Dear all, could you please help me out with a difficulty in the novel by Peter Mountford "A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism"? Were it not for the presence of the stout indigenous women in their antiquated garb — shawls, petticoats, tunics, and felt bowler hats worn at an incongruous tilt — the city could have been Florence, and Gabriel on his way to a cafe behind the Duomo. But this was not Italy. There were beggars everywhere, and grubby shoeshine boys zooted on shoe polish. I am not sure how to interpret the words in bold. 1) Shoeshine boys were smoking marijuana while working. 2) While working they got excited as if they were smoking marijuana. The novel is set in La Paz (Bolivia) but I know too little about this country to decide whether the 1) is possible. Nevertheless the 2) seems more probable.