Monday, May 4, 2015

The Hemingway Experience: We're All Friends Here...

What a night. I resolved to watch the Pacquaio/Mayweather fight at Esmeralda - I saw they had a tv the night before. As I made my way there around 9 for a 10pm (or thereabouts) start to the fight, I thought I'd stop in at mojitos - I'm early right? As I approach the open air bar, I saw something rare - a girl with blonde hair. Now, it's a fair assumption that a blonde girl in Panama is traveling so I had to sit down and start talking to the two girls. Not only were Katie and Jana English speakers, but they're Canadian - from fucking Kamloops of all places! It was their first night in town, so I chilled with them for a while. We bonded over cancer, after I ordered a Malibu and Coke in honour of Ali. The girls had no plans as to where to see the fight, so I invited them along with me. 

Yeah, outdoor patio. In the square of the Church of St. Iglesias. I miss Brandy's, but not right now.

(I won’t get into it, but I feel like the referees were watching a different fight than the rest of us. I can’t pretend to know how to keep score while watching boxing, but to me it looked like the fight was Pacquaio’s.)

After some damn good ceviche (you can’t NOT have ceviche while in the Old Quarter), I said goodbye to the girls after swapping details. They’ve never been to Whistler, and I may not still be in Panama when they get back from Bocas del Toro. Then I made my way to El Gatto Blanco for a bit of birthday celebration.

Have you ever slept with a pillow between your knees? You go for so long thinking that you’re comfortable in bed, all your life even, until that game changer. It’s next level comfort. That’s the best analogy I can make for the group of people I met at the party. I’ve been struggling with Spanish for almost a week, and even though it’s coming along better than I thought (the Kamloops girls didn’t know a lick of Spanish, so it was nice to be able to use what I have learned). Suddenly I was surrounded by English speakers - friends -from literally around the world. Inter Nations is a huge of online community, the world’s first, of ex pats, that boasts millions of members. I met Archie from Greece, Katya from Germany, Marcela (the one that invited me) from El Salvador, Andreas from the USA and Panama. Australians, Indians, Mexicans - every one of them interesting to talk to, and all so friendly to this stranger that pretty much crashed their party. The bar was a rooftop patio…

which understandably blew me away (sorry for the terrible phone vid). I’m so used to hearing house music underground, and here we are, in the shadow of Panama City’s Central Business District. Certainly the drunkest I’ve been since I arrived. Good company has that effect. And to think I wasn’t going to show up!

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