Sitting drinking coffee at the Golden Grill, I watch as Bocas slowly awakes from stupor; those who have been up since the crack of dawn mingling with the dazed, dishevelled backpackers emerging from their dorms after another heavy night out.
Last night was Ladies’ Night at the Iguana Bar; i.e. Free drinks for the ladies. Easy pickings, fellas! Get all the ladies drunk and maybe we’ll be in with a chance…such is the draw of this offer that as I walked home last night I fought my away against swathes of travellers, all pink-wristbanded and headed for this very place. Good luck to them all; may they enjoy a night full of cheap rum and sweaty dancing, scented with mosquito repellent and the heady promise of love on the road. Well, if not love, then bedbugs and chlamydia, but it’s all part of the adventure.
It’s time for me to hit that road again, and I can’t wait. I’m heading back to Venao, where I found solace in friendship bands just a few months ago, to do some music and drama workshops at a small school there. After that, on to Panama City to pick up some hookers. Just kidding. The prodigal skipper returns from his stint working on a fancy boat soon; I’m going to meet him there. Despite the fact that I’ve removed myself from the temptations of a consumer society, I can’t help but wonder if there is a Zara…
I’m looking forward to arriving in cities where nobody knows me. Wandering into restaurants and sharing polite, communal tables and small talk with the locals. Getting to know that vivid, empty, totally present feeling you get sometimes when travelling alone. AND I’ve brought my guitar this time. I intend to make many videos along the way. It is my secret wish that some of them will involve old Panamanian men singing traditional songs. Keep your fingers crossed for me.