Life as an Expat…the bumps, the bothers, the beauty

Archive for August, 2004


August 28, 2004 By: admin Category: Manana Culture, Uncategorized No Comments →

I thought the header of one of my morning readings today described the Panamanian attitude well: “How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterward.” –Spanish proverb

One of my favorites that I happened to repeat to a couple of folks yesterday was, in theory, an old Japanese proverb: “A man who is not a rebel at 20 has no heart. A man who is still a rebel at 40 has no head.”

God lives by the Bust of Bolivar

August 27, 2004 By: admin Category: Beaches, Casco Viejo, Dogs, NYC, Spirituality No Comments →

Well, some time ago I spoke of my political position, but only as it applied to my decision to leave the US. Thought now might be a good time to address religion, or my lack thereof. When I left NYC, at first, I couldn’t get over how friendly folks were in NC…strangers seemed always ready and willing to strike up a chat. I quickly realized they had an agenda once they found out I was new in town. “Come to our church!” After awhile, I got so tired of it that I came up with a handy response designed to get the response I wanted, “I haven’t been to church since April of 1975, thank God!” Seemed to always do the trick.


Warm Pool, Cool Night

August 23, 2004 By: admin Category: Artesania, Avenida Central, Baseball, Casco Viejo, Dogs, Grocery Shopping, Rainy Season No Comments →

For some reason, I feel absolutely every little thing that touches my skin. At first, I thought that was simply my bug/mosquito paranoia. I don’t think so. Most of the time, I look to see what it is and it’s a piece of hair or a string or something innocuous. But it feels so vivid. Wondering why this wasn’t the case in NYC, it’s probably two-fold. First, I rarely went sleeveless or wore shorts nearly as much as I do here and therefore my skin wasn’t exposed to feel it. But also, there just aren’t many bugs in NYC and there, I spent so much more time indoors that bugs weren’t a normal part of awareness. And here, those pesky little hormigas (ants) that are everywhere will sting! Those don’t raise a welt, but for an instant, it’s as though a burning hot needle was poked into my skin that causes me to simultaneously itch…just for a moment. Still, I think the climate has something to do with what feels like increased sensitivity.


Nasty Coke Habit

August 15, 2004 By: admin Category: Customs & Culture, Grocery Shopping, NYC, Noise, Policia, Safety No Comments →

The temperature lately has been mostly perfect. I’m sitting on my balcony because I succumbed to my addiction and started smoking again and refuse to stink up my house. For awhile there, before the bronchitis, I was smoking for about 4 days wearing a disposable plastic glove on my right hand to diminish the nasty odor…makes for a bizarre fashion statement. With cigarettes $1.35 per pack, it was just too much of a temptation. And I’ve developed a very nasty Coke habit because it’s everywhere and only 25 cents a bottle (if you bring an empty) at the Chino’s on the corner! One thing about Coke here is that it’s sweeter than in the US. I was looking at the ingredients last week and there’s no corn syrup, so it’s all sugar. Because none of these little markets have air conditioning, there’s not much of a candy counter, thank God. It was interesting to note how they sell medication, like Tylenol, etc, by single tablets. I watched a woman purchase individual tablets of about four different kinds of medication. And it doesn’t appear as though many of the locals smoke. I assume that’s because, to them, $1.35 is a lot of money. Having said that, the Chino also sells individual cigarettes, too.


My 5 Minute Real Estate Career and Turtle Eggs for Supper

August 13, 2004 By: admin Category: Artesania, Bocas, Casco Viejo, Customs & Culture, Dogs, Manana Culture, Noise, Real Estate No Comments →

Yeah…the Panamanian attitude of Manana is hitting me. Actually, when I opened this, it was in lieu of having the skill set to build a website and horrible baggage from nightmares with developers in my all too current previous life in NYC. So it was mainly for sharing my photos and journals as opposed to me expecting it to get the kind of activity VEW and CEW and AIP get. Having said that, I do hope to put together a killer website that might offer a lot of comprehensive information without soliciting tour packages or hiding behind fake magazines to sell overpriced real estate, etc.


Skinny Dipping In Air

August 03, 2004 By: admin Category: Artesania, Baseball, Casco Viejo, Customs & Culture, El Chorrillo, Expat Life, NYC, Shopping No Comments →

I have been an insomniac/night owl my entire life. Even when I was a teenager, `they’ attempted to put me on sleeping pills. I didn’t like taking pills, the day-after-groggies rendered the price of admission too steep. And fuhgeddaboutit in NYC…my typical bedtime was anywhere from 4AM to 7:30AM. I seem to be very sensitive to my environment and there is no greater fuel than NYC for the busy brain syndrome. Perhaps it’s a `grass is greener’ thing, but I always wanted a morning and always felt deprived of it. So it is nothing short of miraculous to me that, for the first time in my life, I can go actually go to sleep with no trouble whatsoever. I have never been able to do that…never! And I wake up early here. I finally have a morning!


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