Officer Salazar I don’t have anything else,” I said, trembling, “only my paperback and my address book and some Bolivars (cash), which you already have.” “I said to take off your clothes!” I thought I should be must humble and behaved it will be better for mie but with dignity –after all I know a lot of important people in the Capitol.
Shaking, I started unbuttoning my shirt and pants, but I was still reluctant to take them off. “Dear God, this is not good,” I started praying (to myself, so she wouldn’t get mad), and holding my cross which I would never take off, even in a doctor’s office. I would put it in my mouth in those cases of taking a Xtray, so it is always in me– my mama put on my neck that cross a long time ago when I was baptism. “Okay, you can keep your cross on.” Gracias, señora , official salazar!
I continued undressing. “No , that’s good enough,” she said, as I was hesitating to strip completely she looked at me saying, “Put you arms up and turn around”– “Okay, now dress yourself.”: She left the room again, this time with the door slightly open. Thank God, I can’t stand being closed in! Soon she came back, picked up the evidence and the papers she was working on, and said simply “Follow me.” We walked into a bigger room where there where those two officers. Directing his voice toward me, one of them was trying hard to speak English.
“Please, senor, I speak Spanish muy bien!”
“Okay, why were you carrying this marijuana? and these seeds?” he continued, in Spanish. Not caring how stupid I sounded ,in my innocence I said, ” I just wanted to see how they looked when they grow!” ( In those days, before the internet nobody knew these things exactly.) “I just wanted to plant them on my brother’s island, just for fun, if I will remember to do so, when I am their?. But with all the drinking that goes in there and partying, I would probably forget and leave them in my pocket, and that would be very bad for me when I went back to the United States.”
I kept talking: ” I think they would be just concerned as you are here! I am very sorry, let me tell you the truth– I don’t even like the weed, it belonged to my boyfriend I was just saving that for him. It was only for his personal consumption ,for his migraine headaches. The doctor prescribed it for him and said it was okay!”
“Well ma’am, here in Venezuela it is a serious crime, and worse than the roach is the box with the seeds for growing! Do you have an abogado? Do you need to call anyone? “
“Yes, sir, the American Consulate, if you will allow me. Could I have the telephone and phone number please?”