I promised I'd tell you about this. Grocery stores and other medium to large stores will usually have an armed guard or two at the entrance, but what I didn't know at first was that some of them also have 'secret police' inside dressed like customers.
Their job is to watch out for shoplifters or people who might eat something in the store or drink a coke and then leave the can and not pay for it. Well, they aren't really secret police. They are more like undercover guards, but I think of them as secret police.
They just sort of hang around the store trying to watch people without looking too suspicious. It just so happened that El Jefe knew a couple of people who had these jobs − that's how I found out about it.
Once I noticed a man who seemed to be at the end of every aisle I went down. He didn't have a cart or a basket, and he was beginning to make me nervous. When El Jefe came to pick me up, I mentioned it and pointed the man out. El Jefe said, "Oh, he's the secret guard. I know him."
I don't think I look like a shoplifter, but apparently I have a very suspicious manner of shopping, because I'm always noticing guards following me or the same person peering down every aisle that I walk down. I'm one of those people who reads labels, compares prices, checks expiration dates, and, just the fact that so many of the products are new and different to me, I spend a lot of time looking.
It is a little disconcerting, though. It makes me feel that I should walk around with my hands up in the air to show I'm not stealing anything. I'll have to say that it's just a little insulting, too. But having your integrity insulted in Honduras is something you just have to get used to, because many businesses do it in some form or fashion.