The People of Panama City
Part of the experience of visiting a foreign country is the interaction with the locals. It determines how you your trip will be imprinted in your memory. I love trying to speak Spanish with the locals, especially when they don’t speak any English and I have to try my best to make them understand what I am trying to say. For some its frustrating but for me its a challenge. I feel like a Two year old trying learning to construct logical sentences. As frustrating as it is, makes me want to continue to learn Spanish.
The Panamanians for the most part are friendly. Minus a few cab drivers that are a looking to hustle the tourists. I enjoy my time with the locals. They try to understand where I am from and I try to understand life in Panama. The best part is going to places like Av. Central where it’s mostly thrift shops and street vendors, you can get a real feel of the hustle and bustle of the city. Sometimes I speak English on purpose just to what kind of reaction I would get from the locals. But for the most part if you are willing to try to communicate, you are treated fairly. I remember my friends and I were on-line to buy a fruit smoothie on Av. Central, I had $2 in my hand and a nice gentlemen who was also waiting for his smoothie told me to keep my money in my pocket because of thieves. Now this gentlemen could have kept quiet but he took his time to explain to me the potential dangers of the area. This is something I appreciate about the people of Panama City or anywhere else that I visit. The ability to lookout for your common man.
As frustrating as it is, I appreciate the people who took the time to correct my Spanish. The best part is trying to practice your Spanish with someone whose looking to perfect their English. When we were at Multi-plaza mall, we met a young woman working at one of the stores, she overheard us speaking English and we ended up talking to her for the next hour going back and forth between Spanish and English. If you are willing to approach the locals, you can learn a lot about the country that travel books can’t tell you. You won’t know if someone speaks your language until you ask. The experience that I had with the people of Panama City makes me want to revisit or even live here for a few years.