Something About Panama

When I say the word Panama, now that I’ve been there, I hear it differently than I did before.  I used to emphasize the first syllable, and now emphasize the last, if any, trying to simulate the way they say it in Pa-na-ma.   Panama is the first central American country I’ve ever been to, and I really did enjoy going there.  I enjoyed Boquete in the mountains, and I liked what little I saw of Panama City, though I wouldn’t feel the need to stay there long. The Bus Rides You can take a 7 hour bus ride from PC to David for $15 a person.  They are not quite as good as the overnight we took from Buenos Aires to Iguazu in Argentina, but that one cost over $200 per person.  At stops along the way independent venders come on board to sell you banana chips or ice cream or churros.   They played us a bootleg copy of the Fast and Furious 6.  I know it was a bootleg not just because the movie is still out, but because the view often zoomed in and out from letterbox to full screen, would sometimes shake and on a few occasions the shadow of someone’s head would block the film.  Once or twice the policia come aboard to check ID and passports, I still don’t know why they do that.   On the way back we stopped for 30 minutes at a place for lunch.  It cost about 14 bucks for us all 5 of us to eat. What to do in Panama if you don’t watch TV. While in Panama I finished a book.  Praise the lords that I’m reading something.  It wasn’t great literature, but it was on par with the likes of shows that I watch on TV, shows like Falling Skies, for example.  It was an easy ready, and actually enjoyable.  It was a book my middle child wanted me to read so she could share her enthusiasm for it, the first in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.  Much better than anything I’ve ever read by Stephanie Meyer, though I’ve only read The Host. Security The Panamanian equivalent of TSA stole Gloria’s tweezers.   Not sure what she could do with tweezers that she couldn’t do better with an ink pen, or her razor, or nail clippers, all of which they let her keep.  They searched every single bag of every single passenger prior to boarding, and didn’t allow liquids over 3 ounces even if you bought it at the terminal.  They didn’t actually open the bag with all of my dirty laundry, in which I could have easily hid tweezers, though they did, apparently, take out all of my 11 year old son’s, which included his smelly socks which I can tell you from experience is a greater weapon than any tweezers.  My wife told me that the woman searched every hidden crevice in his bag, an 11 year old, blond haired blue eyed american, returning to his own country, because she presumable thought that he might hate America so much as to bring down an airplane.  Then she found something that could have made the entire plane pass out, his socks, and let him on anyway.  My wife, after her own grand theft tweezers, stood by and watched the security woman struggle to repack every piece of dirty laundry he had and didn’t lift a finger to help.  We all got patted down, too.  In America, they always make sure you are patted down by someone of the same sex.  In Panama the officers are all women, which I think makes more sense.  Most women would prefer to get patted down by a woman, and so, too, would, I think, most men.

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