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Gamboa, Panama - Thursday, March 24th - Local time: 6 p.m | Although I am now in Gamboa ( some kind of village, 15,5 miles from the capital), I spent my whole day walking around Panama city ( and all of yesterday’s night watching TV), I can say now, be ready, it could be quite longer than usual, I even think I will write more than 400 words! ( and my apologies to my hypothetical usual readers!).
Any-road, well Panama’s culture ( at least what I’ve seen of) is something really interesting to watch! First, when I stepped out of the plane ( at least ! I think it was an endless trip … Fortunately beers and whiskey were there to help me handle it !), so when I went outside, I saw two rabbies. Apparently there is a really important Jewish community in Panama, well why not, that proves we are everywhere ! Anyway, a guy was waiting for us at the airport. Mani was his name ( nickname for Manuel I guess). In order to make conversation, I tried to get some information about local marijuana (check out the brilliant topic), his reaction was quite weird ( like any Panamanian reaction, but I will talk about it in another letter, wait for it !) : first he told me how dangerous and forbidden it was to carry some grass, then, immediately after, he told me with no little pride how he once provided an argentinian lady with weed and how she thanked him saying that « this grass was the best she had ever smoked». What shall I think about it?
Well I gave up my grass consideration when we arrived at our first hotel. Nothing interesting to talk about except for the TV-Shows and, most of all, the advertisements ! Most of them talk about beauty and health as if only girls watched TV (I also remark that Orly girls seem to appear on the advertisement…) . One product to relax, another one to get whiter teeth, or something to private you of ironing ( this way you will be able ladies to pass more time with your kids, according to the show) or a thing that helps you to have an orderly clean bag, like an extra bag to put inside your normal bag … ( and for only 149 dollars ! and for 1 dollar more you can have a sewing set, what shall we ask for more to be happy?). Funny thing also, in each and every ( and I strongly insist on «every») beauty or health advertisement, at the some moment, a «doctor» ( sometimes he/she appears as much a doctor as I look like an astronaut) shows up on the screen and tries to convince us how beautiful and genius the product is even if he/she doesn’t give the impression to believe a lot in what he/she talks about. Most of all toothpaste, Colgate© shall give a lot of money to the panaman TV. I don’t know, I really have the impression that I am considered as a stupid fool when I watch advertisements here. I don’t know, in France at least they try not to look so foolish, but here there are no limits. Legacy from the US culture? (with no offense to our American friends !) And well, I already wrote five hundred words (precisely!) God it happens so fast ! Well, talk to you tomorrow. I guess, about a little walk on the streets of Panama City!
In the meantime, good morning to you sweetheart …
Your colgate man !