Estoy Aqui!

I’m here!!
I finally made it to Panama! It was a long journey, especially since I had to drive up from San Diego to Sac, and then I stayed with my parents for a couple of nights, but now I am in beautiful Panama City, so it was well worth it.
I got in last night around sunset, and I’m staying in this cute little hostel, Luna’s Castle, which is filled with shirtless european guys, some older hippies, and a whole bunch of young travelers and surfers.  For now, I am by myself, but tomorrow evening my bosses are coming up to meet me (and taking me out for a BDAY DINNER!) and they’ll stay with me here for a few days before we all head back down to our house in Chitre for the rest of the summer.
Here are some pictures of the hostel where I’m staying:
The reception desk area (sorry it’s blurry)

 

 

Ping pong table and book exchange

 

Looking out from the bathroom window over the bar area (where I’ll soon be ringing in my 21st!)

 

One of the few lounge rooms (I spent quite a few hours in that hammock today! :))

 

LOVING the lanterns and the map

 

The hostel just has 3 guitars and someone is always quietly playing while everyone reads
The view from the balcony of the cityline

 

Night view– The white square light is an electronic billboard that plays ads 24/7! Usually it
says “Panasonic” and it’s completely legible from the hostel balcony.
The city from a little bit closer
This morning I went for a walk around town and ran some errands (bought a new sim card and charger for my phone and familiarized myself with the area) and passed through the local fish market!  Then I read for a few hours in the hostel (finished the book I brought– The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and went for another walk in the evening around the older, more historic part of town. I can’t wait until tomorrow and the next day, when I can explore with my friends/coworkers, since there were a couple of times when I felt a little uncomfortable on my own (in the evening).
Panama City, Panama:

 

Cute old local fisherman pulling in his boats for the day
(it was noon when I was here– LATE in fishing terms!)

 

“Whole octopuses $3.50”

 

“Large shrimp $6.50”

 

Those are some big freakin’ fish! The guy was telling me all the names of
the different kinds of fish.. but I forgot them all…

 

Yumm! :P

 

The nicest McDonald’s I’ve ever been in..
At the very least, I could come home with some LEGIT hipster
outfits by the end of this summer.. heh.

 

“City Fashion Outlet” ..loving the Spanglish!

 

Apartment buildings in the city… must be hundreds of people living in this one

 

Casco Viejo (“the old quarter”).. the hostel where I’m staying is on the right side

 

Super cool old church!

 

Inside another church which had this awesome gold alter thinger

 

The streets are so colorful and covered with some cool murals!

 

Here’s another mural with some history.. I didn’t really get it, but it looked cool!

 

Most of the old part of town looks like this– basically falling apart, but still adorable. :)
All in  all today was a good day.  Nice and relaxing, even though I walked pretty much all over the city (minus the business-y downtown part).  It’s kinda fun to be in a more touristy area than I’m used to, since people are always SO IMPRESSED by my Spanish– they’re used to people who come visit without speaking a word, I guess..
Can’t wait for tomorrow! My 21st birthday in an awesome city with some awesome people.. Better be fantastic.
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