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Last Week in Panama City

by Helen

View of the City from the Park

View of the City from the Park

Parks, Birthdays and Boobs

A funny week really spent mostly on the computer, whiling away the time before my bag containing kilims and books and stuff arrives from London and we can go back to Bocas del Toro. It should have been here on Monday but somehow ended up in Amsterdam and will arrive with KLM on Sunday, apparently. Still, it means we will be able to go to the free Jazz Festival in Casco Viejo tomorrow.

In preparation for leaving we had the internet cut off (hurrah for other peopleís internet in the building) and sold our table and chairs. We are reduced to the couch and cushions on the floor. Luckily we are able to keep the bed until Sunday. We sold it last night to a very nice Irish lady called Louise who is director of marketing for Digicel here. They are a mobile phone service supplier taking over Central America and we were considering getting one. I gave her $50 off the bed and two glasses of wine and she ended up giving us two mobile phones and 100 minutes each to be used up by the end of the month so that was pretty good. I love it when life works like that!

We had a serious walk on Sunday all around the trails of the Metropolitan Rainforest Park that is just on the outskirts of the city close to Ancon. We were joined on the hike by a young American staying in the city for three weeks to improve his Spanish. The park is beautiful and well kept and it was nice to walk in the shade. We had heard that is all kinds of wildlife there but we mostly just saw highways of leaf cutter ants with their green cargo on their backs and some colourful birds and butterflies. There were some great views of the city from the top.

As we had built up a bit of an appetite we went to the fish market restaurant again on Av. Balboa on the way home and were not disappointed. I ordered what was called spider crab on the menu but which turned out to be crispy squid tentacles which were delicious. We also had cervice, all tangy with fresh lime and onions and Joel had a whole fried fish of some kind (who says Americans canít deal with fish having a head and tail?).

On Tuesday it was Joelís birthday and we went out to our local (and famous) Jimmyís restaurant and had an amazing filet steak, Greek salad (the owner is a Greek Panamanian) and a bottle of Chilean wine (we decided against the Retsina as it always tastes weird out of situ). With all this talk of food I need to mention here that some of my trousers no longer fit. It could be something to do with my penchant for Mohitos (which are full of brown sugar). Anyway the sooner we get to Bocas and start walking to places and getting back to Yoga the better!

Walking through town a few days ago we saw a sign for a gynaecologist offering obstetrics and vaginal remodelling, I contemplated having one but I couldnít think what to have it remodelled into!! Joel suggested a kitchen but I am still not sureÖÖ

Breast implants are big business here mind you. The culture seems to demand huge knockers. All the speakerines on the TV have monster ones and even the shop mannequins have massive inflated boobs that actually make you laugh.

It does not always work out though. We met a very sweet young Mexican girl who had implants that got infected and had to be removed. Instead of tiny sexy boobs she now has two stretched sacks. Sad. She said that she found our later that one of the surgeonís patients had died which was really scary. Perhaps Iíll give up on the idea of a remodelled vagina!

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