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A Crack Head By Any Other Name... (Would Smell As Sweet??)

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Dallas Boyd
Dallas Boyd

For the first time in my life I have an office of my very own to work from. Despite the gaping hole in the ceiling (where the crack heads broke in through the roof) I am very excited. At first I wasn’t allowed to clean the dirty bare footprints off the top of the filing cabinet because it was “evidence”… (despite the fact that the culprits had already been identified, caught, arrested, locked up, and let free again the previous day).

Arriving at the office in the morning with my very own set of keys, I found the locks were stuck and I couldn’t get in. Sweltering and sweating in the 8 a.m. heat, I had to hand it to the crack heads. We install metal bars, rebuild the roof, pack up and hide the office equipment every night - and they still get in. And here I am, unable to get in through the front door with the bloody keys. Welcome to Quepos.

Crack heads march the streets like skeleton soldiers, bodies held upright and stiff, arms rigidly swinging by their sides. Street dogs lounge on the dusty cracked pavements. The community wonders what to do with both groups - but the dogs get more pity. Their population can be reduced through sponsored neutering and spaying programs. But women here have to pay about USD$20 for a mere 3 weeks worth of contraceptive pills - that’s almost $40 in New Zealand! And people here struggle to make USD$20.

But the tourists keep coming. This is one of the wealthiest, most visited places in the country. Multi-million dollar resorts, hotels and homes sprawl across the green hills, with sparkling swimming pools and pristine tropical views of the rainforest and pacific ocean. A new marina is nearing completion which will bring more money, more tourism, and no doubt, more drugs from every corner of South, Central, and North America.

What is the difference between the homeless crack head on the street and the drug cartel with the AK47? What is the difference between the sought-after rock star snorting cocaine with his groupies and the half-naked addict passed out on the corner? Who are the victims, who are the villains? Does a crack head by any other name… smell as sweet?


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