Arriving in Panama City was quite a shock to the system and to be honest, rather overwhelming. The humidity and heat which hit us fresh off the plane and the lack of English was definitely not expected. After 36 hours of waiting and traveling from the USA to Central America, the pure exhaustion was enough to break our excitement into something closer to 'oh my gosh what were we thinking'. All the advice in the world and articles cannot adequate prepare a person for a foreign country especially when English is not readily available.
Thankfully with a shower, food, 12 hours sleep, sheer determination and a sense of humour everything looked brighter the following morning.
Even though the language barrier, each Panamanian that we have encountered has been friendly, polite and helpful which has helped us immensely to sort out our basics i.e. :
- getting new mobile numbers;
- extending our initial accommodation in Panama City;
- helping and guiding us for our travel already booked for 2018;
- getting a wonderful taxi driver (Carlos) to take us to the local Mall for shopping as well as giving us a tour of Panama City and helping us with purchasing a car (all with a genuine smile and next to no English i.e. with sign language and our limited Spanish words being the order of the day);
- getting discounts on clothing at the stores; and
- ordering our food at restuarants.
Although Panama City is obviously a mixture of poor and rich areas, all are clean and the people all quick to smile and greet. Panama is a wealth of colour - from bright green grass, colourful painted walls and cheerful clothing. Whether the sun is shining or pouring with rain (making the roads into canals), the bright colours shine through and welcome you at every turn.
Almost every window and car has a Panamanian flag proudly displayed. The love that the Panamanians have for their country greets you at every turn.
We have travelled +- 12000kms from our original home to learn more about a happy nationality who welcome us with open hearts.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below.
Stay Fabulous and never ever take anything or anyone for granted. Enjoy every moment of each day !
Much Love, Fleetingtime