'Panama, s***, I'm still only in Panama' I thought as I woke up my second day here and looked out my hotel window looking out over the city and saw a helicopter landing on the roof opposite. Our hotel room, littered with beer cans and flooded thanks to some faulty plumbing in the bathroom, slightly resembled Martin Sheen's in Apocalypse Now, short of broken glass and blood stains.
On the taxi from the airport to the city, I was greeting with billboards inviting me to join Donald Trump's Panamanian community, whatever that was supposed to be. This gives a good idea of the place which is described as the 'Miami of the south only where more people speak English'. The number of old Americans in Hawian shirts was very similar to Miami too. At least the old city has a bit more charm with its half-collapsed buildings and many small plazas.
We also went to visit the Panama canal, one of the engineering wonders of the world apparently, but it just looked like rocks and water to me. More interesting were the old American tourists, each one of which seemed more of an absurd stereotype than the last. We (Duncan and I) managaed to work out a technique to take pictures of these tourists without them realising, which was by far the most fun to be at the canal.
All in all, not my favourite place I've visited so far. At least Duncan is here to be subjected to my cynicism.