Costa Rica to Panama Airport
Location: 130kms before Pena Blancas (Costa Rica) to Panama Airport
The exit from Cost Rica is quick and easy. After getting passport stamped, the next office checks my motoring documentation whilst the adjacent room signs me off but with a suspended permission and so allowing me to return. Something the Guatemalien authorities failed to do. Sometimes I think mistakes are made deliberately to further stimulate the micro economy at these traffic points. On my permit allowing me to transit El Salvador, the Honduran officials pointed out my guide how it directed my exit ad El Salvador and not Honduras. Normally such a mistake would cost me $200 - a months salary for people for something I didn't do. However all is sweet this morning and it needs to be if I am to get the bike on tomorrow mornings flight. A man with a dapper moustache wearing spectacles that were almost suitable for a woman, read through the succession of stamps indicating the previous progress of my permissions. Men like him sit in a state of control, not just in dealing with me, but himself. His laughs are curt and curl the corners of his lips rather than permit a smile. For me, this is a freakish inhibition which must seep through every aspect of his life and as I think this of him I wonder what he thinks of me?
I am beginning to realise that my social life is based almost solely on such meetings at the junctions where countries meet.
The chap at The Panamanian customs window is gay. You can catch the glance. Its subtle and coy, and a test, for him and me, to see if I am. Given that nothing has looked at me for weeks, not even a beggar woman, any sign that I exist other than a faceless peon at a window I suppose is better than nothing in as much he processed my documentation quickly enough. Presumably having had enough of smirking at me, Senior Panama Gay passes on my paperwork to his colleague, a large woman who looks like a pig. I quite like the way her body squeezes into clothes obviously too small for her and whilst I think she might be dynamic where it matters, she hands me the permission for the motorcycle and waves me on.