No pictures today. You will need to use your imagination.
We’re in Casco Viejo (the old city) in Panama at an intimate Latin Jazz club in the American Trade Hotel. If ever there was a recipe for cognitive dissonance, this is it.
We’re at the back of the club, where they seat the “old white couples who arrive without a reservation”, but we’re still within 25 feet of the stage. We’ve arrived early, thinking that “show starts at 8:30” means the show starts at 8:30. Silly us.
Two tables directly in front of us are empty until a middle aged couple arrives. Bald guy and blonde woman. They are younger than us, but old enough to know better. Unfortunately it appears they don’t. We reconcile ourselves to having to watch them neck for the entire show. Little did we know we would eventually wish they would start necking again. They’re joined by heavyset guy and sparkly woman and the necking stops. Relief. The show starts (most definitely not at 8:30) and by this time blonde and sparky are having an animated discussion while we are trying to listen to the music. It was fantastic. The music, that is. And then sparkly, who has not been listening to the music until now, decides it’s so wonderful that she must record it on her phone. When sparkly starts recording, blonde decides she’s very interested in heavyset (not the one she came with) and gets all touchy-feely. This continues even after sparkly returns from recording the band. At this point we kind of missed the necking – until it started again. Very confusing…
Meanwhile to our right, young man sat down and saved a seat for his wife. He promptly focused on his phone until wife arrived near the end of the set. She promptly ordered a water and focused on her phone until she left 15 minutes later. I really hope I’m missing some critical detail here.
A guy our age, with a young woman and an infant, tried unsuccessfully to get a table at this point. I’m thinking grandfather. I’m hoping grandfather.
Just as the band started playing, a large group of young people arrived. My first instinct was “rich entitled young Americans” but perhaps I was being unkind. Of course, it’s also possible I nailed it.
Immediately in front of the stage a man sat alone at his table, focused on the music and ignoring all the fascinating action going on just behind him.
All in all, probably one of the more enjoyable/interesting evenings I can recall.