Falling in Love with Panama City, Panama
I fell in love with Panama City, Panama. There is a charm to this city that seems equal parts optimism and acceptance. To a fault.
Time was beautifully slow. I spent every morning working on my manuscript before taking a lovely nap and heading into the city to catch the magic hour as the sun began to set.
I was back in Toronto before I realized just how quiet my trip had been. As I don't speak Spanish, I spent most of my time walking in silence.
I was drawn to the parts of the city listed as high crime regions by the Canadian Government. I was beyond curious to see what secrets and images the crumbling buildings in these areas held. The policia, however, had safer things in mind for me. They agreed with Canada and kept ushering me back to safer areas of the city.
The old city is a fascinating place. It is a jarring mix of tourists and squatters. Well manicured facades butt up against barely standing structures. Westerners walk arm in arm, laughing as they pass people living in near poverty. No one accosts the other. People lean half naked from second floor balconies, watching revellers stumble past.
I have set a goal to learn Spanish and return. This time with a few weeks to explore some of the surrounding neighbourhoods and the islands further out that I keep reading about.