Grumpy? Go back to Toledo
As all trips do, ours involved the usual traveling insanity: the frantic airport to airport race, feverish rush to satisfy the TSA folks, removing shoes, surrendering wits, wallet and watch, posing for the X-ray machine like DaVinci’s Vitruvian man and then reassembling, redressing, then schlepping to the departure gate exhausted. We then transferred to the ultimate flight, shuffled off the COPA plane in David like sheep to the shearer, endured passport control and customs and finally fell into our taxi and met Orlando, who graciously drove us to Bocas del Mar.
Our week of research in Panama then took on a leisurely pace. We’d heard of sloths, of course, those furry enigmas of the treetops that make turtles look like rapid transit in comparison. And we’d heard that Panama has a surplus of these slo-mo creatures. Well, since we’d reached Bocas del Mar pretty well spent, feeling a bit slo-mo ourselves, we began to identify with Mr. Sloth, and resolved to seek one out.
But what were they called here in Panama? We asked at the desk. It turns out that those furry, lethargic creatures are called ‘oso perezoso,’ lazy bears. Here’s a picture of Mr. Oso Perezoso with young.
Every trip demands some kind of talisman, a touchstone feature that travelers can refer to at a later date to recall that happy/eventful/sad/disappointing/memorable vacation. Ours was/is Mr. Oso Perezoso, the lazy bear. (Picture courtesy of Mr. Walter Steiner on the Boquete Panama blog, thank you Walter) Now, when Mariah and I think of our short stay in Panama, we automatically think, ‘oso perezoso.’
The connection seems to be appropriate; one of the most important findings of our trip was really an affirmation. We’d heard, as all gringos do, that life in Panama tends to be lived moment to moment, that folks here enjoy each day, each hour, avoiding the kind of frantic rush one encounters in a TSA line, for example. So we made a conscious decision to slow down, take each moment as it came and try to avoid the usual gringo-izing characterized by an impulse to push, rush, crush and crash. I’d like to say we succeeded, but the hectic pace of U.S. life is a well-learned attribute, and one not easily shed. We’ll work on it.
Meanwhile, we saw not one oso perezoso lolling through the treetops, or taking ten minutes to scratch its ass, or do its glacial imitation of a weathering statue. We’ll continue to look for one. Maybe we looked right at one and didn’t see it? That could be; maybe the demand to slow down includes watching for life as well as moving through it? Could be.
Meanwhile, here are more pictures of us trying to imitate Mr. Oso Perezoso. Enjoy:
With friends Dianne & Elizabeth @ Finca Luz
The Panamonte has an incredible bar/lounge/fireplace meeting spot
Street fair in Boquete: Now that’s a dreamcatcher!
At Morton’s Bakehouse, Alto Boquete.
Even birds have private bungalows at Bocas del Mar
Gringo versions of Oso Perezoso
More later; stay tuned. Adios.