My friends are writing a lot of posts that interest me lately! Today was The Price of Living in Boquete. My friend who lives in Boquete has seen two relocation tours come through town, and overheard what the people were being told in one restaurant. All of us bloggers in Panama have talked about this before – the sales hype, the half truths, the people who fall for the spiels.
Come live in paradise! This is not paradise. This is not eternal vacation at the resort. This is real life with floors to mop and electric bills to pay. We are happy here and think the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages but that’s us. That doesn’t mean others will feel the same.
We all know the sites and the lines. Live well on $1200/month. OK yes, this is possible for us. But, not everyone would agree that we are living well. Maybe you don’t want to live in David, or eat like a Panamanian, or find your main entertainment is photographing bugs in the yard. (kidding here, a bit, but we are easier to entertain than many) Even with our relatively inexpensive lifestyle by expat standards, we are barely keeping under $1200/mo. If you think you are living in Panama City for that, forget it.
Panama is a good place to do business. The most unhappy expats I know tried to do business here. It’s hard enough in the US but here the customs, the laws, the requirements, the mentality, and the language are all different. I’m not so sure real estate is the great investment they say it is either, especially the preconstruction high rise gringo traps they often sell. You have to buy smart (again – laws, language, customs, etc) and wait and hope the prices go up like real estate anywhere. A lot of people have been badly burned with real estate.
Fund your life overseas by travel writing, photography, whatever. Uh huh, easy. Just sell your stuff, work part time, and the money will roll in enough to cover your expenses. How many people actually DO this, and how much expertise and time have they put into building their careers?
Anyway, the reality, where I meant to go with this before I got on that soap box again. The reality here is we do have hot water in the shower and the kitchen sink (I said HOT, not warm, and it’s so tricky to adjust it to warm I don’t bother and just use the cold water) But, no matter because we have had no water all day. This is not an uncommon thing, even in the rainy season. No one knows for sure what is going on. Maybe they are working on something? Maybe something broke? We’re better off than many who have had serious water problems and no water for days on end.
Here in David people do NOT speak English. You will find someone here and there, and others who know a few words but you can’t count on it. If you don’t speak some Spanish you are going to have a hard time. I studied very hard and I’ve been here almost a year, and I’m just now starting to feel like I can function more often than not in this new language. It’s easier in Boquete and I think Panama City without any Spanish but still, this is a Spanish speaking country.
I could go on, yes even more than I have already gone on. I’ve posted similar rants in the past and I’m not sure if I should even post this. But it’s my blog, so what the heck. Maybe someone will see it and think twice and start doing some proper homework before they decide to move here.
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