are we in the US?

Panama City Travel Blog

 › entry 14 of 21 › view all entries

After the 5 hour pickup truck ride through the jungle from the coast, we arrived to Panama City.   Immediately, i was shocked by the look of the place.. it reminds me of a US city-- a combination of miami and boca raton perhaps.  The skyline is dominated by thin skyscrapers which are mostly bank buildings.  As we approached the city, we began to see countless American businesses such as Wendys, Popeyes Chicken, Churches Chicken (they love their fried chicken in central america), blockbusters, K'marts.. the list goes on.  we stopped in a small grociery store to grab some water and i was shocked when i saw the beer Red Dog... i thought they discontinued that stuff.  on top of the american businesses, the local currency is the dolar!! it felt a bit surreal to have dolars in my pocket again. 

unfortunatly, there are not too many hostels in Panama city, so we headed to the most famous one.. a place called Voyeger hostel.  for other travelers reading this blog.. NEVER STAY AT THIS HOSTEL.  The entire staff is made up of a buch of complete assholes.  we pulled up to the place and the manager came to talk to me.  he informed me that we had to pay $11.50 USD each for a dorm room!! on top of that, he wouldnt give us a discount given that we were 10 people!! Jorgelina, the Argentine girl from my boat, said something about the place looking like a hospital, so the guy said that she was banned from the place!! Trey and I were beat, so we decided to stay there while the rest of our group headed to another hotel. 

Problems with the dick of a manager proceeded.  Later that night. as i was leaving the building with a couple of friends, i realized that the door was broken and that we could only leavve when someone came in... this could mean a 10 minute wait at points.  i went upstairs and told the staff.. and the guy at the desk looked at me like i was crazy for expecting them to do something about it.  I found the manager later that night and told him about it.  For some reason he got pissed off and told me that we could sleep on the street if we wanted.  I responded by saying ''la puta que te pariĆ³, la concha de tu madre,'' etc, etc.  Trey had to pull me away from the guy so the argument wouldnt escalate. 

Since we only had one night in Panama city, we decided to head into town.  since we had a big group, we went in two taxis.  Unfortunately, the bar that we all agreed to meet at had closed some 6 months ago so when i got to the meeting pont, no one was there.  To make things worst, i was stuck with this annoying american girl.  i walked around the area, asking locals if they had seen a group of gringos.  Finally i walked into a bar and when i asked for gringos, they pointed me to a table where the crew from my boat was sitting.  We then went around and aventually found trey and the rest of the guys from the hostel in some yankee bar.  we stayed in the yankee bar the rest of the night because a great cover band came up.  They played songs by metalica, boston, guns n roses, bon jovi, and other clasic rock tunes.  THe rum flowed and we danced and moshed to the Panamanian band playing gringo classics.  Finally at about 3 AM, i made my way home with a group a smashed isrealis from the hostel. 

the next morning we grabbed a cab and headed for the bus station.  NExt stop, some Costa Rican border town, and then San Jose.

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Panama City
photo by: Biedjee