How do you plan a perfect date in Panama City? The answer to this question has eluded me for years. It has been even more difficult since I’ve been living on the Isthmus. I can tell you which dates do not work. A traditional dinner and a movie which is boring and awkward. Usually, you are seated across from your date. This makes small talk difficult. A great dinner is also likely to make your date drowsy, not exactly what you intended. Second, going out to a bar with ear bleedingly loud music is a real loser. Communication is absolutely impossible. Third, group bowling at a swanky lounge overlooking the city puts you on the outside of the group looking in.
Scrap those stale oldies and try my date idea. It has worked for me and I am certain it will for you as well. This is a tried-n-true strategy which just maybe near perfect. My one caution is that I do not recommended it for the first or second date. Rather, it is a dating strategy should be used to spice up a relationship that is becoming dull or to move a relationship to the next level. Although I represent a male’s perspective, females could by all means employ the same strategy. It is after all, 2010!
Here are the main steps:
Step #1: Mid-day phone call to partner.
Rather than simply directly calling your partner with the uncreative “Hey, you want to do something tonight?“, this date will set the stage for creativity from the start. I recommend employing a third party. Ask a friend or an associate to assist you. He/she will need to call to your girlfriend and pretend he/she is your assistant. Here is an sample script that I have used. However, you do not need to use a script, just understand the jist of the conversation.
Maria Reyes (mi asistente falsa): “Hola Sra. González. Mi nombre es María Reyes y yo soy el asistente de Evan Forbes. Sr. Forbes quisiera saber si le gustaría que lo acompañe esta noche?”
Ana González: “¿Es esto una broma? Evan no tiene un asistente.”
María Reyes: “Sra. González, esto no es una broma, pero el Sr. Forbes gustaría reunirse con él esta noche.”
Ana González: “ahhh …. ok.”
Maria Reyes: “¡Excelente! Se le recogerá a las 8:30 de copas en el Casco Viejo. Por favor, será una gran noche y deberá vestir de acuerdo a la ocasión.”
Maria Reyes (my fake assistant): “Hello Ms. Gonzalez. My name is Maria Reyes and I am Evan Forbes’ assistant. Mr. Forbes wanted to know if you would like to accompany him tonight?”
Ana Gonzalez: “Is this a joke? Evan doesn’t have an assistant.”
Mary Robinson: “Ms. Gonzalez, this is not a joke, but Mr. Forbes would like to meet with him tonight.”
Ana Gonzalez: “ahhh …. ok.”
Maria Reyes: “Excellent! Mr. Forbes will pick you up at 8:30 for a drink in the Old Quarter. Please, dress nice.”
Step #2: Drinks.
Definitely drinks and not dinner. Having drinks with somebody is urbane and hip while having dinner with a friend or significant other is out-dated. The other advantage of buying drinks instead of dinner is that you’ll save a bit of money and the alcohol will loosen up the night.
Head to Casco Viejo and a restaurant called “Antigua“. It has a upstairs balcony with seating for two that over looks the plaza. Sexy view. More importantly, you can get your hands on a nice bottle of wine, served in the appropriate wine glasses, for under $20.
Tip: Order the Alamos Malbec for $18 and watch the Wine Library TV embedded below. The host, Gary Vaynerchuk, passionately breaks down the underrated Alamos Malbec for the common man. Use this new found wine knowledge as a entertaining dinner conversation topic.
Step #3: The Kiss.
Once inebriation has set in, stroll arm-n-arm down to the Make Out Point (Panama’s best). See map for the suggested route.
You’ll notice that the route is not the most direct, keen observation. This route is recommended for two reasons: First, it’s the scenic route. Second, and most importantly, this track is just long enough to fatigue the both of you. Thus, when you ask “Hey honey(love, baby, sugar bear, etc), lets rest over here for a quick second.“ it comes across as part of the natural flow of the evening, instead of previously rehearsed.
The Make Out Point is located right next to the Club Union. It has a spectacular view of The Bay of Panama. The two of you should be as near the edge of the pier railing as possible. The cool breeze off the ocean will be reminiscent of the Leo and Kate’s kiss in Titanic. How can you get more romantic than that???
Some would ask “shouldn’t the kiss wait until the end of the evening?”. Absolutely not. A mid-date make-out session is hot and will only increase the sexual tension the rest of the evening.
Step #4: Casco Viejo’s Nightlife
Now the two of you are tipsy and sexual energized, it’s time to boogy. Shimmy on down to one of Casco Viejo’s bars. Pick a environment that you’ll both enjoy. Here are a few of my favorites:
Indigo Bar and Restaurant: Less than 300 meters from the Make Out Point, Indigo is a high-end restaurant that typically plays lounge music. However, on the weekends past 10pm-ish, it plays some of the best electro/house music in Panama.
Relic Bar: Considered by many, foreign and local, to be the trendiest place in Panama. Expect to hear upbeat rock, reggae, and a bit of pop music.
Mojitos: Has a tastefully decorated outdoor bar area and occasionally has live music.
Habana Panama: The best Salsa club in Panama, hands down. Go to dance or to watch live music.
Step #5: Finally, getting home.
Although it is becoming easier, finding a cab in Casco Viejo at night can be difficult. It would be wise to have a couple cab driver numbers or the number of a cab station handy, so you will not be stranded. Nothing kills the romantic mood quicker than waiting 30 minutes for a cab.
Here is the number of a cab service that I have used. But, do not expect a warm greeting on the phone and they kinda suck: 221-1932
Recap of Panama’s Perfect Date:
Transportation for the evening: $7
Bottle of wine and appetizers at Angitua restaurant: $30
Drinks at the bar of your choice: $20
Having your significant other believe that you are a entertaining, imaginative, and ultimately a sexy person: Priceless.