So yesterday, a normal Saturday afternoon here in Chengdu, China, my husband was not working (yay!), the air was not entirely brown (yay!), and he and I had a couple of hours within which we were free to take a cab to a different part of the city (this place is bigger than NYC or Chicago, you guys - it's crazy big with its 14 million people) in search of some Chinese silk material to buy for my sewing-happy, seamstress mother.
Now, here in Chengdu, there are, like, districts. I don't know how to describe them... "streets," maybe. They're like really long streets lined on both sides by small shops, all of which sell one certain thing. There's, like, Sink Street, where a zillion sinks are sold, or Paint Street, where you can find tons of cans of wall paint, or Scooter Street, where you can buy scooters... you get it. You're smart like that.
So yesterday James and I took a cab to Silk Street. And it's really called that - Silk Street. Where you can buy some silk and get clothes tailored with it. And because my mom sews, she has asked me to PLEASE OH PLEASE bring her back some Chinese silk when we get to the U.S. on our R&R soon.
So the cab drops James and me off at the beginning of Silk Street, and we go wandering around from shop to shop.
At one point, in front of one section of shops, James and I smell this gawdawful smell. It's really strong.
me: What IS that awful smell?
James: That's weed. Someone's smoking pot. A lot of it.
me (having never in my life seen or smelled drugs before): Ugh! That stuff reeks!
And then he and I fall into a conversation about his police officer days, etc. Because, don't forget, my husband has been in both federal and local law enforcement for literally decades now. (And this is as good a time as any to remind you that even now, he's still in federal law enforcement. Which becomes pertinent to the story soon.)
So I pop into another silk shop, leaving James standing placidly on the sidewalk by himself, waiting for me.
He's holding nothing in his hands. He's doing nothing but standing there, waiting for me. Probably looking bored, to tell the truth. I mean, let's just be honest.
Then, out of nowhere, some random white guy rushes up to him and the following exchange takes place:
Random White Guy (to James, excitedly): Dude! Are you smoking pot?
James (who is not above toying with morons when they beg for it, and who, as I said, HAS NOTHING IN HIS HANDS, let alone anything that is wafting smoke anywhere, says *very* sarcastically): Yes.
Random White Guy (freaking out with happiness): DUDE! WHERE DID YOU BUY IT?!?! HERE? RIGHT HERE SOMEWHERE?
James (no longer participating in the discussion): **rolls eyes, looks away**
Random White Guy, realizing he's going to get no help from James, rushes off, ostensibly in search of pot.
I then come out of the silk store, having seen and heard none of this.
(I ALWAYS MISS EVERYTHING INTERESTING.)
And as James related to me the most interesting exchange he had just had with Random White Guy, I was literally AMAZED at the multiple layers of stupidity. Because, really. Somewhere in Chengdu there's some total moron White Guy (possibly an American?) who basically asked my U.S. federal law enforcement agent husband to help him figure out where to buy illegal drugs. Which, make no mistake about it, are way, WAY more illegal here than in the U.S.
...seriously - messing around with pot in China can get a person the death penalty, from what I understand. China don't play with the whole illegal drug thing.
So - really. What a total tool.