2019 Fall December 21 Saturday

79 Degrees this morning 94% humidity (Panama City, Panama) 

Last day of fall of 19, Winter starts tonight.  I call it the “Winter of 20,” since most of it will be in 2020.

Left yesterday for our vacation.  The airport “International Gate” always makes me realize that there is a whole world out there I’m not familiar with.  

So far, so good.  I am actually starting this on the flight to our destination on Friday.  We are getting there about 9:30 p.m. so I figure by the time we get to the hotel, who knows what time it will be. 

It is “always Summer” here which is my kind of place.  It also rains a lot, which isn’t my kind of place!  This is supposed to be the the start of the “dry season”.

It is about 4 hours here from Miami, Atlanta and Houston.  Seems rather strange, but that is the way it is.

This is my first trip as a “backpacker”.  We still checked some bags of course, but I put all of my computers, phones, cords, books , etc., in a backpack and that is all I have with me.  

Actually I can see it working out fairly well, it is nice to have my hands free and the load is distributed.  I am still learning how to wear a backpack, I think I may have not worn it right, I’ll check on Google.  

I thought the plane (at least the international flight) had wifi, but it is more expensive than I am willing to pay. There is enough other things I can do I don’t need wifi on the trip itself.  Fortunately our hotel will have wifi.  

Going to finish this tomorrow morning so I write it at the actual site

(Written on 12-21-19):  Landed on time, then “congestion” caused a delay of about 40 minutes.  Add customs, getting to the hotel , etc., we got to bed very late last night!

Panama City is active, to say the least.  We came in around 11:30 p.M (’m not sure about that, it’s all a blur.

We are staying in a hotel that is the first hotel in the country (opened in 1874) and Teddy Roosevelt etc stayed here.  It is very nice, the rooms are small, but well designed and very adequate.

Obviously it has been restored several times and no one knows where Teddy Rosevelt actually stayed. 

Like all hotels, you need to read the astounding prices they charge for the water and snacks they leave out.  They do provide 2 small bottles of “free” water.  We will will be shopping for water and snacks as soon as possible.

The Panama currency is the same as the United States currency and it is accepted here without any currency exchange.  Panama doesn’t have any paper money.

Also, Panama doesn’t have a military, which I thought was interesting. 

Spanish is the language, and I started to feel the “immersion effect”.  Someone asked “De Donde eres”  (I may have the second word wrong) and I knew they were asking where I was from.  Obviously they were not familiar with the major city I am from, and no reason they should be.

I remember in China, someone asked me where I was from and I said “near Memphis”.  They looked puzzled, so I said “Tennessee”. They still looked puzzled, so I said “United States” which of course they recognized.  (Vice versa, I had no idea of China geography either!)  (I also leaned in many cases you could say “Memphis where Graceland is” and get a response!)

That’s it for now, Saturday, December 21, 2019.2

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