August 2011 – A trip to what was described as an English speaking country of Panama, was not only disappointingly inaccurate, at times potentially deadly as well. Panama City is a vast metropolis that answers a lot of questions while making you question a lot more. Such as, you ever wonder where all the old cars we all drive end up? This wasn’t a question I thought of until I got to Panama and it provided the answer to fuel my question – kinda like Jeopardy.
Contestant: ‘I’ll take old rundown vehicles for a thousand Alex’
Alex Trebek: ‘This is where all rundown American vehicles end up‘
Contestant: ‘Where is Panama‘
Alex Trebek: ‘Correct‘
There’s a huge disparity – you’ll see 1978 rusted with a bit of original yellow Toyotas or brand new BMW X5’s rolling down the street, nothing in between. Seemed like the newest of the old vehicle was from the mid 80s.
And now imagine this… I see a house on this massive ground. The ground contains ruins of a life long gone. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone from Discovery or History Channel uncovered who may have lived here in ancient times. These ruins, potentially of an ancient home / church or city wall are now a part of someone’s lawn with pieces holding up the frame of their house. So my question here is, does the government not care about preservation? Should they make this land ‘historical’ and a tourist attraction for people like me? Instead people build a house (and not a good one at that) on top of this land and contaminating the ‘history’ behind it.
Being born in India and visiting every few years I’ve seen life lived in poverty and riches. Panama City, was something else for me. Although staying in a nice part of town, the rest of it seemed a bit heavy poverty stricken or as my buddy would say ‘hood’. The apartments seemed rat and roach infested, with kids playing in the common dirt between backdoor facing apartments wearing hardly anything more than dirty pants and their skin for a shirt.
This article isn’t about the greatest of Panama, but more about the worst. The greats you can always read in Lonely Planet, Fodors or Let’s Go Panama! I’m writing about my experiences.. I’ll continue this thought soon. It’s quite late and I need my beauty sleep.