I didn’t have anything ready to post to the blog this morning. We haven’t had reliable internet for two days and I was expecting to not have internet again this morning. It’s not that we haven’t paid our bill, we prepay and it’s fully recharged again until the 17th of the month. There’s no explanation other than for some reason we’re not receiving the signal from the Claro tower. It’s frustrating, and a little difficult to feel somewhat cut off from the outside world.
I think that I’ve been honest about how life is not always sunshine and roses in the campo; and sometimes it’s just darned difficult. Wednesday was a classic example of obstacles that we meet when we try to do simple things. We were out the door shortly after 0700 for a trip to Chitre. Our main mission was to drop the truck off for some minor repairs. We also needed to order a few construction pieces for our amigos worksite that we’re watching over while they are gone and we also wanted to do a few errands for ourselves and for our new neighbors’ house.
When we left Pedasi it was raining. My first dilemma was what to where for a multi-function day where it may or may not be raining, we’d be doing some walking so I needed comfortable shoes, and something that would stay fairly clean. Let’s just say that my choice of black capris and a tank top did not keep me cool in the beating sun as we went on our merry way around Chitre. Luckily most of the stores have the air conditioning set to “freeze” and so although it was a little difficult sweating buckets I welcomed every store we went into.
After an uneventful ride to Chitre we dropped the truck off at the Nissan taller. We explained the two things that needed looking after and I made sure the service woman knew that we were ok with whatever the cost was to get the problems fixed.
Next, we walked next door to the construction store to order the pieces for the job site. The difficulty began when there were only six pieces required and the stores in Pedasi didn’t have such a small quantity and had to have a larger order to bring them in. It quickly became obvious that the computer systems were down in the store so we wandered around looking at various items while other customers who were waiting to pay for their items milled about with us. Once the computer system was up again we placed the order and called the lead worker at the site to double-check we had the right measurements and type of product.
We then took a cab downtown to do some various errands and went to our favorite coffee place for a break Pan & Cake. This is one of the few places on the peninsula where you can buy an actual North American style doughnut. Not that they really looked appetizing once I saw them, I ended up with a Quiche muffin and SU had some empanadas. I did make the mistake of ordering grande café , forgetting that SU in not a grande café kind of guy. No worries though, I drank mine and half of his. After all the doughy fried goodness he ingested SU said that he needed to get up and moving before he fell asleep, even though I could have sat there all day. Off we walked to Costmart.
Costmart is a small no member Pricesmart, which is a small membership required Costco. They bring in a few things from the city and so we went to browse to see what they had in that day. There was a few things that we thought we could use but not wanting to carry a lot of things we decided to come back with the truck. We walked over to Cochez and Do It next.
We were looking for hooks and eye screws to attach sticks to our neighbors’ windows so they don’t blow shut. With the wooden windows the breeze catches them and slams them against the wall or slams them shut. Have I mentioned how difficult it is to find a large amount of one type of item here, particularly hardware? We did manage to find just enough for what we needed although some were just a little different in size. I also saw some chairs on sale that I thought would be suitable for our outdoor table. The weather has gotten to our current chairs and I was planning on sprucing them up but these were such a good deal we thought why not just buy new ones. We needed to return with the truck.
As we were leaving the store we ran into several friends. One said that the bank machine across the street was having trouble and she had lost a large quantity of money. The week before the bank machines were not processing foreign debit cards correctly and several people I know had disputes in at their banks in their country of origin for missing cash. Mi amiga had just gotten some money back only to lose it again. We were lucky enough to avoid that difficulty the week before. We did walk over to the large bank and try to get money out. It was not possible, not only for us but the Panamanian gentleman beside us. It appeared there wasn’t enough money in the machines.
Having made our loop we decided to go back to Nissan to check on the truck. It wasn’t ready so we asked if we could leave our few bags there. We then went off to the mall by cab to get a few groceries and have some lunch. Little did we know that our day and our week was going to get a little more difficult…