So today I decided to visit a park I used to visit a bit called Paseo Aztecas Park near where I live.
As I got to the end of the park as you can see here, I decided to sit down for a little bit.
Oddly enough, another skinny dude sat on a bench across from me and kept looking over at me.
Not sure why.
After about an hour, I decided it was time anyway to move on and buy some toilet paper in the Soriana market across from the park.
I know I’ll need some more toilet paper for next month and it can be a useful way to break a 500 MXN peso bill as they often are annoying to break down here.
Walking inside the Soriana, I happened to have just a bottle of Fuze tea in my pocket and my phone.
Now the Fuze tea plastic bottle didn’t actually have Fuze tea in it because I already drinked that.
I often walk around with some plastic Fuze tea bottle primarily because it’s a way to store a week’s worth of tea at home.
For those who don’t know, I drink about 4 liters of black tea a day (with no sugar, doesn’t taste like Fuze tea actually).
Given how much I drink of it, I prefer to make a week’s worth in advance every week and I happen to have a bunch of plastic bottles that I store the tea inside of.
Sounds weird but I don’t feel like buying more pitchers to hold the tea.
Here’s a picture of my latest batch.
Anyway, I walked inside the Soriana with just a plastic bottle of partly consumed tea and my phone as I said.
Found the toilet paper right away.
Off to the cashier!
Right away, I notice the cashier to be some middle aged woman who literally has that “Karen” haircut but replace blonde hair with black hair.
Didn’t matter at first but that’s how she looked.
Maybe adds to the personality?
We’ll find out.
Anyway, as she rings up the toilet paper, I pull out the tea and tell her that “I have this too but it’s from outside.”
In hindsight, that might’ve been dumb to do because the tea was pretty well concealed and not too noticeable.
Now that I think about it, I doubt she would’ve called me out on it unless I brought her attention to it.
Dumb on my part.
Anyway, I tell her it’s from outside as I said just in case she thought it was from the store or something.
And that’s what she immediately thinks.
Asking me if I have some sticker on it to prove it’s from the store, I tell her no and that the guard at the entrance must’ve not noticed it.
Which is true – the dude didn’t say shit about my bottle of tea.
Anyway, Mexican Karen didn’t believe me and started giving me a some shit about it.
Immediately accusing me a bit aggressively about how “you sure this isn’t from the store?!?”
No, it isn’t.
And, trying to be polite, I didn’t try being an ass to her even though she was acting a bit aggressive.
Then she calls her manager over.
Finally, the Karen manages to get the manager!
Or what seemed to be the manager anyway.
The manager, who was a short overweight woman who looked to be in her 50s, was pretty chill.
She tried explaining how there should be some sticker on the bottle to prove it came from outside but I explained that it was in my pocket and the guard didn’t notice.
Then, for some reason, I tried explaining that it doesn’t even have real Fuze tea in it because it’s just normal black tea without sugar and I feel up bottles at home with black tea.
Which, in hindsight, was probably dumb to explain because what was I expecting? For her to taste it to prove I’m right?
The manager then stopped speaking for a second and looked at me asking “where are you from?”
She must’ve noticed the accent.
“The US” I said.
In the moment, I could almost see the disbelief in her eyes that I was a thief.
After all, how many gringos are going to Mexico to steal one dollar teas at Soriana?
Anyway, the Mexican Karen then intervened and said “how about we just ring it up and see if the item is in the system?”
Which makes sense!
If it came from outside, it surely can’t be in Soriana’s system!
You won’t fucking believe what happened then.
Must’ve been the afternoon where I got cursed with bad luck from the Aztec gods.
As she rung it up, it literally showed up in the machine as being worth 15.50 MXN pesos or 80 cents roughly.
Mexican Karen gave me the “got you bitch” look.
And I stared at the machine dumbfounded thinking “how the fuck did it register in the machine?”
To be fair, I don’t know where I bought this bottle.
I want to say that I bought it at Soriana the day before because I did buy some actual Fuze tea from the same Soriana that day as I was looking to buy socks also.
But, now that I think about it, it couldn’t be the same bottle because I already filled up the bottles of a tea almost a week ago and haven’t filled up any news ones in the last few days.
So I either bought that specific bottle from another Soriana and maybe the products you buy at one Soriana in Mexico City are in the same system as any other Soriana.
Or the Aztec Gods are fucking with me.
At this point though, I didn’t know what to say because I wasn’t expecting it to show up in the system.
And the Mexican Karen began arguing with me again accusing me of trying to steal it.
To which I snapped at this point and said “you really fucking think that I travelled from the US to your country to steal tea?.”
In that moment, there was a part of me that wanted to bite harder and say more offensive shit.
“Your people steal jobs. I don’t steal tea. Fuck off.”
Or whatever else that would press the emotional buttons on her.
But, being the mature adult, I held back.
And my comment on “you really think I came to your country to steal tea from the US?” got to her.
And, at that point, I was leaning towards one idea or the other.
For one, I could’ve waited an hour or two (probably two since Mexicans take forever to get shit done) and have her boss check the security cameras with me to prove I didn’t take any tea and walked inside with it.
The footage wouldn’t have been much anyway because I was literally in the store for 5 minutes.
Walk in, grab toilet paper, walk to the cashier.
And while that is possible for me to do since I often have a loose schedule without having much to do most days, I also felt this is all stupid.
After all, it’s only 80 god damn cents worth of tea.
Why am I arguing with a Mexican Karen about the tea when the extra 80 cents doesn’t mean shit.
At this point, it’s mostly just an ego thing to prove I’m right mixed in with my curiosity about how the hell the tea was in the system.
Anyway, to my luck, the manager – perhaps sensing more confrontation from Mexican Karen or perhaps she believed me – just waved me along.
“Eh whatever, let him through. Next time you need to get a sticker though on it.” She told me.
I’ll remember that.
Or maybe not bring anymore tea inside the place.
Along the walk home, I thought some more about it.
Particularly with how the tea was in the system.
My best guess is it really must’ve been purchased in another Soriana.
Anyway, it’s a small story about a part of my day.
First time I’ve been accused of shoplifting ever in my life.
And first time a Mexican thought I would truly travel to Mexico to steal tea.
Granted, given what you know about me making a week’s worth of tea in advance, I guess it doesn’t sound too out of character for me, does it?
“The Black Tea Bandit” shall be my new name in Mexico.
Here’s a picture of the supposed stolen tea in question – not very much left of it.
Anyway, that’s all.
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