Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Salsa Weekend

My mug and nametag. Awee
Although I did miss my mom when she departed, I didn’t have much time to since it was a Friday and the weekend was beginning. It was probably for the best that she left on a Friday. Work has been more exciting lately because I am up to my eyes in my new project, the one that I was originally brought into do for the brewery; create an interview system and mainly a guide for managers that simultaneously establishes consistency in the interview process and produces what the HR world calls a true positive, someone who will have high performance inside the context of our company. Sound easy right? Now imagine doing it for every level of the organization. Fascinating, I know. 

Enough about work, on to the weekend. Although I knew I had many options for Friday night, I was feeling incredibly lazy. So when I got home I cooked for Carlos and Vinicius and took my time getting my life together. Johana arrived and we decided to go to a free concert being hosted by the city instead of going to the Maritime party the guy had invited us to on Wednesday. It was a tough decision since we were expecting to meet a lot of Panamanian professionals there at the party, people with connections who could show us the best parts of the Canal. But we decided instead to go to the Rubin Blades salsa concert with the guys and maybe meet up with other AIESECers. I’m super glad I went to the concert but I’ll never know what opportunities I missed. Asi es la vida I suppose. 
Panoramic of Concert from our seats
Because I was a total sloth Friday evening, we got to the concert a bit late (started at 7 got there at 9… whoops) and Johana was freaking out that we missed everything. At least he was still playing when we got there. As we walked up to the Administration building for the canal we could barely see how full the hill and steps were until we were about 100 feet from the stage and the crowd started. It was PACKED. Families, couples, friends, it looked like the whole city was there, all sitting, none dancing… in a SALSA concert. 

Despite the lack of dancing, the concert was great and lots of fun. We were able to find a good spot in the grass on the hill and enjoyed some of Rubin Blades’ most well-known songs. Carlos and Johana sang almost every one and Vinicius and I sat there enjoying the music and giving each other looks like… “Man I wish I knew this song like everyone else does.” Rubin interacted with the crowd and told us all things about his life. It was his first free concert in 11 years (so they tell me) so everyone really enjoyed it. We even got to enjoy a good chunk of the concert. At about 10:30 he announced that the next would be his last song so he gave people the chance to escape a little early if they wanted. We took the opportunity but found out later that he actually kept singing until about 12:30. Get it Rubin.

After hitching a taxi home no one was motivated enough to find plans so we went to bed. It was probably needed more than anything after a long week of work and getting ready for another fun weekend.
Saturday was another lazy-ish day. I got up slowly and ventured out with Carlos to find internet and to figure out how to rent a car to go to the beaches on the Caribbean side. The car venture was a success but the internet was a total failure. I totally took internet access for granted when I had it! Either way, the plan for Sunday was to pile 6 of us in a car and head to the Caribbean. Yes, it is as fun as it sounds.

Saturday evening a group of our usual suspects came over to the apartment before we headed out to Casco Viejo. The plan was to head to the birthday party of a couple AIESEC interns at a rooftop bar. Chic right? Well we wandered around for a bit trying to find this seemingly mythical place, not even asking directions helped. We passed by some well known bars, one that was playing Salsa and several wanted to stay in, but eventually found what we were looking for after backtracking. While at the ground level it looked chic it was completely empty. Ok, no one´s here? Nope, just drop the name of your party at the door, you get a wristband and go up an elevator. The rooftop was everything we hoped it would be. It overlooked the old city and you could see the skyline of all the skyscrapers in the background. Gorgeous but unfortunately the price of drinks reflected it. We stayed for a bit, and when the birthday boys didn´t show, we bounced back to the Salsa bar.

There we spent most of our evening. Between all of us we bought a bottle of rum and mixers and proceeded to finish it while talking, laughing, and even dancing a little bit. I’m getting to learn from some of the best, look at me with the Columbian! Don’t I look natural?

Our last stop before heading home was my local favorite, Relic. Unfortunately there was a different dj and it was not up to my (or anyone´s) expectations so we rolled earlier than expected. I refuse to let that ruin my image of Relic! Heading home was definitely for the best though because Sunday was an early and awesome day… which will be detailed in the next post!

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