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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Whales, Waves and Chicks

This is what we saw on our walk on the beach yesterday. We have seen numerous whales in last couple of months, but none like this yesterday. It really is a spectacle to see. It's nice seeing the natives get excited as well when they appear and do their show for us all to see.

Wow is all I have to say about this picture
The waves on the beach were also something to see as well. I am sure they were at least 30 feet high at times. There were no others on the beach and it really makes one feel small seeing all of this.

Its been quite a while since I have written. Our home is coming along nicely and we have been extremely busy trying to coodinate everything at our end. It's quite overwhelming at times. If you follow my blogs you are aware that Don and I brought NOTHING down in the way of furniture, household items, etc. 
It's quite difficult now that we are almost ready to move in to gather up and FIND all of the things that we will need when you are in a foreign land, so to speak. It's not like you can just jump in your car and head off to Home Depot or Canadian Tire, or Supercentre and buy all of the necessities. Here we need to drive for an hour or more and even then it's hard to find things like outdoor furniture, linens etc. You really need to go into Panama City which is, with all of the construction on the highways, about a four and a half hour drive from here, and it's a CITY which neither Don and I are fans of going to.
Nonetheless we managed to go to Santiago yesterday which is about a two hour drive and found a 'Do It Centre' which we managed to find and luckily got to buy a lot of things that we will need including dishes, tools, dehumidifier, wheelbarrow, etc. It was easy to drop almost $700 there in less than half an hour. It's fun buying all new things though, even though I absolutely HATE shopping.
So they are saying that we can move into our home on Sunday. They will have our bedroom ready and the kitchen will be functional. There are lots of things to be finished but we figure it's better to live there as it is than to stay here renting.
As long as we have a bed and a fridge, that is all we need.

Taken October 25th, 2011
 Speaking of mattresses, again if you have followed my blogs, you will remember my story of going to Chitre to try and find a mattress and going through all of the 'trying out' of mattresses and having to put up with the likes of the 'Miss Panamanians', lol, we came across this guy who was in one of the stores trying to get his line of mattresses in their store, and seeing as none of the salespeopl spoke English, it was a great relief to meet "Miguel" who spoke fluent English and who helped us get our thoughts and questions through to them.
Anyway it turned out that we actually ended up working with Miguel, deciding to order two mattresses from him from his store in Panama City.
Now he didn't have any website on his store and we had only met him that one time in the store in Chitre, but being the way we are we sent him a cheque for almost $1600 last week for these mattresses that we 'hoped' we would eventually see.
Everyone here laughed at us and thought we were nuts to have done this, but low and behold on Saturday the arrived. Just what we ordered.
You see, you need to have faith, and a strong heart, lol.

Dons shoes

A month ago or so you will remember me telling you about Don leaving his shoes on the beach when we started our walk. As we were coming back we passed this family. There were Mom and Dad and six children walking along. It's seldom that you see anyone on the beach, so we remember this family very well.  
As we walked past them and got to where Don had left his clogs, they were gone!
We knew it had to be this family as I said there had been noone else waling the beach at this particular time.
Now these clogs were very expensive too. He paid $3.99 for them at a local store :)
They were distinct also as one was missing the back strap.
Well yesterday Don was driving down the main street of town, and sure enough, there was the Father with Don's shoes on, lol.
He felt good in a way that the man now had a pair of these very expensive 'used' shoes to now wear.
Bringing us back to reality again, and putting things in proper perspective!

New Speigel Store

There is also a new 'Speigel' store now open in Chitre that we went to the other day.
Now you have read my blog on Security in stores, but this store has it beat with the number of staff working in it.
My God!
When we got there we were the only ones in the store and we counted sixteen staff of which three kept following us around, mumbling something to us at all times.
I was looking for sheets for our mattresses that came, lol, and evertime I would look at one, and pull it out of the shelf to look at it, the salesgirl would tell me what it is. Now I am able to read English.
They had 'king and queen' clearly written on them, but she insisted on telling me each and every time I looked them.
The other two of them were following her and for what reason I had no idea.
Each time I would pull out a set of sheets and put them back, she would go and make sure they were lined up exactly as they were. 
It go so annoying, so I just went along and pulled out as many as I could so she would have something to keep her busy, lol.
I kept saying 'vamos', which I thought was 'leave us alone' in Spanish, but it didn't work.
Needless to say we walked out with nothing.
Oh, forgot to mention that of course we had Sadie with us the whole time and at one time we forgot her and looked around to find one of the salespeople bringing her to us on her leash, lol. She's always with us and getting a bit sick of shopping I must say, lol.

Chicks for Sale!

We found this store in Santiago that was kind of like a hardward store in North America but they also sold young chicks. They were so cute and they sold them for $.50 for the yellow ones and $.60 for the black ones. Not sure of the difference, but there was a man there who picked out three of them and placed them in a paper bag that already had holes put in it.
This was the cutest thing I hve ever seen. Well almost....the Whales were probably the best. 


Venao Beach

We drove out to Venao Beach the other day for lunch and stopped by this little restaurant/Cantina that we have always wanted to go to.
The owner showed us three little rooms that are probably no more than 200 square feet with room for a small bed with of course a toilet and shower that he is building overlooking the ocean with an an incredible view. Of course they will all three have air conditioning and a television, lol
They will be ready next week and he is renting them for $50.00 per night including a continental breakfast and a fishing trip at a nominal fee.
Such a nice place to hang your hat for a day or two.

View from the Room
The Restaurant owned by Toti
Beer for $.75 and a Rum and Coke for $.60 :)

Tonight we are having a saleperson from Panama City come to meet us at our home to measure for blinds for all of our windows.
There are so many windows and doors that I am not looking forward to the price.
It really is fun watching our home being built and looking forward to actually getting to live there and wake up each morning to see the Ocean and hopefully whales.
The Whale season is slowing drawing to a close so we will soon have to be content with watching the cargo ships cruising by and now the cruise ships are starting to sail by.
Ahhh the life!! 
Somebody has to do it! It might as well be me :)

Take good care my friends,stay safe and healthy and remember to 'Stay in the Light'

If you would like to read more on Panama please go to the link below.
He has a great site filled with thousands of articles in English.





Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cowboys with Blackberry's and Celebrations

Our Anniversary and Connie's Birthday!

Well today is our anniversary. 28 years ago today I said 'I do' to my friend and my soul mate.
We started our day with a long walk on the beach as we almost always do. 
Never in my wildest dreams at this date and time 28 years ago, did I think that we would be living in a Country that is beautiful beyond belief and a country that we can now call 'Home'.
We have had our struggles over the past years as all people do, and although we are not 'rich' in the monetary sense we are rich in so many other ways. The ways that count.
We have our health and friends, and that is the greatest wealth there is.
I find myself so lucky to have found someone who I trust completely, whom I enjoy spending every minute of the day with, and who makes my life complete.
We are still renting here, so unfortunately we won't be in our house for this special day, but Don and I have a date on Friday October 7th, 2033 for our 50th wedding anniversary, and it will be celebrated on our deck overlooking the Pacific ocean with a glass of celebratory champagne in our hands toasting, "We made it"!

Today we are going to be sharing our special day with some 'friends' that we have not met yet who are coming from Chicago to buy property here. Her name is also 'Connie' and it's her birthday today, so tonight it will be a night of celebration for all of us.
Looking forward to spaghetti, drinks and lots of laughter.

Life is good, and I am totally in love with Panama and the amazing Panamanian people.
Last night was really an awesome night.
Our new friends Connie and Ken, and their adopted daughter Yana, Iris (one of our residents), and Martin, Don's partner and friend were all at our rental place to celebrate Connie's birthday and our Anniversary.
It's also Martin's birthday today so it was quite a night.
Prezzies, good food, laughter with good friends equals a late night but worth every second of it.
I once again marvel at how great a community ours will be at Costa Pedasi.
Everyone who lives and are going to live here, are the most amazing 'full of life' people.
Good times ahead for sure.
We could NOT have picked a better final resting place than Pedasi, Panama.

Veggie Truck
I have so much fun when the veggie truck comes to town. My Spanish is not at all good, and although I go through all of the things I am buying in my 'Google translate' by the time I get there it sounds nothing like what it is supposed to sound like.
The locals of course know that I am a 'Loco' Gringo and take much needed pity on me. It is so much fun even though I think that those poor locals are perhaps saying some unflattering mumblings behind my back, lol.

Making a fool of myself :)
Buying things in Panama

Buying things here in Panama is not like it is in North America. Don and his friend Pierre went to get the truck serviced and went shopping in Chitre a town an hour away.
They went into this store which is like a Canadian Tire at home and each bought the same vacuum cleaner.
Well here, they have to unpack the whole thing, put on all of the hoses et cetera, plug it in and make sure it works and that all of the parts are indeed in the box.
Then of course they need to re-pack it all.
It's a good thing really as it stops people from bringing things back saying they are defective or whatever, but it's not so good for the people in line, lol.
They had to do the same to Pierre's vacuum as well, so as a result they held up the line for about 15 minutes, and then the girl put both on Pierre's visa.
Lol Good for us but not Pierre:)
All is well!

Cowboys and Blackberry's

A couple of days ago we went to the house after the worker's had all left just to sit and enjoy what will 'hopefully' soon be our home.
I love this place as nomatter where you roam you will always see horses, cows, chickens everywhere.
I love seeing the cowboys ride their horses on the roads, but this night we saw this cowboy ride by our home and in his hand was a blackberry that he was chatting on.
I found that so amazing to see.
People with no other means of transportation but a horse, but still have a blackberry.
Only in Panama :)

This is not the picture I wanted, but he does have a blackberry

Love seeing these cows every time we drive to the Development
Yesterdays Catch

Yesterday Don went to the liquor store just steps away from us, and he wanted me to tell you all that he got a 60oz of Vodka, 24 Cerveza's, a bag of Cheesies, and the bill was under $25.00.
Again, only in Panama!

Table Saw

I do not know anything about table saws or what they are used for, (ok, I know they 'saw' stuff), lol but Don thought this was the most ingenious thing that the Panamanian's had rigged up.
They are a very innovative people.

The Table Saw!
Well folks I had better get some things done around home now.
Don is out showing our friends the development, and when he gets back we are all going on a Panga to whale and dolphin watch, go over to the Isla Iguana and just tour around the Ocean.
It's a beautiful day here today. 28 degrees, mix of sun and cloud. Just gorgeous!
Tonight is Martin's birthday, so we are all going out for dinner to celebrate.
Could I bring the remainder of Connie's Birthday Cake from last night to the restaurant? Would that be tacky? LOL

Have a great weekend to all of you and to all of my friends and family in Canada, I wish you all a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving.
We will be celebrating it here with some wonderful friends Pierre and Beth, who are so kindly having all of the Canadians that we have met here, and who will be living in our development, to their home for Thanksgiving dinner on Monday.

Enjoy, and remember to 'Stay in the Light'

If you enjoy reading about Panama please go to the link below. It's a wonderful site written by Don Winner with many very informative writings on Panama and all in English.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Friends, whales, locals

"Incredible" is what I have to say about our walk on the beach this morning.
We got there and noticed a lot of locals pointing to the beach. We looked and saw these two whales which were no more than 100 yard offshore jumping right out of the water. We could see the colors of their underbelly, tails and all.
The put on this show for us for about 15 minutes. Wow!! I honestly can put into words how beautiful it is to see this.
A local fisherman took off in his boat out to where these whales were, and it went right underneath his boat. Unfortunately like us, he did not have a camera.
We almost always carry our camera with us, but not today. We could have gotten the most amazing pictures and probably won't ever get a chance to get this close to the whales again.
At least we have this picture etched in our memory forever.

It's incredible what strength the water really has to bring such huge things onland

I love finding these Sand Dollars

We got our table and chairs from our local builder yesterday. He did such a great job, and he even made Don's chair bigger, lol.
One of my friends said of course he did because he is taller. LOL.
 I am not quite sure if it will fit anywhere in our new house, but I love it and it will go somewhere. We wanted rustic, and we got rustic.
Me and my table and chair!
 Don took this picture of me walking ahead of him on the beach the other day and I just love it.
Footprints in the Sand
He is not close to being a photographer by any means, but I think he did a great job of this one.

Our beautiful little town of Pedasi is slowly becoming Americanized. We now have a 'wing and burger' joint, a couple of really good 'pubs' that play music at nights, and even our own bakery.
The bakery is also combined with a restaurant and they serve fresh sandwiches, soups, etc. 
The breads are great but it's funny as they sell them all by weight. They take a bun and put it on the scales in a paper bag. One day the same roll will be $.90 and the next day $1.10.
You have to love it.
There is a great pizza place as well that serves amazing pie's. 
I just hope the locals are ok with all of these changes that we 'Gringos' are bringing to their once quiet little town.

They are totally amazing people who would do anything for you and would give you their last piece of bread if you needed it.
I am trying as hard as I can to learn the language enough to communicate somewhat with them.
I am told over and over again that Spanish is an easy language to learn!
Hmmmm. I sure don't think so, but I'm trying and hopefully the Panamanian's know that I am at least doing the best I can.

Our home is coming along great. They are still saying the end of October for possession.
I sure hope so as even though our rental place is 'ok', we just look forward so much to being in our own place working on the tremendous amount of landscaping that awaits us.

Don is at the site making sure everything is going as planned. We are not sure what to do with the edging on the steps of the pool.  
You can see by the picture that they put the edging right across the first step and we wonder if that will be ok getting in and out.
All is well though.

Beautiful day here today with really nice breeze. No sunshine yet, but nice and cool.
Going now to hang clothes on the line and then maybe watch a movie.
Our good friends lent us their VCR and a whole slew of movies that they brought with them, so we are set for movies every night for a month or so.

Have a wonderful day friends. Thank you for reading my blog, and if you could, please clink on the following link and read more on Panama and what it has to offer.
“We are participating in the link exchange program on Don Winner’s news website - http://www.panama-guide.com/ – which contains "Thousands of Articles in English" about life and living in the Republic of Panama.”

Have a wonderful safe day and remember to 'Stay in the Light' 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Snippets about my life in Pedasi, Panama: Living here, stop signs and gas stations!

Snippets about my life in Pedasi, Panama: Living here, stop signs and gas stations!: Well, we spent from 1 pm yesterday until 5 pm at our home. It was so nice just to sit there overlooking the Ocean and dream about actually l...

Living here, stop signs and gas stations!

Well, we spent from 1 pm yesterday until 5 pm at our home. It was so nice just to sit there overlooking the Ocean and dream about actually living there in the next few weeks. Our builder is just awesome, and he told Don this morning that his plans are to have the house 90% finished by the end of this week.
It's only been 5 1/2 months. This is like the speed of light for builders in Central America.
We originally had thought that we might have to rent here for six months or so and was hoping to get into our home by Christmas, but now looks like the possibility of the middle of October now.
They have painted most of the outside, have all of our floor tiles down and working on the baseboard and putting the tiles around the pool.

Outside Paint Color

Floor Tiles throughtout the house and on front entrance

Outside Shower
The pool tiles are not what we ordered and when Don went to the development on Saturday he had a fit as they are so different than the ones we wanted. He brought home samples for me to look at and I really liked them.
If we change them now, it will put the progress back about 2 weeks so we are just going to leave them. Don hates them and I do see what he means about the 'red' circles in most of them. What do you think?
The ones that we ordered!

The ones we got, minus the cigarette butt :)  

I really hope they will look ok when down. 
We had the most amazing afternoon yesterday.
We sat and talked and watched whales jumping from our patio. (The whales weren't actually jumping from the patio, lol)
The skies were dark and we could hear thunder in the background but unfortunately did not see any lightning.
We sat there in awe talking about how we really are living in Central America and how we got there.
Three years ago this whole thing was barely a dream, and now here we are just weeks away from moving into the house of our dreams with our dog Sadie, and myself with the most amazing husband in the world.
To think that after 33 years together we packed up 4 suitcases and 3 boxes and left the only place we had ever known and moved to a Country that we knew from only having visited twice before.
When I think of it that way I now realize why some people thought we were nuts, lol.
I have to pinch myself at times to make sure this is a reality and not just a dream.
We did it!!
We're almost there!

A storm brewing over the Pacific

There are many, many reasons why I just love living here in Panama.
One is of course is the beauty of the area and the people.
The Panamanian people are the most gracious, friendly people I have ever met.
We are the 'Gringo's' who have invaded their beautiful nice quiet town, but still they treat us as locals and always have this huge smile to greet us when we pass them by on the streets.
Even the local Police are friendly.
When we were sitting on our patio yesterday a police car drove by with two of their finest in it and they both put their arms out the window, gave us a huge wave and greeted us with a huge 'Buenas Tardes'.
Would the police in North America do this? I think not!

Today Don is out helping a friend of ours who we have met of course since coming here to live.
They are an awesome couple from Connecticut.
They are moving from one rental to another one that is much bigger while waiting for their house to be built.
It's a sad story as the couple who lived in it were killed last month while driving from here to Las Tablas to go shopping when a truck coming towards them blew a tire and swerved right into them. They were killed instantly.
They did not have a 'Panamanian' will, and we find out that it's imperative that you do as our wills in North America are useless here if anything should happen to you.

You have to love these people and some of the things they do. Case in point.
If you follow my blogs, you will remember that I have spoken about the new hospital being started here just out of town.
Well we drove by where they are just beginning to start construction and here is what we saw!

A Stop sign that nobody obeys, lol
They have put two stop signs, one on each side of the road and nobody stops..LOL
It's just too funny.
When we first saw them of course we screeched our tires in order to stop as naturally there is no 'warning' of a new stop sign ahead as they would do in North America. Nope! They just put them there and expect people to stop, I guess, but noone does. 
Traffic just goes on like they are not even there.
This is hilarious.

New Hospital in Construction
I also would like to share with you a picture of a place on the beach that we walk where the surfer's gather and where they sometimes pitch a tent and go for something to eat.
It's amazing!

Also a picture of a family on a horse drawn carriage with their milk containers that they are taking to sell, with their family dog trailing along.
I am so happy to be living here. I feel so very fortunate to see and experience the way of lives of these amazing people.

Taking their containers of milk to sell 

We need furniture for our house and we want to buy as much from the locals as possible.
We have found one guy who is not Panamanian, but from America, who has set up a shop here and makes beds, tables etc, so we have decided to use him just to build our beds.
We were driving just last week and came across this home where there is a local guy making pieces of furniture. Don happened to spy a round piece of wood that would be good for a table for our patio and in our broken Spanish asked him if he would sell it to us.
He said 'yes' so we are getting him to make it for us along with a couple of chairs.
He is such a nice guy and he has his father who is 85 years old helping him. Honestly these people look like they are 60 when they are 85.
This is what makes  Don and I happy. Giving back to the people who are so graciously accepting us into their lives.
We don't really even care how good the table looks as long as we are helping him out. Having said this though, we went yesterday to pick it up and in the typical Panamanian way, it wasn't ready, lol. He said something about it being too cold to put the stain on? LOLOL..I don't really think that is what he meant, but he will have it ready today.

 It's warmer out now....:)

Our new friend, Isreal who is making our furniture. That is our table.
Just love this guy and his father.

If you read my blog last week about the Police building their own station on the beach, I am now posting a picture of it.
I think this is hilarious that they build it themselves.
Here it is:

Well heading out now to the beach for a walk. The tide is high, but should be able to make it ok.

Take good care, thanks for reading, and remember to 'Stay in the Light'.

It's pouring!!! No walk today.

We are participating in the <a href="http://www.panama-guide.com/article.php/20060127222437483">link exchange program</a> on Don Winner's <a href="http://www.panama-guide.com/">Panama-Guide.com</a> website which contains "Thousands of Articles in English" about life and living in the Republic of Panama.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Security in Panama and Stuff!

Well I have to say that I have really not seen the extent of the security here in Panama, not that this is a bad thing. There are security guards everywhere from grocery stores, banks, offices, you name it. I guess it's partly because they pay them anywhere from two to three dollars an hour that these businesses can afford to have them, but honestly I think it's just a little overkill.
When you go into any of these places you have to even remove your hat if you happen to have one on, and they have these cubbies outside that you need to put them in and then collect them when you exit.
Not quite sure about the reasoning of the 'taking off of the hat' thing. Anyway we went into Chitre to this new mall that they just built to have a look around and we of course had Sadie with us.
For some reason they do NOT allow dogs into anywhere in Panama. Nowhere!
We knew this but we would have been away for five or six hours and didn't want to leave her at home, so we found a door where there was only ONE security guard and when he turned his head we scurried into the store while Don carried Sadie.
When we got inside we heard the guard whistling at us and mumbling something in Spanish. We knew he was hot on our trail so we just walked really fast ignoring his whistles and got through the store into the common area of the mall. Whew!! We got through that dilemma without incident.
We now had to go up the escalator to the lighting store that we really had come to see to pick out our lights for over the Island in the kitchen.
It's a good thing Sadie is small and we can conceal at least part of her, lol.
We go into the lighting store and to our amazement they thought she was cute and didn't mind her there at all. She just followed us from aisle to aisle and was no problem at all.
We got our lights and exited down the escalator, Sadie in hand, getting stares from everyone in the mall as everyone in Panama knows it's taboo to bring a dog anywhere, and when we finally got outside the Security Guard looked at us and gave us the finger gesture, and said something in Spanish that we didn't understand, luckily!
Geez. It's only a little dog...lol

Well the house is coming along at a great clip.
I just got back and today they are laying the floor in the entry way and in the kitchen and living room area. Tomorrow the paint is coming and they will start the outside.

Kitchen Island

Living Room area and front entrance

It is looking like mid October might be close to the date of occupancy. It's amazing really as it usually takes up to a year to build here, but our builder is going at a great clip and in the end should only be six and a half months. This is extremely good for Panama! Maybe he just wants to get rid of us?
We are really glad we have been here renting though while the construction is going on. There are many things we have changed and a few things that we caught before it was too late that we would not have liked.
We had an outdoor shower built and when we went there two days ago they had it almost finished, but when you are in the 'shower' part, there isn't a wall to hide EVERYONE in the neighbourhood from watching the spectacle of us showering.
Geez! Noone, and I mean nooone wants to see either of us in the buff.
We got him to put a wall up so now we are now hidden, much to the relief of many people, lol.

Don is out fishing today with a good friend we have met since we moved here. Today is a very hot day with little breeze. Of course he doesn't have one of those hats with a thingy on it that covers your neck so I know he will come home burnt to a crisp. No amount of sunscreen will help him today.
I will update when he returns home:) 
He's not burnt!! Out for 7 hours...That man has leather for skin, lol.

Well you can just imagine this happening in North America.
Down at the fishing dock where we walk the beach there is a 'building' being erected by our beach bar that we go to once in the blue moon:)
We have been wondering what it will eventually be and we have noticed that there are always police vehicles outside of it.
We find out yesterday that it is going to be a police station, there on the beach, and since the government wouldn't pay for it the police are building it on their own.
I do not think this could happen in any of our towns at home, lol.
Central America!! You have to love it!

Well the house is really coming along. 
The paint for exterior is being put on as we speak.

I hope this color is ok. Don hates it!!
They have the interior colors we picked too and should be starting the inside next week. 
I picked all of my colors with the help of my friends in New York online, and without sampling them on the walls first.
I know it's only paint, but the ceilings are 12' high, and I can't see Don wanting to re-paint for many moons to come. lol
The flooring is almost all done with the exception of the outdoor area around the pool and patio.
We were out this morning talking to a local guy who we are going to get to make our beds, kitchen island, and dining table.
He is also drafting up a drawing of a large table for outside of our living room around the pool area under our patio where I am sure we will be spending most of our time.
We had a humungous thunder and lightning storm last night which began at 4 am. It was amazing with very loud thunder and lightning that lit up our room.
We have noticed that all of the storms happen in the middle of the night here. It's unfortunate for me as I love to watch these storms, especially when you live on the Ocean. It's a spectacular show!
We got over 3 inches of rain last night.
Today it is now very breezy, little humindity and very nice. No sun so far, but beautiful nonetheless.
Tonight we were invited to dinner at Ovidio and Koby's home, the people who run the Casa De Campo hotel here in town, which is the nicest one here I might add.
I am totally looking forward to this. It will be fun!!
Have a wonderful day, and remember to "Stay in the Light". 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Car Wash and Cerveza:)

Well the other day we went into Las Tablas which is about a half hour drive just to do some shopping and try and find a paint store with paint samples/chips that I could bring home. It was early so we just parked our car and walked around looking at the different stores. It was a gorgeous day, not too hot so just beautiful for strolling and especially as we had Sadie with us.
That dog comes everywhere with us. She sure is a world traveller, lol.
As we were strolling we came across a car wash and thought this would be a great idea as our truck was filthy from driving back and forth to the house site as the road is still not paved and the clay just sticks to the car and is very hard to get off.
We went back to our car and drove back to the car wash.

The Car Wash
We drove our car in and asked the guy how much. He said $4 and I thought that this was a bit high for Panama but decided it needed cleaning so ok, go ahead.
We got out of the car and walked over to an outdoor restaurant across the street that wasn't open yet just to sit and wait for him to finish as we thought it would only take 10 or 15 minutes. We look back and see him removing all of the floor mats and he started vacuuming and cleaning the whole interior, including all of the windows inside and out!
Now this is more like it for $4, lol.
The closed restaurant where we waited for car to be cleaned.
Notice on the picture above, the jar of hand sanitizer hanging from the light above the table by a piece of fishing line.
I love the Panamanians, the inventors of new technology:)
Anyway it looked like it was going to take a while now for the guy to clean the car so I went into the store right beside to just browse around and Don stayed outside with Sadie.
It is now 10 am.
After I was in the store about 10 minutes I get a text from Don saying he was at the pub beside the car wash having a beer!
Having a beer?
It's 10 o'clock in the morning!
So out I go, and sure enough there he was, Sadie in tow, sitting at the bar drinking a $.50 'Panama' beer.
He had to ask the girls inside to open up as they were still closed at this time. They opened up the bar just for Don.
Now I well aware that he is a cutie, but I did not know that he had this ability or this effect on women:)
So not to be outdone, I walked in, propped myself up on a barstool and ordered myself one of those $.50 beers as well.
The Three of us at 10 am at the bar beside the car wash, lol

Just so you believe me that they were really $.50 :)

Turns out it took the guy almost an hour clean our car, so we had time for 2 beers each, and we also bought the poor guy cleaning a bottle of coke, and our bill was $2.50!!
You see what I am telling you folks! You all need to move here! Beautiful weather and $.50 beer!
That's all you need:)

Today we walked our beach for just over 2 hours.
We came across these beautiful 'blue' rocks which I convinced Don to carry back. They are only in this one part of the beach and I want them for our landscaping. They are the most beaufiful shade of dark blue with reds and yellows going through them. We found a spot quite near to where they are that we can bring our truck to and gather them up.
I'm very excited to have found these.
We walked all of that time as well and the only person we saw was one little girl walking to the ocean with her Golden Retriever. It's unbelieveable how uninabited this strip of beach is. Usually on Sundays you can find quite a few of the locals coming down to enjoy a swim, but not today.

Squatters house on the beach with a 'for sale' sign on it, lol

Their 'Toilet'

Their View!!

I love the pic of this squatters house with a for sale sign on it. They do have the most incredible view. There is no phone number on the sign. I need to find out where they are and see how much they are asking. 

Just to let you know how cheap some things are here, yesterday I went with a now 'good friend' of mine to Las Tablas to take her Chihuahua 'Melvin' to the vet as he was dragging his back paw/leg and seemed to be in a lot of pain.
The vet took blood, did blood testing, gave him some pills for medication (said he had a very bad bacterial infection), a shot of antibiotic, and the bill was $30.00!
We were there for over an hour, and I am sure that back in Canada that bill would have topped $300.00.
Unfortunately she had to take him back to another vet in Chitre this morning as he had gotten worse. 
She had to leave him there as they need to now take X-rays as they think he may have a blockage of some kind. He is the sweetest little guy. 
If I can convince Don after we get into our home, I would love to get one for a friend and companion for Sadie.
She paid only $80 for Melvin, and he is a purebred.
Anyway, I will let you know how it goes with poor Melvin, and how much this bill will be for his overnight stay/X-rays, etc.

I have nothing else excited to write now, but it is now 12:30 and I am at least 2 hours overdue for a cerveza, lol.   

Take good care my friends, and remember to 'Stay in the Light'   


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Shopping for Mattresses in Panama. Yikes, lol

Ok, so our day starts like any other, getting up, having our coffee, checking the tide schedule and heading out to the beach for our walk.
Yesterday was an amazing beautiful day here weatherwise.

We walked for an hour and a half and saw 6 or 8 whales jumping. One cannot EVER tire of seeing this. Don and Sadie had a swim in the Ocean (You will never catch me in there. There are all kinds of creepy things in there as well as Sharks, and if I ever did go in, good chance that there would be one lurking right there, lol. Pools are good for me!), and all of this before 10:30 am.
We decide to then go for a drive into Las Tablas as one resident had told us that you can buy mattresses there and also wanted to get a copier/scanner as well.
So off we go!
The first place we went was to the computer store, which I wish I had a pic of, was this tiny little hole in the wall of a store that one would never think of going into, but were told this was the place to buy the printer. It was an old rundown place and beside it was some kind of an apartment that had it's door open with numerous chickens running rampant and at least six people that I could count inside. It truly is amazing how people live here and how content and happy they all seem.

Anyway we go in and of course noone speaks English, but eventually we got out the name of the guy we were supposed to meet and one of the men gave him a call and said would be there in five minutes.
Well it's Panama don't forget.
Half a hour later in he saunters. This place also is no bigger than 300 square feet if that.
He speaks broken English and turns out to be a great guy who fixes computers as well and has Internet service that he sells to the public and does a lot of things that we may need in the future.
The person who recommended this fella had called him prior to us going there and said he had the copier/printer there. Well it's Panama dont' forget, lol
He tells us he has to call and order it and it will be here tomorrow, which is today.
We can't go today so will go on Monday, Lunes, to pick it up. (note my Spanish..it's improving)
It's a great Canon product too and we expected it to be at least $100, but turns out to be $56 and his cartridges are also cheap.
$5.00 for black and white and $9.00 for color. 
We walked out, Sadie in tow, and gave him my most favourite phrase, 'Hasta Luego', (see you later) and he smiled and said your Spanish is good...LOL
This is about all I know yet, except for 'dos cervezas, por favor' :)
All is well!!

Off we go to one of the mattress stores that was recommended to us.
We get to the first one, and we see that there is a lock on it. The lock is not latched tight, but we didn't dare just take it off and go in, so we went into the neighbouring store, looked kind of stupid, (ok, I can here the snickers),  and finally got a man who understood through some fancy maneuvering what we were looking for, took us outside and then into the store.
Once again, no English spoken here, but he did understand 'King' and 'Queen', so we at least got though enough 'kind of' Spanish so at least we could look at the mattresses that we were  looking for.
The mattresses looked like something you would buy at Wal-Mart and I was really not interested, besides it was at least 150 degrees in the store, but Don being the thrifty one, has to look at ALL of them and see if they are ok for us to sleep on.
It may have been the one salesgirl also (turns out to be the owner), who wore 4" high heels, skin tight blue jeans, tight sweater and a figure to kill for, pouty Angelina lips,  hair that looks good no-matter what the temperature or wind may be, perfect makeup, that kept his attention. 
God only knows, but all I know is that I wanted to get the hell out of there.
I want a 'Stearns and Foster' mattress and box spring , 'wha-wha-wha'.
Not Don!
He needs to 'lay down on them'. BOTH of them, as there are two different brands. Wow! What a selection.
Now this store is just slightly bigger than the computer store, so maybe 400 square feet if that, and all of the mattresses were wrapped in plastic and standing on their sides.
Remember it's hot enough to fry a freakin' egg in there and Don NEEDS to try out these things.
My God!
Anyway going through a lot of 'charades' trying to get this guy and 'Miss Latin America' to understand,  he finally understands that he needs him to put them on the floor so Don can lay on them.
Of course the ones, the King ones, are not on the front. No Way! They are way at the back so he has to move four or five out of the way to get to the right one.
At this point I wouldn't care if I slept on a bed of nails.
Finally on the floor it goes.
Don flops down on the first one and I stand there looking at him in disgust knowing full well that there was NO WAY in hell I was buying either of these, but he insists I try it too as he says they are really comfortable.
So down I lay, looking now like some old sweaty hag, with Don lying beside me and of course Sadie right in the middle as she always is in our bed licking our faces.
The 'gorgeous' one of course is looking down at us, and ladies we all know what we look like lying down with gravity as our enemy don't we?
I get up and since we are wearing shorts, and of course are lying on plastic with bare legs, the sound it makes as we get up sounds very close to you know, farting!

This is just great. I have not learned how to say 'excuse me' in Spanish, but at this point I really could care less what they think, especially what the 'man stealer' thinks who of course NEVER SWEATS!!   
'Let's go' I say, and he says, 'No, I really want to try the other one".
Lord help me!

After all of this Don has to go into the other place beside where we first went into to get a 'quote' and walking by he saw a headboard that he liked.
HE liked, not ME liked.
It was an ungodly looking thing, made out of teak, I think they were saying, with some ugly scribing on it and in a shiny paint.
Nope, Don had to go through his negotiating skills although he knows less Spanish than I do which also means that he knows only 'Cerveza' which is I don't think is going to help him much in a mattress store unless they indeed do sell beer here, which wouldn't totally surprise me as here in Panama you can buy beer in almost any kind of store here, and at any hour. 

Honestly I really don't understand men sometimes. He knows that there isn't a hope in hell of us buying these poor excuses for mattress here, but he needs to put me through all of this for what? It HAD to have been the 'sales beauty/model/hubby thief'.
Anyway off we go with me almost foaming at the mouth and into our airconditioned car.
Sadie almost dying from thirst and myself looking more and more like someone or something that just crawled out of a dumpster!

Off we go and have another store to supposedly go to. 
We get close to where the next store is, and Don asks me if I really want to go to another, and I say NO, I have seen enough. I want my 'Stearns and Foster'!  Wha-Wha-Wha.
This store does look better though and did look like it may be air conditioned so I thought what the hell, let's give it a try.
We walk in, and I was wrong, no air conditioning again, but at least I think is a little less that 150 degrees, perhaps 140.
Then who walks towards us to help us out, none other than, I am positive, "Miss Latin America's" twin sister, only wearing 5" stilletto's and perhaps, if possible, even prettier than the other 'man stealer' at the other store, lol
I now look even worse than I did five minutes ago...And yes, that IS possible,VERY possible, lol.

Ok, Miss Panama number two speaks absolutely NO English at all. You think she would at least know how to say 'beer' in English wouldn't you?
So after about 15 minutes of utter frustration with our blackberry translator trying to ask pricing, brands etc, we decided just to leave. It was getting scary:)
Then low and behold the 'gorgeous one' brings this guy down towards us who SPEAKS ENGLISH and who lived in Toronto for 10 years.
Don dropped to the guys feet, grabbed him by his legs and started sobbing uncontrollably.
(Ok, OK, this really didn't happen, but I  thought it sounded good, lol)

So our new friend for life 'Miguel' translated for us and it turns out he is the salesperson for the store and tells us that he has his own place in Panama City where he is now going to be selling the new 'Foam Mattresses' but doesn't have them ready for sale to the public yet.
We begged and begged, and he finally agreed that he would actually sell them to us but we would have to have a look at a similar one that was at the store next door so that we would have some idea of what his mattresses would look like. 

Ok, so we trudged on over to the store right next door, Don, I and Sadie, and this store was like an old dilapidated overcrowed mixture of wal-mart/Zellers/k-mart, and $5 and $10 store all rolled into one, without a mattess department.
What the?????
Where is the mattress we were going to look at? 
Finally Miguel came in and after speaking Spanish to the owner or whatever he was, for 15 minutes or so came to us and said that someone was going to bring the mattress into the store for us to look at.
Bring in from where? God knows.
We stood there, and I mean, 'stood there', as the aisles in this store were so narrow that noone but those 'skinny Panamanian mattress floggers' could ever get down.
After about half an hour this man who could hardly walk or breath, brings this mattress in to the store, literally on his back.
It was of course wrapped in plastic and looked like it had been around for a while, but it did look like the ones we have seen in North America and we were ok with this and I was so thankful now for the the narrow aisles as they could never lay it down on the floor for Don to try it out.

Anyway it turns out this Miguel is a really nice guy and he is going to give us his best quality foam mattress for his cost, as Don and he spoke at great lengths, and knows that he is selling all of the lots in Costa Pedasi and with over 130 families moving in, he has the potential to make a few, if not a lot of sales if his mattresses are indeed good.
He gave us his website and we looked at them on our blackberry and the mattresses really look great and his price is only $400 for King Size including a box spring.
Even if we end up not liking them in a year or so, we can always buy better, but it's going to be good enough at least for our guest room, lol.

We get into our car and drive away feeling pretty good about our mattress situation.
I did have to make one stop at Super store though, as it was now 3:30 in the afternoon, and seeing as Don was driving home, I thought it only appropriate that I have myself one of those$.50 cerveza's for the half hour trip home.
After all, the image of those two salesgirls were still firmly implanted in my brain and I needed something to 'ease that pain' lol.

Anyway today is another day and it's a beauty too. It's 28 degrees, beautiful breeze and no humidity.
I think there may be one of those nice cold cerveza's in my future today too:)

Enjoy your day my friends, and remember to 'Stay in the Light'



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