Given the lack of life-changing experiences and memories during my 3 days in Panama City, I leave you instead with some bullets and some pics:
Visiting the Panama Canal - The 48 mile passageway that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific is considered one of the seven "modern" wonders of the world, and a place I always have dreamed of visiting ever since seeing it's depiction in my favorite movie (Panama Canal Film). Visiting one of the two main "locks" along the Canal at Miraflores, we spent almost two hours watching boats enter the canal, whereby they were lowered approximately 25 feet, and then departed off for the Pacific. Although many say the experience closely rivals the thrill of watching paint dry, I'd have to say... well, that is a perfect depiction. My own personal highlight was explaining to Laura why the boats need to be lowered, since at the time, I was under the belief that "the Atlantic Ocean is actually higher than the Pacific, and the canal allows boats to be lowered to it's level." While I can only assume my Mom is shaking her head right now, and others are questioning the usefulness of a lifetime of education, for the rest of you head-nodders, I provide you the following: Insightful Insight
Riding a Diablo Rojo - These infamous buses have been the most popular form of transportation in Panama City for decades, and $0.25 allowed us to share in this experience. Although no seats were available, and really no standing room either (if there was air between two people, it would soon be filled be another body), the experience of riding one of these artistically-designed buses can only be further described by the picture below. ¨Terminal! Terminal!¨
29th Birthday - Celebrating what is most likely the least exciting birthday age in any person's life (this statement may be up for debate for anyone over the age of 25), I spent the last birthday of my 20s reveling in the perfect fashion for someone approaching the age of 30 - asleep at the bar before midnight. While I did redeem myself by visiting an authentic Panamian club the following night (remind me never again to endure 5 straight hours of Regatone), the $20 ¨Gringo Cover¨ took a nice bite out of my $20 per day budget.
Taxi Drivers - Although my trip has only lasted just over a week, I have already come to the conclusion that every taxi ride in Central and South America will be my own personal Spanish lesson. I would like to especially thank Alberto, our driver to/from the Canal as well as the airport, for helping me progress in my path towards fluency. Muchas gracias mi amigo. Nos vemos la proxima vez!
Next Stop: Shakira´s House (Colombia)
Onto the pics: