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the tide

I have spent the last three or four weeks watching the sea. The rise and fall of the tides; an endless ebb and flow. A constantly shifting surface comprised of liquid light and the sky, stirred by random eddies and hidden currents.

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It has put me in a reflective state of mind.

I wonder why I am here and not there and I ponder on whether I should stay. Motion suits me but the pull of place, any place, also exerts a force.

But I don’t like Bocas very much so, ultimately, it puzzles me why I have been contemplating, quite seriously, remaining here for some time. Make no mistake, the islands are stunningly beautiful but the sluggish local economy revolves around tourism. Swarming touts ceaselessly roam the streets and everywhere, as you go about your daily business, you are subjected to a compulsive, yet curiously listless, mutter of uninspiring propositions: Hola, chica! Which beach you go to today? Tour? Wanna tour? … Need a room? Good price. Good price… Amiga, buy weed?

Possibilities arise in all directions. Maybe a catamaran to Galapagos? A yacht to the San Blas?  Dive training here in Bocas? Involvement in community projects?

I am still uncertain what my next step will be but it seems more and more likely that it will involve moving on. When I consider my momentary hesitation it occurs to me that, in a way, Panama represents the end of a chapter. The opportunity to abandon one continent for another implies a new beginning, a different world, and I am standing on the brink.

{ 5 } Comments

  1. George | August 20, 2011 at 4:08 am | Permalink

    Bocas has strange effects on people. believe it or not there are many people that dont like it but stay here. its a weird place. it has not just been in the last 15 years that torism has taken over. For over a hundread years bocas has been a mixing ground for different peoples and even before that bocas was an area for indians of different tribes to commingle. Even though my food biz pretty much depends on the tourist buck i tend not to notice them. i live off the main strip and even thiugh there are plenty of gringos around i can honestly say where im at is pure bocatorenio. Not alsways a great thing.

  2. anna | August 20, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    It is definitely a place with a certain pull,… but….

  3. Chloe & Donna | August 28, 2011 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    Hello there, We were just wondering where you were ?We have decided to settled in Medellin for a while so do give us a shout when you get down here.

    If you need any tips/ideas on places to go just email!

    :)

  4. nic | September 1, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Hi Anna,
    That’s so beautifully described. We wish you well from South Bohemia.
    Nxxx

  5. Sila | September 4, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Anna!
    It’s been a long while since I dropped by your blog the last time.
    I heard you ditched your bike? Have you found a new ride?
    The way you describe this place and your feeling about it is somewhat poetic. Lovely. :)
    I’m on a long break myself, just hanging around Java, doing a volunteer work with a local NGO.

    Maybe your next step could be Asia? Do you think the continent would have that certain ‘pull’ on you?

    Take care and be well,
    Sila :)

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