Tuesday, June 30, 2009

MJ's reach is truly global: the first days in Panama

Hello from Panama! I arrived on Saturday after a pretty normal flight. I spent a long night in the Houston airport and was surprised when a steward on one of the flights randomly kissed a woman's hand as he walked by (a good way to get fired I figure), but otherwise, it was a pretty decent trip down here.

On my first day in Panama I met up with a girl from Chicago whose Spanish is about at the same level as my own. After settling in with our families, we headed out to explore the touristy area known as Casco Viajo. I won't go on about the history of the neighborhood, but in short it's basically a very old neighborhood with a lot of history and character that has a bit of a Havana-y feel to it they say. Taj, if you're reading, I followed your instructions and took the Diablo Rojo down to Casco Viejo. If you've ever wondered what happens to US school buses when they retire from service in the US, the answer is that they go to Panama, get rebuilt, jazzed up with music or lights, and then get driven really fast through the city. Rides only cost .25 cents so it's a pretty sweet way to get around.

Alright, I'm trying to keep this short so I'll close with this fun video that I took in Casco Viejo. While Laura was at Mass, I explored around on my own and ran into three kids outside of the church who were throwing around a baseball made out of tape. After talking baseball for a while, we switched over to talking about the passing of Michael Jackson. One of the kids said that when he heard that MJ had died, he started crying. This struck me as noteworthy given that these kids are seven or eight years old. I asked it they knew any dance moves, which got them really excited. They broke out their best paso de la luna (moon walk) and other hip-thrusting MJ moves for the next 30 minutes while I videotaped. Check out the video: