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Panama City Observations

May 15, 2013

Our apartment is across the street from a construction site of a high-rise apartment building.  The workers start around 6am and work until mid-day then take a 2-3 hour break.IMG_2929IMG_2933  Then they work again until dark which is around 630-7pm.  They are still working on the foundation so there is a lot of digging noise and cement trucks coming and going. Panama City drivers are totally into honking so while the trucks are backing into the sites the drivers who are waiting lay on the horn. It is crazy and loud.IMG_2938

The whole city is torn up with the construction of the new subway system and traffic is truly horrible.  Detours and gridlock pretty much all day.  Worse than Atlanta!  Stop signs are mere suggestions which leads to more IMG_2893honking. And there are constantly new buildings going up; both apartments and office buildings. Progress is dirty, loud and inconvenient.

Outside our balcony numerous parakeets gather every day on the electric wires, chirping and waiting for the neighbors to feed them.IMG_2924

The trash truck – which is a modern one of the same type you see in the US – apparently comes every night. Yes, night not day.  It is usually around 7 or 8pm and dark.  No idea why.

We eat most of our meals on the balcony. It is very pleasant and always interesting to watch the circus on the street. Often people call up to us as we still have a “for rent” sign on the balcony. It is completely enclosed with IMG_2959white grill-work   That may sound claustrophobic but it isn’t.  It is actually very reassuring as there is no way someone could enter the area (we are on the 3rd floor). This is a very good thing as our sliding glass door does not lock.

The weather is quite pleasant which is a surprise. It is always around 90F during the day and it can be hot if IMG_2905you are out walking in it, but in the apartment it is pleasant as long as you have the ceiling fan on. We have air conditioning installed but we have never once used it, just the ceiling fans. Electricity here (as in Nicaragua) is very expensive so most locals do not use it or use it only at night to sleep. We are on a hill and always seem to have a breeze.  Something to keep in mind when looking for housing in the future. IMG_2957Sometimes it pours down rain – this is supposed to be the rainy season but we are perilously short on rainfall. When it does rain hard the streets look like a river. Fortunately storms are only an hour or two.

I went to Juani’s Salon de Belleza (beauty salon) which was recommended by a new friend who had lived hereIMG_2952 many years. I went for a pedicure since I am now hooked on them even though the price is more than double what it was in Nicaragua. While waiting for it, I started talking with Juanita the owner in Spanglish.


She is from the Dominican Republic.  Since we had time, I asked her to give me a haircut.  She gave me a good one – as a gift.  How nice is that?IMG_2953

No matter what city I am in, I always have this setup -my computer and internet.


From → Panama

  1. Deb permalink

    Your balcony looks like a bird cage! Glad you’re keeping your toes in tip-top shape and your hair as well. I find it hard to believe traffic is worse than Atlanta and shall imagine it to be so when I go to the office 3 days next week.


    • It does look like a bird cage – that claustrophobic comment was for you. Traffic inches along, because of all the construction. Sorry to hear you have to go into the office.


  2. Harry permalink

    Glad your writing more often. Actually the balcony bars are appropriate. The look like they’re enclosing a looney bin. Do the birds come in an pick at the food on your table?


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