Jan 24, 2013

My Inner "Panamanian"

Today was fun or maybe not. I had to drive in Panama and as Little Roger said, "Tia Elena, your inner Panamanian is coming out" .....

We had to do a few errands as Roger and Mari are in David for the day, I was up to the challenge. And yes in Panama the traffic is rough and tough. You have to be an EXTREMELY defensive and patient driver and you have to want to get to where you are going and press on the horn. The inner Panamanian part of driving is having a few choices words or phrases to shout when a bus or a taxi or another car cut in front of you and crosses 2 lanes because they can. Or when a taxi stops in front of you because they have to pick up or drop of fare. Or when people come out of nowhere crossing a major street. It is fast paced, loud and you really have to be defensive. I had a few instances where I honked the horn repeatedly and my inner Panamanian spoke out. Little Roger was cheering me on, he was my co-pilot most of the day.

I was fortunate, Roger has a Toyota Land Cruiser, so from a sheer size perspective, I had the advantage most of the time. The Panamanian government got the crazy idea last year to build a metro subway in Panama so many of the major thoroughfares are dug up with huge gaping holes with giant cranes sticking out of the ground. And traffic is detoured in ways that don't make sense. Hopefully in 2015, when the metro is up and running, traffic will be lighter.

My recommendation if you visit Panama, don't drive, hire a car and driver.

------ Short and sweet from my iPad ---------