If you aren’t from Panama or haven’t travelled there, you certainly wouldn’t have an idea about it. Perhaps you have a vague recollection about a guy named Noriega who caused some big problems; maybe he had something to do with drugs or the CIA or President Bush or something or the other. However, if you really haven’t been to Panama even once, you wouldn’t know or even begin to think about the place or its people in correct dimensions unless you do spend some time there!
There are so many crazily interesting things that happen out here in Panama but never get to travel out. I have tried to share a few of those awesome things I have personally experienced in the six years I’ve spent in Panama.
Panama has some of the craziest drivers in the world. It certainly isn’t on record but drivers in Panama are like lunatics who are sitting behind the wheels. I personally avoided four car accidents in a day in Panama once and that was certainly one of the good days of driving. The old big buses look like Lucifer’s minions. They do not even give a quaint thought to the other drivers on the roads.
The drivers certainly drive like lunatics but surprisingly there isn’t any kind of road rage. Once I barely avoided hitting a nearby driver. I was at fault but I did let loose a string of profanities once I slammed on the brakes. But this other driver just looked at me for the first few seconds, laughed within the minute, honked his horn several times (a horn that played tunes of a Mexican Hat Dance), waved to me and then drove on. Such is the temperament of the lunatic road drivers in Panama.
Well if you read the above story, you would have no doubts about it but still here goes. Panama has some of the most laid back people. So laid back that they will make an average American pull out his hair out of sheer frustration. Once the family and I were stuck in a traffic jam because a tanker had got into an accident on the highway and it was an oil spill. It took about 6 hours to clear the mess and get the traffic going. Americans like me would’ve volunteered to help clean the mess as fast as possible but Panamanians, they were happy to turn off the ignition, get out of their cars, gather in groups and laugh together or perhaps read books stuck in the jam. Everything here is really slow!