I’ve been meaning to commit this to writing since I got back from a
conference in Panama City. The conference was held this past May in a
beautiful setting along with some truly inspirational people. But, if
you’re going to Panama for the first and staying in some of the same
places I stayed in there are a couple of things you need to know.
#1. NO WASHCLOTHS. Now I never used a wash cloth until my wife pointed
out the need for ex foliation. I don’t know how I ever survived
without instituting this into my life before, but the nightmares have
almost gone away. At the Plaza Piatilla they have hand towels and they
have bath towels…not a washcloth in sight. The puzzled looks I got
from the wait staff was priceless. Just an observation that is hotel
specific? Nope. No washcloths in David, Panama hotels either.
#2. NO FREE REFILLS. Except for the higher end eating establishments,
there is no such animal. I was irritated by this at first. Must be a
money thing, huh? Well, yes and no. let’s go to the video tape. I was
watching the Latin American version of American Idol and I got my
answer. You recall how the three judges in the United States version
always display the large chalice with the name brand emblazoned so big
and so rich in color that it can be seen from the waiting room? Taking
a look at the Latin American table, we see cans. Yep, cans. Aha! A
clue! Taps filled with co2 are few and far between. Even the star
judges don’t get that kind of treatment. Coffee is the same way.
You’ll pay for each and every cup. Found this in David as well. Of
course, you don’t need too many cups of Panamanian Coffee to get your
groove on. Unlike U.S. coffee, this is a REAL cup of coffee.
#3 U.S. FAST FOODS. I can eat just about anywhere. Some would say
therein lies my problem. It’s a heavy burden. But a piece of KFC
chicken over at the mall in Panama is not the same chicken you get in
the U.S. Seemed to me the spices were cut in half. It was like
listening to a song that you can barely make out. You know it from
somewhere but you can’t hear enough of it to really identify it. No
Ranch Dressing either. I can live without it but my better half has
been known to leave the premises grumbling in cases of the ranch
#4. BEEF IS RANGE FED. Now this is a good thing. This is the way God
meant it to be. No hormones or antibiotics to mess up your system.
Pure, simple, range fed beef. They don’t age the beef either. This is
probably another key to longevity in the little latitudes. Aged beef
is another way of saying “decomposing beef.” Aging came about to
tenderize range fed beef. A good idea at the time, except that you’re
basically eating a half rotting corpse. Believe me, you’ll live longer by not eating semi-rotten meat.
I guess that what I like though. The choices. I like being able to
choose what I want, how I want to live (or die). It’s sure not from consuming some chemically induced animal carcass. The people in the mountain ranges enjoy some of the longest lives anywhere. In light of this, maybe I’ll just go back to using hand towels.