I came across an article yesterday that made me cringe. The world’s first cocaine bar, it read. And while I have to admit it picqued my interest, I must also say the thought of sitting in a bar with nearly everyone high on cocaine scares me — beyond belief. I wonder, though, whether this cocaine bar in La Paz, Bolivia is on to something. There are heaps of traveling hedonists, eager for a new high, and while I don’t find that high in drugs, I’m almost positive many travelers in Latin America — and all over the world, for that matter — do.
If you think about it, drug tourism has been around for decades. It was no secret that drugs came easy at Studio 54, and it wasn’t really a surprise to me when I heard recently of Kokie’s, a bar in Manhattan that sold cocaine on the down low. I guess the name gave Kokie’s away, because it’s now closed.
And cocaine’s not the only thing people travel for in the world. Consider all the cheap prescription drugs you can get in Tijuana. I even took advantage of that and bought a bottle of Cipro. Or what about the opium dens in Laos. There were all kinds of “special” pizzas on the menu in Vang Vieng. In a lot of ways, drugs and travel mix perfectly, and in a lot of ways, it’s not wrong to mix them unless you’re over-using and forgetting about reality — or not even bothering to understand the place you’re in.
Nevertheless, could this cocaine bar in La Paz be a sign of the times, and will drugs be the new draw for certain destinations abroad? Only time will tell…