I don’t normally make a particularly big deal of my birthday and in Bocas I only have 2 female friends and 2 male friends (and then I know like a million other people who would call themselves friends but really I don’t even have their phone number and we just talk when we happen to be in the same party or whatever). Because of this and the fact that there’s nothing really special to do on the island, I was a bit annoyed that I’d be spending my 21st birthday (which is supposed to be a special one I think) here because there would be nothing to do and I wouldn’t be able to eat my mum’s fruit cake or go to this really nice Thai restaurant near where my parents live.
A few days ago my 2 girl friends, Hellen and Sol, said we should make a plan for my birthday which fell on a Sunday. Sol said that in general in Panama, you party from midnight when your birthday starts, so in other words we should start celebrating on Saturday night not Sunday night. The girls agreed that the only important people were us and our 2 friends Martin and Bernard who work in the Munchies takeaway.
We’re not normally all drunk together because normally 1 or 2 of us (normally me) aren’t drinking, but when we are drunk together it’s hilarious, so that was obviously part of the plan. We decided we’d go to the shops and get some silly things to wear on our heads (like plastic glittery top-hats or something) and start drinking beer in Munchies at 11 then do a countdown and at midnight put on the silly hats and start drinking spirits, then at around 1am or whenever we felt like it, go to Barco Hundido, my favourite party venue.
Everything went to plan, and we found some quite funny party things on Saturday in the shop to wear on our head etc, so after going for pizza we went to Munchies and then counted down to my birthday when it was 30 seconds to midnight. At midnight we made an explosion of party poppers and balloons:
After this moment everything got a bit more crazy, thanks to a big bottle of rum…
We played some drinking games at the table and did some weird balloon challenges etc…
I have no idea what time we went to Barco but when we got there, we went up to the the DJ booth because we wanted to talk into the microphone for some reason. The DJ said happy birthday to me etc and then he passed me the microphone. Me and Hellen and Sol always laugh about the recorded American dramatic voice that says “DJ BURTONNNN” every 10 minutes when DJ Burton (our friend) is DJing there, and we always do impressions of it. Of course when I was passed the microphone, even though it wasn’t DJ Burton working that day, I was like “DEEEJAAAYYY BURTOOONNNN” in my best epic American accent. It’s no surprise that the DJ immediately took his microphone back.
I feel like I was only in Barco for half an hour but looking at my Whatsapp and tweets etc from that night that say the times they were sent, I’ve figured out I must have been there dancing for about 2 hours. The music was really good, I remember that much, and I remember Sol took off her heels after about 2 minutes of dancing and put them behind the bar. In England you’re not allowed to be in a club without shoes on even if your heels are killing you.
At 4am I was back in Munchies and straight after eating potato wedges, I threw up all over the floor. Bernard found this hilarious, until he realised it was part of his job to full up a bucket of water and clean it up by swooshing it into the sea. A random American woman then told me she has a quad bike and 2 helmets and said she’d take me home because she didn’t want me to resort to getting a lift home with a guy who would do something bad. I definitely didn’t feel like riding my bike so I accepted her offer and said thank you to her about a thousand times when I got off. I think girls need to look out for each other more like that.
Today (Sunday) I was mostly in bed with Hellen because we both needed a little recovery time, and then we ate Chinese food with Sol and are about to go to Munchies to chill out for a bit before bed.
So my 21st birthday turned out to be quite fun, and now I know that all you need is your close friends and some alcohol and party poppers basically! 🙂