I’m a man, with no plan, looking for a canal.
The hostel junkies are tempting me with tales of adventure. I’m fighting the urge to go get banged up at the local micro brewery “La Rana Dorana”, then, explore the fish market of fresh local catch, all the while listening, sort of, to the instructions on how to do The Canal “right”. These gals are dangerously compelling. They run a boat from Colombia to Panama for travelers. The land-boarder of Panama/Colombia is loaded with gorilla warfare and it is accepted as an impossibility to cross the terrain. The one gal is French-Colombian, looking much more Colombian but sounding far more French. The other is German and fits the part. We matched travel stories, routes & an affinity for the freedom afforded to those who drift without reservation or a set agenda. It was about as cliché as the travel-conversation’s come.
In the center of Viejo, the old city, I bumped into the Bushwick boy I split a taxi with from the airport. Immediately, I knew this guy was cool and could be trusted to help run up the score on borderline-dangerous ideas. We parted ways after the airport taxi ride, but the nice part about Panama City, as the lovely Victoria Guide at the Canal would later explain, is that you keep seeing the same people.
The Bushwick-bro, who had a hint of French to him, and I walked through the coast and then the brewery, reconn-ing Panamanian preferences for rums and beers. I’d star Beer Balboa above all.
The sun sizzled my skin to a tan-pink throughout the day. Later it radiated a vibrant Panama Red. Feeling accomplished and dehydrated, I dragged my haggardself to the airport just in time to lay on the ground lifeless. I rested, prone on the floor, just outside the plane’s gate. My phone re-charged. The Seattle Seahawks boarded the plane just before me. I insist on being the last on the jet for reasons I don’t really know. It took me a little to figure out who these Goliath-looking passengers were, but once the truth broke through my daze and sacked me, I exclaimed a big congratulations to them on their decision to visit Rio De Janeiro, rather than congratulating them for being Super-Bowl Champions.
I passed out for all 6 hours, said good-bye to the Seahawks and found my cousin in the other terminal. I told him “the Seahawks were on my plane !” assuming that would be the last time I’d come face-to-face with the World Champions. I was wrong though. Thrice.