Thank You

You all are the best blog readers. I love your comments and participation, and I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting quite a few of you when you come to this area. Some of you all have also taken the trouble to send some money my way.

I’m an affiliate with Panama Relocation Tours, so if you use my link (https://panamarelocationtours.com/?ref=7), I get compensated which I really appreciate. Last year it covered all my website/blog hosting costs, and this year it’s on the way to doing that again.

We didn’t take a relocation tour because we were quite clear on where we wanted to settle, and we had some good friends who helped us along the way. But, since then, I’ve heard more and more about the relocation tours. The feedback I’ve heard both personally and on social media has been overwhelming positive, and the tours have become so popular that they are booked months in advance. People love seeing the many different areas, meeting their fellow tour participants, and getting tons of valuable information along the way. Jackie Lang organizes the tours, and her numerous informative articles on the website and her input in forums and social media seem to me to be sensible and accurate. If you have questions about Panama it would probably be well worth your time to poke around the website. Maybe start with the Living in Panama section and scroll down to the articles.

I just got an email informing me of another payment, but this time I think I’ll pass it along to someone who needs it more than I do. Health care is very good and inexpensive here, but not free. One of our fellow expats and a fellow musician had a terrible fall with bleeding in her brain. She had surgery to remove a large blood clot and is now coming off days and days of sedation to allow her brain to recover, but her future is very uncertain. Her husband and friends would appreciate not only the financial support, but the emotional support of knowing others care. The GoFundMe page is HERE https://www.gofundme.com/f/nicole-hart-angelus-restoration

There is an overwhelming amount of suffering in this world but people we know personally, of course, touch us the most. You all don’t know this person, but she was my nursing supervisor and coworker in Florida and now she is fighting a battle for her life against pancreatic cancer. It breaks my heart to see her go through all this. She never thought at her young age that she would need anything but a typical bathroom, but now she needs something safe and suitable for a person with a walker who can stand for only short periods. She has asked for so little, but this is one thing that would really help her. Her Facebook page is here https://www.facebook.com/groups/2354258028130460/ and she is using PayPal https://www.paypal.com/paypalme2/CandyPearce?fbclid=IwAR3_xIsIvGJuPhfHNnj9PvQRETz2Bpnm5AWCzgyAB0JFHZuq_nViVOSWq8Q  I know that’s a crazy looking link, but the process is super easy.

This post has gone a bit afield of the Thank You I started with, but when I think about all the blessing I have it seems only right to share where I can, even if it’s just a tiny bit.

The main plan for this post though was to thank all of you for your support, for taking the time to read, participate, and comment, and for spending some time with me in person. When I started I never imagined this  blog would be such a thing, and that it would reach so many people. I appreciate all of you who have made this possible.

I wish all of you a healthy and happy life! It’s a privilege not given to many.

Posted in Panama | 4 Comments

What is Your Stuff Worth?

I ran across an interesting article recently. We all have stuff. We all leave our homes one way or another when we can no longer care for ourselves, or we reach the end of the road in this life. If you move out of the country it may be even more of a concern. What stuff do you move with you, and what becomes of it after you leave (because you will leave one way or another. That dang death rate still is right around 100%).

We all have stuff that means something to us, things from beloved family members, things acquired in special times, or things we just love. But, does this stuff mean anything to others? What will become of it when you leave? Who gets to deal with it all?

The article Here, https://dallas.momcollective.com/most-of-your-stuff-is-worthless-3-things-you-should-be-doing-now-to-reduce-what-you-own/ a bit disheartening to learn not only does your stuff not mean as much to others, most of it cannot even be reused or turned into money. How difficult for your family to see grandma’s beloved (whatever) get sent to the trash.

I found a great feeling of freedom when I got rid of almost all my stuff. I sent boxes to each daughter with a few special items like baby clothes, books from my childhood, newspapers from Kennedy or the first man on the moon, etc. The rest, except for a few boxes, went away. If something happens to us here, we have a rental house with nothing in it worth saving. Hand the keys back to the landlord, and now he has a furnished house to rent to the next people. My daughters don’t have to deal with selling property and there is no stuff worth their attention.

So, the advice is, keep only a few sentimental items. Digitalize pictures. Buy quality stuff that you will really use, not lots of stuff that will be thrown away or take up space. Keep life simple and uncluttered. You will feel better and your heirs will thank you. Moving will also be a lot cheaper and easier.

Posted in Panama | 6 Comments

Crazy Times

Well, maybe a little crazy for us, which isn’t much but once in a while we need to go sort out something.

I’m minding my own business this morning, when an IDAAN (water company) truck and three guys with IDAAN t-shirts and ID badges show up at my gate to inform me that they were shutting off the water for non payment. Huh?? The landlord pays the water and sometimes he gets a month or two behind but never this. I explain it’s the landlord’s fault, and they say if I go to the IDAAN office TODAY and take care of it, they will leave the water on. Otherwise it gets shut off tomorrow.

My neighbor explains how to find the office. I also look it up on Google maps and it doesn’t look quite the same, but whatever… we set off and Google navigation directs us to a big lot walled off and under construction. That can’t be it, so we set off for the municipio (City offices) which are close to the location my neighbor described.

Since we were close to the post office we decide to mail a card I’ve been carrying around for a while. There was only one other customer before me, so it took only a few minutes for the lady to hand write some forms, put many bar code stickers on everything, and get all the paperwork in order and collect $1.15. Then I’m done and on my way.

Traffic downtown is nuts! Intersections usually have a stop signs one way, and you just take your chances the other way with any tiny break in traffic (or you wait all day). People pull out, ease in, and generally drive aggressively enough to make their way and everyone else just adjusts. It looks intimidating and since I don’t enjoy driving, I’m very happy Joel has no problem dealing with it all. People here seem to remember though, that those other cars also contain people with needs and feelings. People will do their best to get where they are going, but they are also considerate of others and honking the horn is usually only a “hey I’m here” curtesy beep, except maybe the taxis who are notoriously more aggressive, maybe because they have to fight traffic all day every day.

Anyway, we find our way to the area I’m looking for, and the traffic light I was told about (there are very few of those so they make good landmarks). Unfortunately the office doesn’t have a sign outside and it’s not easy to spot, so we have to ask, drive by a couple times, and finally stop at a bank which turns out to be in the same building. The bank guards direct us to the proper door and we make our way to the cashier’s window.

Everything is paid up! Huh? so why did those guys show up this morning? She calls a guy from the back office who disappears with our bill, and returns a few minutes later without an explanation, but with reassurances that all is well. No one else will show up at our door and no one will shut off the water. Who knows what happened, but it’s obviously a mistake.

So, sometimes you wake up with a plan for the day and proceed with it, and sometimes your plan for the day gets shot all to pieces. But, thankfully, since I like my plans, this doesn’t happen too often. And, even more thankfully, if you get muddled up people are super helpful. Today we were helped by our neighbor, a guy in the street selling water, the guards at the bank, and the people in the IDAAN office. It can be stressful and frustrating when everything is different and hard to understand, but it always gets worked out one way or another.

“Everything always works out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out yet, then it’s not the end.” (Tracy McMilian)

Posted in Panama | 2 Comments

Shipping Household Goods to Panama

I ran across this article by Panama Relocation Tours.

https://panamarelocationtours.com/shipping-your-household-goods-to-panama

I have mentioned these folks in the past because of their many happy customers. (If you book a tour, use my affiliate link please https://panamarelocationtours.com/?ref=7) They also write a lot of good information, and what they say seems credible and sensible.

So, do you want to bring all your stuff to Panama? Your life here will be different. Almost everyone I know says they ended up not needing or using a lot of the stuff they brought. You will have a new and different life and activities, and a lot of your stuff won’t be suitable and/or won’t do well in this tropical climate.

The article says that most rentals are furnished. This may be true in some areas, but I here in David it’s much easier to find unfurnished rentals because of the less transient population. But, it is true that you will need to find a rental that’s suitable for your furniture and other items. If you replace furniture here, it’s expensive. You are unlikely to find used furniture sources, and good quality US type furniture costs probably as much as in the US (though not sure, I didn’t buy new furniture there). But, local furniture is more likely to be suitable for this climate, and will still be cheaper than spending thousands to ship furniture. And, there are many artisans who can custom make furniture items to your exact specifications which is useful, fun, and supports these local, hard working people.

We sprung for a comfortable sofa for relaxing at night, and new mattresses. Otherwise, except for our custom living room tables, we have plastic tables, perfect for our lives. If they need cleaning you can scrub them with a brush and Comet (or locally available equivalent). They aren’t bothered by water, humidity, or termites and if we really ruin them, replacements are economical. We upgraded some of our $12 plastic yard chairs to better looking $25 chairs, but they are still plastic and suitable for our lifestyle and climate. Our home doesn’t look “fancy” but it suits us and our lives, and is easy to afford and maintain.

It is recommended that you NOT ship a car here. It’s takes time and there are expensive fees. I haven’t done it myself so I have no first hand experience, but from what I understand even the jubilado residency doesn’t save you from a lot of the fees associated with importing. Anyone who knows more than I do feel free to chime in. And, once your car is here, it will need maintenance. Even the same brand and make of car may be different from the ones here which will make finding parts challenging. It’s so much easier to just get something here. You can find a good selection from little economical cars to big SUV’s in familiar brands, from used to new. Save yourself the time and headaches, and get a car here.

Pets, however, may be worth bringing. There is a process of vet certifications and time sensitive documents, and airline regulations, but many people have brought their pets are happy to have their 4 legged family members with them here. Of course this lifestyle and climate may also be a big change for your pets, so keep that in mind when making your decisions. If you want to get a pet here though, there are many many good dogs and cats who need homes.

So, in the end, what you move is a personal decision. We sold/gave away/trashed pretty much everything we owned except for Joel’s musical stuff and some tools. Even many of the tools don’t get used in our different life here, but the musical equipment was definitely worth shipping. There is minimal selection here and the prices are high. But, in general, you can get pretty much everything here. These people have lived here for generations, and have attractive homes and comfortable lifestyles, and you can too.

I think the best advice I have heard, if you can’t decide what to do, is to put your stuff in storage and live here for a year or more. Then you will still have your stuff, but a much better idea of what you want to bring to Panama.

 

Posted in Panama | 2 Comments

Cost of Living, January 2020

Once in a while, now usually once a year, I track expenses just to see where we are at, and to share the info with you all who want to know the actual costs for one couple living in David, Panama. For past cost of living reports, look here https://blog.thepanamaadventure.com/3-the-cost-of-living-in-panama/

Rent $385 – 3 bedroom/2 bath (unfurnished, which means bring your own appliances) in a comfortable middle class neighborhood. Our neighbors are teachers, lawyers, blue collar professionals, and medical professionals. It would probably be $450 now but the landlords haven’t raised the rent in 7+ years.

Our house in Oct 2012

Food $431.98 – $126.65 for fruits and vegetables, $72.39 at the supermarket, $232.94 at Pricesmart (our version of Costco)  It might be a bit lower than  average because we started with a well stocked freezer. We buy anything we want including imported food and treats in the freezer. This includes local beer that we enjoy with dinner, and an occasional bottle of local rum. We could lower this quite a bit if we stuck with local foods.

Gas for the car $43 – again could be more, but we started the month with a fairly full tank.

Gas for the kitchen $5.12 – household gas is a tank like you usually see on a BBQ. Tanks are subsidized by the government so very economical. One tank lasts us about a month.

Electricity $40 – with a fridge, freezer, and AC during the hotter afternoons

Cable $46.21 – CableOnda package deal for TV and internet, though we only use the internet

car insurance $27 – monthly for two older cars, liability only. You can only get full coverage on cars less than 10 years old. Even then though, we’ve found it considerably less than in the USA (think it was around $28/month for the one car, before it got too old)

Netflix – $8.99

Phone – $0 – I didn’t put any money on my phone this month. I usually add $10 when my balance gets below $10 and that lasts me for months. Most communication is done by WhatsApp and actual phone calls are unusual.

Books $84.40 – this is high, but they had this sale I couldn’t resist.

Arocha $60.88 – miscellaneous things from the pharmacy, case for my phone, greeting card, can’t remember exactly what else.

Website/blog hosting $10 – or $119.88 paid yearly

Total – $1142.58   This seems to be about the same for every year I’ve tracked it since we arrived in 2012. If anything, we are spending more because we feel we can afford imported food treats, and one of our cars is a large, thirsty beast (though perfect for those drives up the mountain loaded with band equipment).

This does not include travel, eating our (which we almost never do), clothes and other shopping (also rare), and other “non essential” costs. We don’t have health insurance. Since we are both healthy and take no medications, we have decided to keep money in the bank to cover emergencies and pay as we go.

I’ve probably forgotten a detail or two but this will give you a general idea. If we really needed to cut costs we could find a good house for half the price in a smaller, nearby town, and we could cut food costs by staying with only local foods.

We are SO fortunate! To be able to live comfortably, live well and want for nothing on the income we have without worry, its a HUGE gift and we appreciate it each and every day. My heart goes out to all the struggling seniors in the US who can’t afford even their necessities and have few to no options to change their situation. We are so fortunate that we were able to make this change in our lives, and it has been a success.

 

Posted in Panama | 4 Comments

Money, Money, Money

It’s pretty much impossible to live without money in this day and age. Money buys us necessities, luxuries, lifestyles we like (or wish we had), and gives us a sense of security if we have some in the bank. Many of us face retirement without enough money to feel comfortable or too often, without even enough to pay for basics. Costs go up faster than income. Income often doesn’t allow enough for immediate needs, so forget putting aside enough for retirement. Even those who saved and did everything they thought was right, many of them lost so much in the recession as home prices plummeted and investments evaporated. Women are usually in worse shape since they earn less, and often miss years of work to take care of children, parents, or others.

Now of course this is only my perspective from my limited experience, but it seems people move from their home country because they want adventure, they want a similar life for less money, or they want a life they can afford at all (this is us). Unfortunately it seems like more and more seniors in the US are struggling to get by. Many may consider moving, but many others don’t have the means to consider it, and wouldn’t be suited for it for a variety of other reasons.

I’ve run across some articles that has gotten me thinking on this whole money subject.

This one is about the cost of living in various places, including Panama. https://alittleadrift.com/cost-of-living/  The Panama page seems quite accurate (imagine my surprise to see I’m one of the sources!)  https://alittleadrift.com/cost-of-living/panama/ If you are thinking about relocating, this looks like a very good resource.  (but, one inaccuracy, the weather in David is NOT like Boquete! David is HOT.)

This article is about people in the US who may never be able to retire. https://getpocket.com/explore/item/too-many-americans-will-never-be-able-to-retire   I was talking to a Panamanian who lives in the US and she said seniors can get jobs (unlike Panama, where she says people over 50 may have a hard time finding a job). She sees seniors all the time working at WalMart and supermarkets. Yes, true, but is this something they want to do, or have to do to survive? It certainly wouldn’t be my choice. And, what if they are unable to work? The article says a lot of the problem is people having fewer children, and there are less immigrants so there are fewer people paying into the system that supports the older people. Immigrants? I know people have strong opinions on this subject, but I never thought about it affecting retirees in this way.

And then, really sad 😦 https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/10/02/california-senior-homeless-population-growing-low-income-rent-prices/2307991001/   This article is about homeless seniors in California, but it happens everywhere. I read somewhere that around 50% of homeless people are over 50. I talk with every homeless person I come across in the US (and there were a lot on my bike trip a few years ago). Every single one, with the exception of one younger couple I met, looked to be at least 50. Every single one had a story of a disaster pushing them over the edge – a major health problem, a job loss and couldn’t find another, and no safety net, no family or others to help. Once you’re down, it’s almost impossible to get up again. There are programs to help but not enough, and the waiting list can be years. It’s 10 years for low income housing in Washington state!

OK, enough doom and gloom. Our life here allows us to live really well on what we have, without the stress of worrying about making the bills every month. That’s a really big deal and we thank our good fortune every single day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As for life at the moment, it is Thursday 1/12. Where on earth has this whole month gone??!  There was the famous Boquete Flower and Coffee fair the last couple weeks, so Boquete was pretty crazy. The weekend before last it was cold and raining which may have slowed down the crowds. Last weekend it was still damp and chilly but not enough to slow down anything. It took us 45 minutes to get from Alto Boquete down to the Brewery in town, and that was with convincing the police to let us go straight into town when they were diverting everyone on to a side road that went directly to the fair.

We went to the Brewery very early, thankfully, and made it in time to hear the Black Cherries. They are a Panama City band of 4 kids, 14, 14, 15, and 16 years old, with girls on drums, bass, and vocals!! Yay! I was quite impressed with them, very good musicians and really nice people too. Then, we played the rest of the evening to a big crowd and had a really good time. By the time we left, well past midnight, the streets were calmer but we could hear the music from the fair booming in the distance. I think many of the expat locals got pretty tired of the loud music until all hours of the night, but it’s a thing every year so if it’s a problem, that’s a good time to take a mini vacation elsewhere.

Down here in David, it’s been hot, dry, and windy until first of this week. We had some very pleasant cloudy days and then today, a great surprise! It rained! Not just some sprinkles… it RAINED like a Panamanian downpour. I think it started around 3:30, so loud on the tin roof I couldn’t listen to my book. It’s now 7:30  and it’s still raining, not hard but a nice steady rain. We don’t expect rain in the summer so this is a real treat. I’m sure the plants and wildlife appreciate it, and it should cut down on the possibility of brush fires that are pretty common in dry season.

Posted in Panama | 11 Comments

Bob Adams report

Bob Adams has lived and worked internationally for many years, and now lives in Panama. He shares a wealth of information on both his website and his YouTube channel. His latest report can be found on his website https://www.retirementwave.com/reports  Look for the red text with the link to download this report.

He is very positive about Panama and thinks, though the economy has been a bit slower, it’s coming back nicely and there are a lot of good reasons to live in Panama. The report is a bit technical with numbers and graphs, but check it out and you’ll quickly get the general idea.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s Monday, Jan 13th (where does the time go so quickly??!)  Again, it’s hot, dry, sunny, and the wind has been picking up all day. We (the band) were in Boquete last night at the Boquete Brewing Company where we play outdoors on the terrace. It was a totally different world up there! We arrived while there were some spectacular rainbows in the sky!

Then, it was downhill from there, weather wise. It was increasing wet, ranging from damp to actively raining, very windy and as the evening wore on, increasingly cold. I was cold even in my 4 layers of clothes (yes, I’m a wuss, but even the tourists had long pants and jackets). But it was still a fun evening and in spite of the weather and the wind blowing rain on them at times, a lot of the people stuck around for the whole evening which we really appreciated.

Boquete, however was a bit crazy. The famous coffee and flower fair is in progress and the town was full, lots of traffic on the roads, buses parked along streets, and as we were packing up we could hear the music from the fairgrounds. A lot of expats don’t like the music but it’s a Panamanian festival, and everyone knows there will be very loud music until well into the wee hours in the morning so if it’s a problem, it’s best to just take a mini vacation elsewhere. It seems the weather last night would make it hard to enjoy the festival, but they certainly weren’t going to shut it down because of some wind and rain!

Now it’s Monday afternoon, and there hasn’t been a bit of rain down here. It’s almost 3PM and we still have water coming from the tap! Apparently they have been working on valves in the system and that’s why it’s been off every day for many days, but I’ve gotten into a workable routine of using tank water during the day, and then opening the tap to refill the tank at night (I don’t want to leave it open in case the water comes back muddy).

Well this post was supposed to be about the Bob Adams report, but it’s easy to tack on a bit about what’s going on in our world today too. I’m not about to complain about anything. This is the view today from my daughter’s office in Seattle.

Hot and windy is fine. We are happy, and feel for all you up north in the cold and snow, and all of you suffering from the recent storms in the eastern USA. Hang in there you all!

Posted in Panama | 6 Comments

Surviving Financially in Retirement

I read a sad article today about the plight of many seniors who don’t have enough money to live on, and have to work well into their later years. According to 2016 statics, almost half of homeless people are over 50?! That is SO sad.

Here’s the article… https://getpocket.com/explore/item/this-is-what-life-without-retirement-savings-looks-like

Many people earn barely enough to survive and/or don’t have benefits, and putting money away for retirement is not possible. Most wages, adjusted for inflation, have remained stagnant for decades.  Most retirement plans  now, instead of the employer guaranteeing a certain amount in retirement, they contribute to a plan managed by the employee, transferring risks of management and market ups and downs to the employee. Many people lost their savings and homes in the recession. Women, especially, lose work time to have children and/or care for aging relatives. Even with medicare, health care can be way too expensive. Benefits for low income people are terribly inadequate. My homeless (over 50 and single) friends in Seattle told me there is a 10 year wait for low income housing.

We didn’t have enough money to manage an adequate retirement in the US, even if we worked until we were 70. That’s why we are here.  Now I’m glad because otherwise we have missed this wonderful experience. But, what about others who can’t move? It takes the resources and willingness to even accomplish a move and set up a new life, and success is not guaranteed. What happens to those who are managing because they are working well into their later years? What happens if they become unable to work?

I know, the answer is to get a good job with benefits. and do good planning for your later years. But, what if you don’t want a traditional job, or you can’t get one? What about the entrepreneurs, the artists, the family caretakers, lower wage service people, and others who aren’t on the traditional job path? They can be severely penalized in their later years. Joel was self employed, doing home repairs and remodeling by day, playing music by night. I held part time contract jobs for many of my years so I could maintain control over my work load and work-family balance, and supplemented that by self employed work. We are very lucky to be OK.  But, how is it acceptable that so many other seniors suffer in poverty?

</rant> OK, I’m done with this soapbox for the moment, but suffering seniors and homelessness are things that really touch me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

But, we are in Panama now. It’s Jan 11th, Saturday, the first day all week that the wind hasn’t been blowing like crazy. Today it’s just breezy and there are some white clouds in the sky, but now that we are well into summer weather we are not expecting a drop of rain for some time to come. The water is off… again… today. I think it’s been at least  a week since the water has been off every day, but thankfully it comes back eventually at night so we can refill our water tank. Word in the neighborhood WhatsApp group is that IDAAN (the water company) is working on something, and there may be lots more work to come over the coming months. People are starting to grumble. I give thanks every day for our water tank system.

There is a Blue Morpho butterfly flying around the yard as I type. It’s mid afternoon, 88 degrees. The family across the street is playing outside and the kids and hollering. It’s another great day in Panama. We are not living on the street in a cold place because of some planning, maybe, and mostly a lot of good fortune. Every day we wake up and give thanks for this life.

Posted in Panama | 2 Comments

More Shopping Options

The Federal Mall is a big deal here. They have been working on it for years, and it’s supposed to have over 300 stores,  bigger than the famous Albrook Mall in Panama City.

Stevens opened in December, and Felix opened shortly after that, so last week we decided to visit and check things out. What follows is a bunch of photos in no particular order, but you can get a general idea. Both stores, and what we saw of the mall are new, bright, attractive, and as good as anything one would find in the USA, IMO.

Here’s a 2 1/2 minute video which looks like an overview and then the opening of Stevens.

https://binged.it/30fdNaV

We started with Felix….

Then, we visited the mall itself, where some Christmas displays were still standing.

The movie theater wasn’t open but we could peek under the partially raised door, and we found a sweets shop nearby too.

Then, we visited Stevens. I tend to get an overview as I go to the top floor, and then take photos as I make my way back down.

So, there you go. We do not suffer here in David! We even have every kind of playdoh and slime and related things to play with. Ha!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Other than that, it is SUMMER here now, no question about it! This is the 5th day of strong winds, blue skies, and hot afternoon sun. The water has been off every day for maybe a week? The few people without water tanks are making plans to get one. One day the water was on most of the day and I got all the laundry done, but today it was off when we woke up. My neighbor was doing laundry last night at 1AM. She is a beautician so she needs to wash towels and work related stuff, and she said today she is also planning to get a tank. She is having to hand rinse her last load of laundry because the water went out part way through washing the load.

I am very thankful to have a tank, and I’m getting in the routine of turning it on when the water goes out, and then checking for water at night so we can refill the tank. I don’t want to leave the tap open for automatic refilling because once in a while the water comes back muddy, and then you have muddy water in your tank which then needs emptying and cleaning.

But, this sure makes you think of all the people in the world who never had running water in the house, and many who never have any clean water at all. I always say a thank you for a refreshing shower and clean drinking water. I’ll never take that for granted again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s January 9th now. The time continues to fly by. We are at the beginning of summer here while you all are freezing up north, and Australia is burning.

We (the band) played in Boquete on Sunday evening. We left here – hot, sunny, windy – but we have learned that it can be very different in the mountains, just 45 minutes away. It was still windy but wet, misty, rainy, and cold! Since I’m on the outside side of the outdoor terrace, I was happy for my t-shirt, blouse, sweater, and sweat shirt. A lot of expats prefer the cooler mountains, but I’m happy down here where you never need more than shorts and flip flops.

Posted in Panama | 6 Comments

City Mall, David Chiriqui

Chiriquí Mall is on the Panamerican Highway on the west side of David. It’s next to Pricesmart, has a movie theater and other stores, but hasn’t been exactly a hot spot in town until a few months ago when the City Mall opened. I’ve been curious so we finally took the time to pay it a visit.

It’s a really nice store, bright and attractive, merchandise in all price ranges, and almost anything you could imagine to buy, and then some!

Not the greatest photo (taken while we drive by in the car). A search should bring up others.

The first floor is a supermarket with a large selection of food, personal care products, and a place to get a snack. We didn’t spend a lot of time there or research prices, but word is you can find some good deals.

The second floor is clothes. We found some very inexpensive options, as well as much more expensive name brands so whatever your needs, it might be worth looking here. Again, everything was laid out attractively, and there were enough employees on hand that you didn’t need to look far if you needed help.

The third floor was furniture, housewares, and a very interesting play area with tables and chairs, trampoline area, and a number of virtual reality options. When we were there the only other person in the area was a friendly, English speaking employee.

The rest of the floor had many furniture options and a huge variety of other stuff. It was packed in tightly to fit everything in, and it was almost an overload to take it all in.

So, if you feel like a shopping trip this place might be worth a trip. We were just looking around to get a general feel for the place so don’t ask me specifics, but overall we were impressed with the various price ranges, the large selection, the new and bright surroundings, and the availability of friendly employees.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Other than that, today is Sunday Jan 5th, and it feels like the first real summer weather. So far we’ve had some hot sunny days, but more overcast days and even some rain now and then which is most welcome in this dry season. Today, however, we woke up to clear blue skies, strong breezes (we get the trade winds in summer), and no water (happens quite a bit, but especially in summer).

I don’t quite understand the water which, to my understanding, is often rolling water outages to conserve water. Maybe you use a bit less, but mostly you just wait to wash clothes and shower, etc. until later when there is water. It was off so much last summer that almost everyone in the neighborhood who didn’t have water tanks, went ahead and got them and then used water normally, refilling the tanks when the water came back. So, overall I’m not sure how much turning off the water really saves. But, TIP (this is Panama) and though some things don’t make sense to us, we learn to carry on.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On another note, I have to log on to my website host to check the mailbox for the blog, which I hadn’t done in a while and the spammers had managed to overload it. Usually, mail in the inbox (not the spam folder) gets forwarded to my main email address so unless the whole mailbox is full, they’ll get through to me. It’s cleared out now, but if I don’t attend to it often enough and your email gets bounced back to you, please leave me a comment and I’ll get on it. Thanks!

Posted in Panama | 6 Comments