As my family and I returned from the peaceful countryside of Panama, the difference between the city life and country life became very noticeable.
The booming sounds of Reggae and Reggaeton became clearer and clearer as we arrived closer to Panama City (goodbye peaceful countryside). I was happy to return to the city only because my wife and I were missing our relatives.
One marker of our return to the city was the colorful buses of Panama. These buses are called Diablo Rojo (Red Devil) and are African influenced art that depicts characters and figures important to Panamanian culture, politics and life. They are characterized by bright colors like red, purple, and pink. Although, a majority of these buses were taken out of service, you will still see them in Panama City. You will see everything from Obama to 50 cent painted on these red devil buses. I see myself painted on these buses one day as long as they stick around.
Another sign that you are getting close to the city is the traffic. Panama City is overcrowded with bumper to bumper traffic (am I back in Los Angeles, California?!). Panamanians have a slang in Spanish called el tranque to describe traffic. A lot of people drive and unfortunately carpooling is not thing in Panama. However, there are other means of transportation. One can choose the metro buses which are air conditioned buses that are similar to American buses in the big cities of Miami, New York City, and Los Angeles. You can also choose a taxi but beware that not all taxis are safe. It is best to use a taxi that has a good reputation. Yet another option is the Subway. This is Panama’s latest development and is definitely a game changer in the city.
As we arrived in Panama, I was getting ready to embark on a journey in the parts of Panama that tourists and even some Panamanians dare not go. I was up for the challenge to explore the unknown parts of Panama.
Thank you for reading. Much love and safe travels!
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