I feel like this past week every other thought in my head was, “Is this real life?” Our most recent week in San Miguel, just an hour and a half from the gargantuan Panama City, kept me wondering if I was dreaming.
This is real life?
It all started with an eventful bus ride on our way to San Miguel; we missed the last 7:00pm connection bus so our new friend (as of five minutes who introduced himself from the bar in front of the bus stop) hailed a truck for us. Moments later three of us were in the back seat of his truck and four of us (including our new Panamanian friend) were in the truck bed, feeling like that’s as close we would ever get to rollercoaster in Panama. Charlando y conversando (chatting and conversing) the local narrated all of our scenery, points of interest and even the people who lived in the blurred towns we sped through them. Finally arriving in San Miguel, the truck driver simply gave our Panamanian buddy a ride back and we walked home feeling regenerated and excited by our spontaneous adventure.
Is this really real life?
To say there’s a river that runs along the front side of our house is an understatement. There is a body of water so pristine one can see the fish and pebbles between your feet, so clean that it’s where many of the town’s people bathe. Plus, it’s so filled with natural couches in the form of smooth giant rocks that one can’t help but jump in at every chance. After our hard work each day we would all suit up, walk one minute to our favorite rock spot and enjoy the harmony of untouched nature. Intermittent jumps into the rushing current using the rocks like a water slide, or sitting half in the water half on a rock, makes one wonder if this is where jacuzzi makers were inspired.
Naww, you’re seriously telling me this is real life??
Even our friends in town seem like they pop out of tales from an old long-forgotten lifestyle. Just the other day a local townsman visited us at our house on horseback to hang out. My new friend Felipe who has lived in San Miguel for over sixty years and knows everyone’s everything is a character worth getting to know. For me though, this week’s biggest “whaaa?!” moment was finally climbing the coconut tree in our yard and retrieving my very own coconut. Coming down from the tree I thought to myself, ‘wow, my legs and arms are burned and numb from that tree but, I feel like I’m in the coolest place in the world right now.’
I guess it is real life. After all, it’s a lot of people’s real lives, just not necessarily my traditional view of a real life considering I didn’t see anyone in a shirt and tie, or carrying computers and briefcases, or being stressed or even sad. I suppose it could be our real, full-time lives, although I think I’m more content maintaining the magic and splendor of San Miguel by balancing it with the metropolis city life.