So, uh, thanks Copa.
I was suddenly giddy, ran to the VIP room where they checked my id two times, sat down on one of the many plush sofas, and realized I had suddenly entered some sort of live action game of "which one of these is not like the other?" Spoiler alert: it was me. There I was, sweaty, no makeup, with my rough woven saco that is most commonly seen as a means of transporting small livestock, sitting among Managua's finest. Ladies with nary an eyelash out of place, and sky high heels gave me the side eye as the waiter came over to take my order. Knowing that I had a few weeks of traveling ahead of me, and that this ticket had already pushed me over my budget, I asked as delicately as I could, "um, would it be possible to see a menu with some, um, prices?" The poor man gave me the most sympathetic look he could while faced with my baseness, and explained slowly that the first drink in the VIP room was complementary.
I was liking the VIP room a lot at this point.
When I actually boarded the plan, I barely had time to enjoy the huge comfy chair, free meal, and warm towels they pass out to wash your hands before we had landed. I did, however, have excessive time to embarrass myself with how excited I was with all of these luxuries. For a girl who was just thrilled when she didn't have to wash her clothes in her shower, this was a big deal. None of my neighbors seemed to be all that impressed though, and especially not with my occasional giggling fits. Their loss.
An hour and a half later, I was on the ground in Panama City, with my taxi driver pointing out all of the sights. The first thing that struck me was the amount of skyscrapers in the city's center, standing watch over a calm ocean front. The second thing that struck me was what my driver then told me.
"I'm going to have to take a back route to your hostel, since the main street is blocked off for the free concert Daddy Yankee is giving tonight."
It turns out I arrived at the end of the presidential elections, and Navarro, one of the candidates, decided to invite Daddy Yankee to perform as a final play for votes. Now, I'm not the biggest reggaeton or political fan, but I was not about to let this opportunity go. I had enough time to check in, throw my bags on my bed, and peace out for the concert while the other guests still sat around talking about other hostels they've stayed at around the world.
The concert was awesome. There were tons of people, especially families, dancing up a storm as Yankee free styled raps about Panamanian girls and Navarro, and his dancers were on point for the nearly hour and a half he performed. It was great to be out late in the evening, seeing so many people simply enjoying the night, and feeling completely safe. It was a definite change from Managua where the sun goes down, and you stay inside if you know what is good for you. I strolled along the well-lit ocean front back to my hostel and thought that it was probably for the best that I didn't get on that TicaBus after all.