“I haven’t followed the story very closely, it’s a little bit too close ” Mairi says.

She pauses. Thinks. Chooses each word carefully. “It's like when somebody you played netball with at school gets picked to play for the British team, and you think, 'ooh that’s interesting, that could have been me'. I don’t want to think that. But that could have been me.”

Mairi is talking about Melissa Reid, the 22 year old Scottish drug mule sentenced to six years in a Peruvian jail for drug smuggling in 2013.

READ MORE: 'Drug mule' Melissa Reid to ask authorities to come home

Peru this week “granted expulsion” to Reid, and it looks likely she will be allowed home to finish the rest of her sentence in a British jail.

Like Reid and her Northern Irish friend Michaella McCollum, Mairi found herself involved in the Peruvian drug industry. Unlike Reid and McCollum Mairi was never got caught.

In fact she made enough money to buy a two bedroom house in Glasgow’s well-heeled West End.

It's been five years since she left Peru, and she's about to qualify as a primary school teacher.

Reid and McCollum were caught trying to smuggle 11kg of cocaine, worth around £1.5m, from Peru to Spain. At first they claimed they had been forced into carrying the drugs but later pleaded guilty to charges.

Mairi however, was only ever in Peru, selling drugs to backpackers.

“Reid and McCollum tried to take it out the country. Idiots. You can make enough money in the country. It just takes a little longer,” she says.

Mairi had always wanted to travel. There were stints all over Europe, in Russia, in the Middle East and then in South America. A year back home to try university had been a disaster and so she went back out on the road, living hand to mouth, working in bars and restaurants.

“I met my boyfriend Miguel in one of the bars. He worked there as well and eventually we moved cities to where his parents were. And then we spent Christmas and New Year with his parents and we sort of stayed there. It was in Lima, a separate city to where I’d been working.”

After a short stint living with his parents they figured they needed to make some cash. At that point they pooled together their last 200 soles, the equivalent of £50, borrowed all the kitchen utensils they could find and set up a little snack bar next to a busy hostel.

READ MORE: 'Drug mule' Melissa Reid to ask authorities to come home

“Because I was an English speaking white person all the people from the hostel would come in and say, ‘oh hey you’ve lived her for a while, where can I buy some smokes, where I can buy some weed, where can I buy a joint'. And to begin with we would just point them in the right direction, but eventually we figured why don’t we just sell it direct to them. So we did.”

Mairi insists she only ever sold weed, but she’s less sure what Miguel may have done.

“We would buy a half kilo at the time and sell it in bundles or in joints. We would buy it for the equivalent of about £100. And then we’d sold it for £400-500. The people we were selling it to thought it was a great bargain because it was an awful lot cheaper that what else they were being offered.”

That, however, caused problems. No one would ever attack Miguel, he was a big man, but when he was away, Mairi, the pale Scottish 'Gringa', was an easy target for rival dealers.

There wouldn’t be any discussion, she would just be beaten up. “There wasn’t really anything anyone could do,”she says.

People in the neighbourhood would only come over after her attackers had left. 'My Spanish didn’t extend to ‘I’ve just been beaten up for dealing drugs so I can’t go to the police, but thank you for your help’," she said.

Business however, was booming, within a year Miguel and Mairi had three snack bars, across Peru.

One of the more popular snacks, was shortbread, cooked using Cannabutter, a mixture of butter and cannabis extraction.

“It was my granny’s shortbread recipe,” Mairi says. And despite the highly potent smell, there was never any trouble with the police. They just weren’t about.

Prison never really scared her: “At the time prison seemed like the least scary option. Peru wasn’t very friendly to a little white girl selling drugs”

Mairi decided to leave Peru and come back home when a new government made it more restrictive for foreigners to run businesses.

Mairi makes clear she is not recommending life as a drug dealer in Latin America.

“It makes an interesting story, but no. An enormous part of it was how lucky I was.”

The political situation has changed since she was there.

READ MORE: 'Drug mule' Melissa Reid to ask authorities to come home

Reid and McCollum’s arrest and imprisonment was internationally high profile. For the authorities it’s a warning to any other white backpacker who thinks there’s easy money to be made in the Peruvian drugs industry.

Reid is coming home to Lenzie, East Dunbartonshire, under a new law that allow overseas prisoners to apply for expulsion.

The reason for that law? Chronic overcrowding in the Peruvian prison system.