At the Crossroads of the World: Scenes from a World Heritage Site

Erin and I are staying all week in Casco Viejo, Panamá’s 500+ years old, UNESCO World Heritage Site at the heart of the country. The district serves as an entertainment and culinary hotspot with chefs from around the globe vying to make a name for themselves. We celebrated my sister’s birthday last night. This was… Continue reading At the Crossroads of the World: Scenes from a World Heritage Site

Bridge of the Americas

The Bridge of the Americas spans the Panamá Canal on the Pacific side. Ancon Hill, is the green hump rising above on the far side of the canal in this picture. Casco Antiguo (the colonial quarter) on the upper right, with the Cinta Costera highway curving into the bay of Panamá and encircling this historical… Continue reading Bridge of the Americas

Happy Valentine’s Hour

In Panamá, “pushbuttons” are motels that rent rooms by the hour. You pull into an open single-car garage, press a button to close the door (and conceal your vehicle), and enter the connecting room. All transactions (eg., room charge, drink orders) occur through privacy-ensured sliding openings so the staff can’t see you. Rooms look similar… Continue reading Happy Valentine’s Hour

Canal Zone: Stamps of a Forgotten American Colony

Found my childhood stamp collection! Here’re some Canal Zone stamps. Heroes commemorated include: President Teddy Roosevelt, who championed the building of the Panamá Canal as a national security necessity.Dr Gorgas who discovered the source of Yellow Fever, which killed workers by the hundreds. Canal construction stopped for a year while they worked to eradicate the… Continue reading Canal Zone: Stamps of a Forgotten American Colony

How to Haggle with a Panamanian Taxi Driver

First, some context. Taxi drivers complained and raised a ruckus to prevent Uber from bringing disruption to Panamá. Other than airport taxis, where fares are regulated, there are no set fares and taxis don’t have meters. If you flag a taxi on the street, you should negotiate price up front. And have in mind what… Continue reading How to Haggle with a Panamanian Taxi Driver

My First Vaccination

In my first memory of being vaccinated, I wasn’t quite 6 years old. Early 1970s. The nurse, a tall man dressed completely in white except for shiny black shoes, set a stainless steel tray of paraphernalia on a table beside me. He sat on a stool which he rolled up to me and injected one… Continue reading My First Vaccination

Remembering Ancon Hill

Ready for a trip down my memory lane? This picture posted on FaceBook reminds me of my first job. It was a summer student assistant job while I was at Balboa High School, in the former Canal Zone of the Republic of Panamá. This was 1983 or 84. I was 16 or 17. The rest… Continue reading Remembering Ancon Hill