Having just returned from Panama City, I have some thoughts that I would like to share. Since I would like to keep the primary post about my trip positive and upbeat, I decided to write this part as a stand-alone piece, so as to not corrupt the trip narration portion.
I have to admit that I hate going to Panama City. This trip, I drove and just parked the car in a secure area with a guard. Traffic has definitely increased in Panama City, since I moved to Panama. There is no way I want to drive in Panama City traffic. Unless you do it on a daily basis, you are taking your life in your own hands. Even if you do drive on a daily basis you are taking your life in your own hands.
I was talking to a Panama City resident and I was saying that you need to drive in Panama City everyday to feel reasonably secure. Wherever you are going, you need to know multiple ways to get to the destination. You never know when there will be a protest or accident or some other reason that will prevent you from taking a primary route to where you want to go.
To complicate things more, some streets have three hours in the morning where the street is one-way in one direction. Then in the evening, there is a three hour period when the street is one-way in the other direction. The rest of the time the street is two way. There is no indication on the streets and only a local would know this. There is no organized transition from one direction to the other. People just look at their watch and based on the time, they go one way or the other. What happens if your watch is a few minutes fast or slow? You will likely be going against traffic.
I talked to a local that had an accident just because of that. He was at a corner of one of those streets and looked to the left and saw cars coming. It was right around the time of direction change. Since he saw cars going one way, he turned the other direction and hit a car coming from that direction. It is just that easy. Continue reading