The other day I went to town to do some errands. Before returning home to the peaceful seclusion of our rainforest home, I stopped into a bar for what I thought was a well deserved cold beer on a hot day.
A visiting North American, happy or relieved to encounter a cultural kin, joined me at the bar and enjoined me in conversation. After various comments about where do you come from and other such common exchanges that strangers use to get a handle on who they are dealing with, my new acquaintance asks me about Rastas, who are a quite visible minority on this island.
After a few questions, the habitual use of marijuana (or ganja) by Rastas comes up.
“Why do they smoke dope all the time?” he asks.
“Well, they believe it enables them to communicate with the Creator.” I say.
“What? Are you telling me they smoke weed to talk to God? Are they crazy?” he retorts.
“It may indeed be crazy” I say, “but that is indeed what they think, and I think they do it to listen, not so much to talk.”
“I think that is all bullshit. They just like to get high. It’s just an excuse.” Says he after a brief moment of thought.
“Perhaps you are right” say I. “Can I buy you a beer?”
“Funny what nonsense people will believe,” he says sipping his beer.
“It certainly is,” I say, sipping mine.
The other day, Sandra and I went to visit one of our neighbors. Sandra discovered that the neighbor’s cat was playing with (or torturing depending on your opinion of cat behavior) a baby (10”) boa constrictor.
Sandra rescued the snake, which was somewhat damaged but still alive, and took it into the forest.
Later, as we were leaving, she had to go check to see how the snake was doing. The snake was long gone. What she found in its place was a Canadian dime.
It is odd enough to find a coin in the woods; it is odder still for a Canadian woman to find a Canadian coin in the woods on an island where Canadian currency is not used or accepted.
Just for fun, I performed an experiment and told a few people the snake story and then asked why they thought Sandra found the dime where she left the snake.
Not one of the people even tried to answer the question I asked…why did she find it. Instead, they all just tried to rationalize how it could have come to be that the dime was there in the first place.
No wonder there is no magic in their lives.