While having dinner with the Croc Wrestler a black man (Tom) with short locks walked up to the Croc Wrestler and said hi. They had a brief discussion and walked off. The Croc Wrestler told me that he had met Tom the night before at the hotel restaurant and the hotel staff had said he that Tom was cool to hang out with and that he could take him round San Ignacio. The went to a bar and got talking and Croc Wrestler bought Tom some drinks. Tom had apparantly given him some story about needing money for food so Croc Wrestler gave him some cash. Tom left to get food and this was the first time since last night that Croc had seen him.
At this point Tom returns to our table but enroute he stops at another table where an American hands him some money. When Tom got to our table he asks Croc if it is possible to get a drink and before Croc can respond, Tom has ordered a drink and asked the bar to put it on Crocs tab! Tom then went off somewhere.
Later that night we were at a bar and who should turn up…Tom! He sits with us and orders three drinks. The waitress brings the drinks over and he makes rude and suggestive remarks. Since Tom ordered the drinks you would think he would be paying…instead he looked at Croc and said that would be $7.50 please. It was my round so I took out the money and Tom was about to take it from me and I insisted on handing it to the waiteress. When she brought back the change I left her a tip but Tom took it. That was the last straw for me. He left and we left.
We did not see him again until Sunday night and I pulled him aside and told him he was an embarrasment to his country and his people. Tom is educated, he is well spoken. He can find a job if he chose to. Instead he goes around targeting white people, begging and conning them out of money. We as black people have fought long and hard to be recognised as people who can hold our own. Yet here is a black man who is willing to give up his pride and his diginity for a few dollars! I know that between Saturday and Sunday he made about $100 and had drinks “bought” for him too, yet he still carried on.
I reminded him that Belize relies on tourist trade and he is not helping his nation. Most importantly I told him there is no where I shall let him take advantage of my friends because their white and nor shall he embarass me in the presence of my white friends by acting a fool.
He said thank you and he never came back to hassle us again.