Today on January 18 is the birthday of my daddy. Even though he is not on earth, he lives in my heart. So I can also celebrate in Panama. Not a birthday but a real warm welcome.

Yesterday during flight I sat next to two young Germans. It is a relief when you get along well with your fellow travelers. After all, you sit next to them for over 11 hours. The fun part of flying is the first 10 minutes and the last 10 minutes. Namely taking off and landing. I always have a window seat so I can film and take pictures. But if you want to stretch your legs or go to the bathroom you have to disturb two half sleeping people.

Then when you fly over the Panama canal and do a half pirouette to land, you know: "I'm home."

After getting through migration and customs, you suddenly find yourself in a hot hall to take the free shuttle bus to the hotel. You arrive and how could it be otherwise: the bus drives away. So that's going to be half an hour of waiting for it to return. While waiting you get a crash course in Panamanian Culture. I turned down 20 or 30 cab drivers. One started lying in his conviction to choose him. He assured me that the shuttle bus won't be back for another 45 to 60 minutes. I could ride along for $10. When the shuttle bus came we were at the hotel in 5 minutes.

Currently I am on the bus to Soná and that ride takes 5 hours and is over 300 kilometers. This morning my friend Jorge and I bought a ticket for $10. There are about 30 people on the bus. So the bus driver earns $1 per kilometer. Unthinkable and unfeasible in the Netherlands. This bus is not exactly electric. Maybe they save money on the MOT, if that even exists.

Did you do the math? Yesterday's cab driver earns $2 per kilometer or per minute. The bus driver earns $0.03 from me per minute or per kilometer.

Anyway, the party has begun. As I said, Jorge came to pick me up at the hotel. He came by night bus from Soná to Panama especially for me to pick me up. After a delicious (western) breakfast, we took a kind of Uber to the metro station. Well, and then in the metro and the station all the memories of the WYD in 2019 come up. We headed to the Albrook Mall to get a sim card and food for the bus.

This ends this blog. I could tell you how the entire bus here is sleeping while music is blaring through the speakers (great music, by the way). But I guess a picture says more than a thousand words. So below some pictures of the first moments in Panama.

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