1. Flock of Buzzards in the palm trees. 2. Sitting on the pier. 3. Hibiscus full of bees. These are huge blossoms with giant bees in nearly every one.
Chewie brought me a new bed yesterday. Yup, that’s his name. He was born in Mexico, grew up in California, lived lots of other places and ended up here. A story I am finding is common among gringos who move to Panama. Interestingly enough, there are three upstate New Yorkers already living in this complex! All who lived within two hours of me.
So when we got here, there were only two beds in the large bedroom upstairs with plenty of room for a third. We share a bedroom in this condo. We made do for a couple of nights by throwing cushions on the floor for the third person until we could buy some sort of cheap bed to use. Not an easy task. There is no Walmart here or similar store with a large variety of merchandise – who’d a thought we’d miss our big cheap store with a disreputable reputation. We found an inflatable bed that is workable but not very comfortable and I spent my time on it trying not to fall off the side. But it was a bed. And I was grateful.
I took a walk yesterday morning to return some flashlights we used to get home the night before since we forgot to bring some with us. It is taking us some time to remember things like, always take water with you on walks to town, and oh yeah, daylight hours are six to six, every day, so bring a light when you leave in the late afternoon. The flashlights are necessary since it’s “tarantula mating season” right now. Yup, that’s what I said. However, they are not dangerous, don’t bite and are far more scared of humans than we are of them. So we’re told. We just may not want to step on one. Also, scorpions are out now as well. Those can and do sting but apparently it’s more akin to a bee sting. Still, we want to avoid stepping on both species.
When I returned the lights, I walked in the ocean on the way back. No one was on the beach and the water was calm. It was so beautiful and serene. I counted around 14 ships out in the water waiting to go through the Canal. I was told that sometimes the ships can wait days to get through there. I walked in the warm water enjoying the sand massaging my feet and watching the waves swirl in and out. It felt nourishing to spend time alone for a bit.
After I left the beach, I took another detour and walked up to the square where the church is so I could check out a shop our NY condo neighbor told us about where local artisans sell their merchandise. She is helping out while the owners are away. People are so friendly here and it’s not unusual to see folks outside talking and laughing, making it easy for me to find the place. There I met Chewie. What an interesting man. Easy to talk to and it was he that offered his extra foam mattresses if I wanted. Of course I accepted! I woke with a backache yesterday so it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. This morning, I woke feeling good, no pain and quite early, so I know it was a good change for my back.
Every time I talk to expats here, I learn something new about Panama or the culture. I learned a lot as I chatted with the three expats yesterday. There’s a wealth of knowledge to tap in the community of expats who have already learned things the hard way. We are trying to take advantage of that. The natives will also explain very kindly, if they speak English, and will show you how things are done if you ask. And there’s a lot to learn in this culture. But I am enjoying the learning. It’s really nice to be in a place where people aren’t rude to you as the norm.
I do have to admit, it has been a stretch for me to say “Buena” to everyone who passes. I figure “Buena” is akin to our “hi and when you walk by anyone, that’s what you do. It’s normal behavior here. Sometimes I’m not even noticing that someone is passing or I’m looking elsewhere, sometimes I just smile at them, sometimes I slip into ingrained habits and do the NY thing which is to look at the ground or straight ahead and not do anything. And sometimes after the twentieth time, I just don’t want to say hi to another person! LOL!
The last two days, the heat seems to have cooled down a bit and it’s been really pleasant, in the high 70’s° F, low 80’s° F with a lovely breeze. If this was the temperature it stayed, it would be perfect! We just need to find our permanent place, which we are taking steps to begin doing in the next week. I’m sure it will take some time since we are being picky, but I’m also sure it will find us.
Have a lovely Sunday. We’re going to take a walk while it’s nice to the other side of the island that we haven’t seen yet. ❤