We returned from a visit to the US over a week ago. The grandkids are getting bigger and more and more fun. We talked, played, read books, made dinner and treats, and a lot of other activities. I can talk with my daughters over the internet but for the little ones, I want to be there so this is why we go back often.
We came home to a list of things that had to be done. Living in Panama (or anywhere) is not eternal vacation.
It was time to pay the yearly car insurance and update the documents. Many things can be paid by credit card, but this year they didn’t have the machine or something was wrong, so it was check or cash only. Often, when something needs to be paid you can get the account number of the business, go to their bank, make a deposit in that account, send the business a copy of the receipt on WhatsApp or email, and that takes care of it. I didn’t bring checks and the office is downtown by Cervantes Park. Downtown traffic is sort of a pain, and worse right now because of all the Christmas holiday activities and shopping, so the bank process is easier. I owed them $127 for the year, liability only. If your car is over 10 years old you can’t get full coverage.
Then, it’s time to renew the drivers licenses. It was an easy process for me. Go to the office with my license and ID ($.10 for a copy of the ID since I didn’t bring one), see the lady who verified my information, checked my vision, and took my picture, see the lady who did my hearing test, go to the guy who handles the money and pay $36, then go to the last window to pick up my new license and sign the paper. The whole thing took maybe an hour. Joel. however, is over 70 so he needs to go to the doctor to verify that he is physically and mentally healthy, and then he can get a license for 2 years (instead of 4). We’ll tackle that on Monday.
We are also planning a February tour to Europe with our friends, put together by an agency in Panama City. They need to be paid so again, deposit money in the bank to their account, and then email the receipt to the business. So, off to the bank I go. No, can’t do it with a credit card, only check or cash. But, it’s a lot of money so both Joel and I withdraw the daily maximum from the ATM, return to the bank and deposit that. Yesterday, we repeated the process. The teller remembered me and said she looked forward to seeing me on Monday. How sweet is that! We’ll be back on Monday, and then Tuesday should complete the transaction. Yesterday was busy in the bank so I really appreciated the “jubilados” (retired people) line which was much shorter.
These are the most pressing obligations, but we also need to see the dentist for our routine cleanings, and the dog needs her nails clipped (she has black nails and I can’t see the quick, so I don’t want to do it. The vet costs $3.06 and a few minutes)
Meanwhile we have also been playing gigs. I didn’t play at all while we were gone, and we only had a day or two to get ready after we got back. Even with songs we know well, I need to practice everything the day before, brush up on the more difficult ones the day of and then play the gig, and rest up the day after, so a gig can take me at least part of 3 days. I’m getting better now that I have more experience but I’ve learned that I need to be well prepared or things can happen, things the audience probably never notices but the band knows.
So, that’s a general overview of what’s been going on. Some times just get busy. We have extra holiday gigs and then things should calm down.
I’ve run on enough for the moment and it’s time to get moving again. One does not have to be bored in retirement. Ha! How did I ever have time to work?