The village snaked along a piece of land where the jungle met the sea, sweltering long after thick morning mists climbed up through jungle growth to join the sky. Boats went their way while that happened, sputtering as they left docks as Jason crawled off from his hotel bed, cleaned up, and made his way downstairs in a building that brought to mind old villages in the south of Spain—hardy, resilient, and elegant in its own right. And in sharp contrast to sidewalks bordering similar structures. Street vendors were selling everything from street food to bootleg everything alongside a road congested with beat-up cars, trucks, and motorcycles grafted onto elaborately chromed and painted wagons whose drivers charged less than taxis.
Jason bought fried bread crammed full of meat and vegetables and downed it in one of those wagons on the ride to what he hoped the driver understood was the junkyard. He had to give props to the driver—he raced like a drunk through a bender in a brother through streets that transitioned from oil-sprayed dirt to naked dust. The driver deposited Jason outside a brick wall crowned by barbed wire, painted over in Rouvenman murals denouncing America and the West. Jason walked along the wall until he found a chain-link gate and garnered the surprise of faces within the junkyard.
This is it. Jason told himself as a guard sauntered out, carrying his machine gun lazy the way a punk rocker might sling her six-string down low around her hips.
“Wit man wants?” The guard barked.