I arrived in Panama the same day as Noriega came back to the country after a 20-year absence. I had no clue. Luckily, I had arrived hours earlier and did not get the crush of reporters and traffic.
After checking in, I had lunch, took a nap, then met a co-worker for dinner at a local restaurant I could walk to. On the way back, I heard loud music. There was a Christmas parade in front of the hotel! FUN!
I took these two videos with my cheap camera. It was a fun parade.
Most nights I was on my own, but there's so much around. There is a mall within walking distance of the hotel. EVERYONE walks, so I felt really safe.
|Walking back to the hotel from the mall. |
This is a hotel that connects to the mall via this walkway.
I also happened to arrive during the two or 3 times a year when Panamanians get an extra paycheck. Everyone gets paid at the same time. Everyone. The 15th and the 30th. Two or 3 times a year they get a second paycheck. This is when I came. Traffic was a NIGHTMARE. People were out to spend their dough. A 3 minute drive from a certain corner to my hotel took 25 minutes. I kept telling my co-worker I would walk, but he would not let me, as I had caught a cold and it was raining. He refused to have me get wet. Poor guy still had to fight the traffic home.
|From my hotel window. Jam-packed traffic stalled in this area for at least half an hour.|