El Pibe

I have a confession to make. I can’t hide it any longer.

It seems like everyone here in Panama City already knows. On the streets, in the restaurants, at the clubs… no matter where I go, I can’t escape.

Last night, Tynan and I were doing a 5k on the way to get some dinner, and people screamed it from balconies and car windows. We kept running, but today I have to be honest with you and, more importantly, with myself.

Apparently, I am El Pibe.

El Pibe

Carlos “El Pibe” Valderrama is the most celebrated Colombian soccer (football) player of all time. What an incredible compliment!

He’s also recognized for his “enormous dyed blondish-orange bush of hair.” Here’s how we looked on International Superstar Soccer ’98 for N64.

El Pibes - video game

There hasn’t been a day in Panama City I haven’t been called “El Pibe.” I don’t mind it at all. In fact, it’s pretty nice not having people call me Will Ferrell.

Most people try (without success) to blend in when they’re traveling, but looking different is pretty useful. People are interested in the unfamiliar, and more interest equals more opportunity to create relationships.

Plus, if you don’t look like a local you get a little leeway to do things that aren’t normally done. It also gives people a great excuse to reach out to you.

Wonder who I’ll be in Japan!

14 thoughts on “El Pibe”

  1. Hey,

    Just stumbled upon your site…

    Why is it so “geeky” looking?
    You’re guys travelling, having fun all over the world
    but your site looks like you are in some software making office
    stuck befind your desks…

    Make it cooler.

    Just a thought…


  2. You know, she IS kind of right (@Anna).. your website looks a bit greyish, like a rental car would. Spice it up!

    And post more often. I’m addicted to your lives 😉

  3. I says she’s kinda wrong (@ Anna). The layout let’s you focus on what is in the pictures and writing… The bright photos of churches, professional football (soccer) matches and Nintendo 64 character profile screens really pop against a more minimal backdrop.

  4. Classic! Nice photoshop work, as always.

    Back in H-town as of late last night, and heading to the ATX this afternoon!

  5. Hey man,
    Sorry I missed you around Christmas before you left to see the world. You’ve got the right idea…Just do it!
    Me and Gretch will be thinking of you. When you look up at the moon some night, picture it as a big reflector disk and the light waves carrying good wishes from us to you. The Beast told us about your site. Best to both of you. Take some kodak moments at Carnival. It sounds like you have a perfect location. If you get a chance, light a candle in a church in different countries for Gretch. She would like that. ted

  6. yo,

    some years ago, actually about 30 or more, Alex Jablonsky, sitting in his room at Phi Rho Sigma fraternity house was listening to classical music .
    YES, there were no CD’s, audio casettes were availabe but many had retained ther 45’s and 33 1/3 vinyls. Alex was clearly enjoying himself despite the scratches and ancient technology of a record player spinning his 33 1/3 rpm.

    Ed who had recently spent a wad on HI Fi stereo equipment
    asked Alex how he could stand listening to all the noise. Alex replied” Edward I am listening to the music not the sound”

    ergo , my response to some of the comments re your “Geeky looking site”

    please email me el pibe

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