Into Panama I Go….

October 4, 2012

Something that is readily apparent in Panama City is that contrasts abound.  As I mentioned, the past 10 years this city has experienced exponential growth in multiple areas.  This has created the type of intense diversity in the city scape also seen in the people.

Outside of the native populations and, of course, the European influences initiated when colonization was the dominant model of globalization, a large part of the genetic pool was created from the human migrations that took place to support the construction of the Panama Canal.  Individuals came from Barbados, Martinique, Guadalupe, Trinidad, Jamaica and others such as the Spanish, Italians, Greeks, Hindus, Americans, Armenians, Cubans, Costa Ricans, and Colombians all have blended in this country.  Include in the native Panamanians, and you have every single nuanced skin color, body shape, type and style that is known to man.  It is like a human botanical garden.

For the past 10 years, the City of Panama has been growing exponentially and is in a thriving construction boom.  This adds in multiple contrasts….The skyline is a rare find…there are two Trump towers, no pictures of that though…I figure ‘The Don’ get’s enough publicity 🙂  Condominiums litter the downtown area and give the impression of high density:

Turn another direction, and it appears the population is sparse and the accommodations are a bit more earthy 🙂  I am being careful here because although there are challenges with the housing market.  Most cities have huge challenges when it comes to housing markets.  So this example should only be viewed as an example…for I’ve seen these all over the world….

Then turn in another direction and there are people everywhere, shopping, perusing, rushing about…the regular siting on the markets…the street food, the shops….the type of place where you can just stop and people watch…

Gotta love the markets…and trust me when I say “THE PRICE IS RIGHT”…papaya, bananas, baby coconuts, fresh pineapple (ripened perfectly, low acid) all types of fruits that I would need help in spelling…all for a few cents…

This is the Central Avenue market area…it is generally closed off to vehicles, but since we are rolling with the City…we get the VIP Tour 🙂  Lots of people, activity, shopping, and a perfect example of the intangibles you find in an international market area.

Now, transportation in many international settings is serious business.  We are talking about moving a lot of people, inexpensively over large stretches of territory.  They have a formal public bus system and they are currently building a metro rail system (excellent forethought)!  But, a major form of transportation comes in the form of these private bus lines.

Ever seen a tricked out school bus?  Look at the murals painted on the side of the bus!  Check this out: at night, they are lit with fluorescent lights… and based upon the sound system, it would be reasonable to assume that they are pushing ‘Beats by Dr. Dre’.  Ohhhh….it is indeed a sight 🙂

The locals call them the ‘Red Devils’….as the drivers….are no JOKE!  I mean when you see them coming…you best get out of the way….they put it down!  For .25 cents you get to ride through town listening to latest Beats! 🙂

I’ve been a little slow with my posting….they have been working me hard!  This is a complete immersion experience….I’ll be catching up over the next few days!!!!


One Response to “Into Panama I Go….”

  1. Rabiah Muhammad said

    Thanks for the return of the travelogue. A welcome visual and literary break from dissertating . . . (smiling)

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