I really dislike going to Panama City, but if you live in Panama the center of the world is in the Capital and at times you must go. Usually I need to go to visit a government Ministry since everything in this country is centralized the offices in the Provinces can rarely do much of anything. This time was different, a better reason and over a weekend.
This trip was with Mayra and both of her daughters, Karina and Johana to formally celebrate the engagement of Johana.
After a seven hour bus trip we received a room at the Milan Hotel early, and slept to recover from sleeping on the 11PM semi express bus. Then we did a little shopping, I forgot it was Saturday some of the markets, the kosher markets, were closed. I forgot it was the first day of Passover and Sabbath too, oh well, those little grey cells are overused.We did our spice shopping at Foodie.
Then later went to the engagement dinner at Lung Fung, which I think has the worst Chinese Food in Panama. After the formal meeting of the families, Mayra, Karina and I went out for a drink to relax. It was a formal meeting because Johana is marrying into a Indian family and the Hindu traditions are different than any we know.
Sunday morning I wanted to compensate for Lung Fung, so I took the group to the Golden Unicorn for great Dim Sum. In my opinion, Lung Fung and Golden Unicorn, both in Panama City are the opposite extremes in Chinese cuisine.
Then the trip home, long but uneventful until I hit the rain driving from David to Boquete. Allow me to suggest avoiding that ride at night if you can. Between the detours and lack of paint on the highway it is really difficult to know where you are on the road. It is easy to slide into a ditch.
I avoided the ditches, at least until I started up Jaramillo, up the muddy unpaved road that climbs to my house. My Rexton hit a slippery spot I slid backwards into a drainage channel. What do you do at 8:30PM on a rural road in Panama when you are stuck in a ditch. This is the magical difference in Panama, no AAA, I could have called for a tow truck but they might never have found me or ended up in the same ditch.
Instead I called my neighbor. As I waited for Carlin, Kent and Phyllis, other neighbors drove up and offered to help. Eventually using Carlin’s winch and his jeep tied to Kent’s pickup I was extricated. Then Carlin tried backing down the hill and ended up in the same ditch. We extracted him and with Carlin leading in the jeep and Kent walking by my side I backed down to a point I could turn the car and return to an intersection and use a paved road up the hill.
There is a message in this monologue. Panama is a country of diversity, a melting pot. Panama has attracted some great people along with the losers. I know my neighbors, we rely on each other, this is a lot different than my life in Arizona. I knew I could call any neighbor when I was stuck, I never hesitated, they also know they can call me if they need help, when that has happened I never hesitated either. This is a very different than my past life, I prefer this life. Thank you to Kent, Phyllis and Carlin, all of you are reasons I love living here in the boonies.