I got an e-mail yesterday announcing the 2008 Winter Sale for an outdoor gear company.
"That's strange," I thought, "their e-mail software must have messed up. It's not even close to being winter."
I guess you could say that I've adapted to the eternal summer of Panama. In five days it will be time to adapt again, this time to people who speak the same language as me. Eight days after that it will be time to adapt to the polar opposite of Panama - Tokyo.
It's hard to believe they're all we have left, but we've been spending our last few days here well.
Last night we worked out in a park with our friend Oyden. He and his brother are starting Crossfit Panama, so he's really into Crossfit and has a lot of great gear that we haven't been able to use since leaving Austin. Rings for pullups, a medicine ball, and grips for dip pushups and dips.
We worked out in a playground under the light of the Global Bank building in downtown Panama City. After that we went to Casa Vegetariana as usual. I love that place.
Today we made a trip to La Novena, which is probably the most gourmet vegetarian restaurant in Panama City. It's run by a very friendly chef named Arturo. He used to be an engineer, and it shows in his cooking. We look into the open kitchen as he prepares our dinner and it seems as if he's counting every flake of parsley that falls out of his raised hand.
The food us absolutely unbelievable and he goes way out of his way to accomodate our strict diet. He knows we usually come on Tuesdays, so he always makes a vegan soup that day. Today he had spinach bean soup, which was amazing.
He told us that he had zucchini broccoli too. We were excited about it until his assistant chef told us that they were out.
"If you give me fifteen minute," he says in good, but Panamanian, English, "I think I can make for you."
Unable to decide between the two soups, we each order both. And a smoothie, salad, two slices each of fresh whole grain bread, and an entree which he has designed just for us. It's pasta with almonds, tomatoes, and eggplant.
We hear all four people in the kitchen chatter about whether or not we'll actually be able to eat all that food.
After we finish he sits down and chats with us for a few minutes and sings along as he plays the Spanish guitar.
Tomorrow we'll be going to sleep early because the following day we head to San Blas Islands, where the native Kuna tribe live. For twelve dollars a day they house you, feed you, and show you around the island. Many people have told us it's the best part of Panama, so we're excited about that.
When we get back we'll have one last day to go visit our favorite people and places one last time, and then we're off to LA and San Francisco. Both of us have been in touch with our friends there and are looking forward to seeing them.
Saying goodbye to Panama will be sad, but not as sad as it would be if we weren't about to go find adventure in Japan.
I'm wondering how your going to deal with the real estate situation there. It's pretty hellish in japan I hear. Big thing against having gaijin's rent anything. And you have those huge upfront fee's that are generally not refundable (key money, a deposit that they try their best to keep, agent fees usually end up to 7x(monthly rent rate). And hotels are mucho expensive.
If you guys manage to figure out something affordable in japan, that would be worth an article!
Thanks, Eric. I used Adobe Lightroom to adjust the blacks, contrast, and exposure of pretty much every shot.
The photograph of Arturo is spectacular. Did you use any sort of manipulation in a photo editing software, like Photoshop, to achieve such a dramatic effect?
Ahh Oyden my friend... I could definitely use more carnival! I'm happy being back home and knocking out super-productive days. Wouldn't want to be anywhere else, until I'm there... =)
Todd & Tynan-
You guys rock. I check your blog on a dialy basis to read up on your adventures. Cross Fit sounds interesting to me. Do you happen to know if there are any sport specific training programs. I run a hockey training products online store and I think that Cross Fit could be a unique practice for developing better CORE strength. Please let me know when you have a minute.
Enjoy the rest of your journey and I look forward to following your travels.
You guys coming to Canada? Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax are good places to consider if you are!
We did a good circuit workout.
Still a bit sore today from the ring dips.
I see Alex needed a few more days for Carnival =)
Missed a great karaoke night last night!
Really love the pics in this piece, and I can't wait to hear about the San Blas Islands!
How quickly the time has gone! We've been here for a month now, and it will already be hard to go.
We went to Mireya's for lunch today and Mireya said (in Spanish), "Oh good! I was thinking you left the country already!"
She seemed happy that we were here for another month and we talked about our trip to Las Tablas. I don't want to talk much about the Great Panamanian Road Trip of 2008, since Todd is writing a post about it and I'm making a video about it (check back this weekend), but I will say this - it was great!
Sunday, October 5.
Today was the fourth Ciclovía (see Day 3) since we arrived in Colombia. Mom went running (in her new Nike running shoes that she bought yesterday) and ran 10 km on this warm and sunny morning! She said that her knee still hurts, so the last half of her run was partly walking, but still this proves that she is well on the way to a full recovery!
The remainder of the family walked down to the stadium, where we played some ball and watched the roller skate school for kids practice. I wanted to sign up, or at least to do the first, free lesson, but they told me I have to bring my own roller skates, helmet, and knee and elbow protection. We checked prices for that and decided it is too costly (over 300 000 pesos for the complete equipment) to buy just for the few weeks we have left here. (At home I already have all that, but I didn't bring it to Colombia.)