La Hacienda is patronized mostly by locals and ex-pats, with foreign tourists as a significant minority. During our visit, we witnessed a fiery dispute between two of the patrons. Shortly after our arrival, two locals poured onto the deck; they were involved in a heated discussion. As tension rose, we were surprised that the vulgarities and threats switched to English. This was unfortunate as we had been softening the interpretation for the younger ears at our table. We were also surprised that the decorum of their straight rum consumption remained the same throughout the argument. The contents of the bottle were poured into a shot glass, then gently poured into a larger glass filled with ice. We asked the waiter if everything would be okay; he assured us that it was no problem. One of the combatants went inside for a while, so we relaxed. Then, he returned; hostilities reconvened; he disappeared again and, upon return, he confessed his love for his friend and all was right with the world.
Later, some of their old friends appeared on the foot path below. We were relieved when one of the combatants entranced an older gentleman to join them. Both showed great reverence to the elder. Again, everything was right with the world. However, we were somewhat horrified to hear the resumption of hostilities. Issues escalated and the English language was re-introduced to the discussion.
To avoid witnessing further escalation, I asked for the bill. My nine year old son declared it the best night ever. It may be a sad statement on the monotony of my own life, but I had to partly agree. This restaurant offers mediocre food and surly service, but if you're looking for local colour, this is the place to be - just maybe leave the kids at home.
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