on my mary way mondays
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”
― Jawaharlal Nehru
where in the world is she now
Coming to you live from the cutest hipster neighborhood I have laid eyes on. Having spent the last few days exploring in Casco Viejo, Panamá I can say most positively that is not your average "old town." Wether it be the strong sense of history, or the strong drinks, Casco has something for everyone. Worlds collide as twenty somethings enjoy cheap beer in hostel bars blasting "despacito," while happily married folks swish wine and crunch fancy foods in the adjacent rooftop eatery. But it hasn't always been this way. This posh place has developed quite recently. (We're talking 6 years and counting.) Before that it was very much a "red zone" to visitors and was home to multiple gangs and cartels. While there is some animosity among old residents and new, most can agree that the recent updates have created a much more positive (and profitable) environment. Needless to say, I am happy to have spent a long weekend discovering the history of this unpolished diamond in ruff turned Crown Jewels.
a man a plan a canal, Panamá
Who doesn't love a good palindrome?! (Yes, the phrase above is an example.)
It wouldn't be a trip to panama without the obligatory visit to the Panama Canal. In case you have been living under a rock for the past century, I'll give you the readers digest of the importance behind the Canal de Panamá. The canal is a 50 mile long water way that connects the Pacific to the Atlantic through the middle of the isthmus of Panamá. Essentially, it was constructed as a trade route and has been highly successful as one. Today, on a more philosophic level it embodys all that is very good and horribly bad about the USA and the way we continue to impact the rest of the world. Actually visiting the canal is not all that the tour companies claim it to be. Yes, it is an amazing wonder of the modern world, but the experience at large is more comparable to watching paint dry. Not all that invigorating. If you want to make the most and feel actually connected with the canal, I would one hundred times over recommend cruising through over observing from afar!
tip of the week
Look at new places through the eyes of a local. An absolute metropolis, Panama City has more packed into city limits than one can truly experience in a long weekend, but getting the inside scoop from a local truly helps! I was able to see some real sights and sounds from my new friend, at pty.life.