Christmas In Bocas

I knew this Christmas was going to be a weird one (first one away from my family etc etc) but I had no idea what it would be like. As it turned out it was really nothing special and to be honest I kept forgetting that it was Christmas.

Me and my flatmate Hellen are both a bit lazy so on Christmas eve we didn’t really plan anything (what to eat etc) for the next day. We assumed something would figure itself out, like we’d get invited to a friend’s house or something, and we just bought pasta and sauce from the supermarket in case they were all shut the next day and we’d be left with no other options.

I don’t drink that often but I decided to drink that night because it was Christmas eve and apparently the parties were going to be good/busy that night. As usual we went to chat to the police first and then went to the touristy Iguana bar which was fuller than I’ve ever seen it before. To be honest I wasn’t really a fan because it was too hot and hard to move around because of all the people, and they were mostly annoying drunk tourists whose form of dancing is jumping up and down with one hand in the air.

Having said that, there was a good reggae set for about half an hour which was really fun for me. Anyway we cycled to the more local Barco Hundido, stayed there for a while then got bored so figured we’d check out Iguana again. Hellen’s bike got a puncture so we had to walk but it was raining really hard (typical…) so we went to my favourite takeaway, .Munchies, to ask them for bin-bags. Here we are in our Bocas-style raincoats:

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Iguana was rubbish so we went back to Barco which was full of dancing Panamanians and we stayed there til it closed (later than usual, at about 6). There are some rastas who are at every party and we were talking to them outside Barco and they said we should come with them to an after-party at their friend’s house on Calle 6ta (the street that’s meant to be the ghetto of Bocas with all the crime etc). I wasn’t drunk any more at this point but I thought “why not” and went with them, but Hellen went to bed because one of the guys scared her by continually saying he really liked her etc. I seem to always find myself in these “only girl at the party” situations in my life, but so far nothing has gone wrong so it’s fine.

The after-party was quite boring to be honest because they just sat there smoking weed and drinking. I couldn’t be bothered to get up so I stayed there til 8am then found my way back home. Obviously this meant that my Christmas day was spent sleeping, and yes we did cook pasta on Christmas day!!

Last night (Christmas day) we went out again, this time to Aqua Lounge on another island. It wasn’t anything special (I go every week) but when we got back (at about 4), Munchies was still open even though it officially closes at 4. We stayed there (much to the staffs’ annoyance because they couldn’t go home) until 7.30am. I got about 10000 insect bites because they come out at sunrise (like 7am). The local crazy alcoholic man also made an appearance in his Santa hat and sang Bob Marley – Buffalo Soldier about 20 times (he does it on the street every day). I didn’t drink that night but everyone else was pretty drunk by the time the Munchies staff made us leave.

A water-taxi came in right next to Munchies and a family with young kids got off and the first thing they would have seen is two table of drunk, smoking, shouting, tattooed Panamanians at Munchies. Welcome to Bocas!!!

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