Cab fares in Panama are determined in advance. There is no meter running and for good reason. You never know what could happen. There are random stops, occasional detours, and the odd errand that you, as a passenger, should be happy to tolerate. This week, my cabbie stopped in the middle of the road when he spotted a large iguana on the shoulder. He began to chase after it as I sat in the front seat watching the drama unfold with my iPhone.
Losing the lizard in the dry leaves, I gave a whistle to the cabbie and pointed to the spot where the reptile sat motionless. The Panamanian lept down on the iguana like Spiderman from above and returned to the truck, lizard in hand.
“Comida?” I asked. (Food in Spanish).
“Si…la cena! Ha ha ha ha.”
He tied the iguana up like a chicken and then put him in the cab with us, under his knees. I am sure it was dead by this time, and couldn’t understand why he wasn’t placed in the BACK of the little pick up truck. Cab rides will never be the same, and I am grateful for the Panamanian experience.