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Resorts in Panama, A Taste Of Home

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Written by Matt   
Thursday, 04 September 2008 07:38
Resorts in PanamaWhen I was twenty one, buy I found a job working for a resort in Myrtle Beach, physician South Carolina where the official dress code of visitors was somewhere between trailer trash and "my god woman, check who the fuck told you that would look good?" The resort was roughly the size of a small country offered a complimentary buffet of crab legs on the night of your arrival. My job description was somewhat vague, but drawn to the concept of wandering around a resort all day and getting paid, I was set on being a model employee. On the long drive down to South Carolina, I spent time fantasizing about certain resort scenarios and how they might unfold.

"Hey sexy," said one of the tanned middle-aged women in my vision. "I may have just met you, but I feel like I've known you all my life and I love you. Meet me in room 204 tonight at ten." She then walked off and ordered a pina colada.

Circumstances like these kept a flame of possibilities hot and crackling underneath my board shorts as I entered my first day on the job at Breakers, a chain resort on the beach. I met my boss, a southern college dropout named Dusty who, at the age of forty, had somehow managed to preserve the same qualities one might look for in a high school linebacker. He spoke slowly and in a myriad of southern words and phrases I didn't yet quite understand.

"Ya'll gotta try'n be nice to the guests now, ya hear?" Dusty said. "This is one of the finest hotels in Myrtle so ya'll gotta be on the ball all the time. It's gonna be a fun summer, I'll tell ya'll that!"

This speech was more or less the extent of our training, however he did follow up with a seemingly motivational qualifier. "But if ya'll start slackin, boy...I'ma be as mad as a mule chewin himself some bumblebees." Arguably the only employee north of the Mason Dixon Line, I had no idea what this meant but smiled and shook my head at the thought of Dusty with a mouth full of bees.

I made myself busy that summer by clearing empty rafts from a lazy river that wound around Breakers' beachfront property. It was a boring job, brought to life only by the hoards of fat Southern sun bathers drunk on cheap American beer.

"Have yourself a look at that one over there will ya Matt," Dusty suggested, as he pointed to the outdoor shower used to wash off sand from the beach. "Boy, she looks prettier than a glob of butter melting on a stack of wheat cakes."

"Maybe even two globs of butter," I added. I shrugged my shoulders.

"I tell ya," Dusty huffed between breaths, blowing air into a pair of orange Swimmies. "This job ain't nothin if not good for chick spottin. That girl's about two sandwiches shy of a picnic."

My first visit to a Panama resort was similar to my Myrtle Beach experience in the sense that I had no idea what anyone was saying. Spanish to me back then was nothing more than a confusing code of sounds, syllables and phrases not unlike what I heard back in South Carolina.

In the true sense of the word, there are only two real beach resorts in Panama: Playa Blanca and Decameron, both of which occupy more or less the same stretch of beach in Farallon (Cocle Province). Both Panama resorts have massive capacities and are expanding to accommodate the throngs of cheap Canadians, Americans, and Europeans who flood their beaches in search of just one more urine-sample-sized cup of domestic beer. There are a number of other hotels that could qualify as a resort such as Gamboa Rainforst RESORT, Intercontinental Playa Bonita RESORT & Spa...etc. But none of them really shoulder up to the glamor or tack of home.

Both of the beach properties are large, the Decameron perhaps too large as it's easy to lose a friend or a family member on your way back from the beach. Neither have a lazy river nor goofy administrator named Dustry: a deficiency that prevents me from reliving my summer in Myrtle to the fullest extent. But if Panama resorts were leather, I'm pretty sure we'd have enough to saddle a June bug.

Image (from a Mexico Resort):

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Last Updated on Thursday, 04 September 2008 07:43