Once in a while, I have a bad Panama day. When you move to Panama, you will have a day or two when everything culturally different collides around you with a bang, and all the idiosyncrasies of the country rub the wrong way.
It’s a day like thatwhen what I’d really like is to lose myself for an hour at SuperTarget, and drink a suburban Starbucks. (That’s my version of an island escape…)
But, that’s not the life we’ve chosen. We chose this quirky little country. So, to keep myself sane today, I’ve crafted a list of funny Panama things. It’s not quite Saturday Night Live, but well, here we go.
The Top Three of “You Know You’re in Panama…”
- When it’s not necessary to pull off the road when a police car comes up behind you with flashing lights. Nope, you just keep driving. You can also pass a police car here, without fear.
- When you see the local ladies walking down the street with their umbrellas to shade themselves from the sun. It’s a strange sight for a few years, then somehow it becomes cute.
- When the workers who swore they would arrive no later than 6:30 a.m. show up closer to 10 a.m., without apology. (And never mind that you came in specifically to meet them, so the work would not impact your co-workers or your clients. Never mind that.)
Living in Panama as a foreigner requires a great deal of flexibility, patience and most importantly, a good sense of humor. Opportunities abound every single day to learn, to appreciate, and to laugh.
When frustration hits, which it will, get a copy of my books on Amazon to read more of these types of living in Panama realities. (And you can read a few more quirky things that may get under your skin in the book too….and how to learn to relax!) The other seven from this list (which makes it a true Top Ten can be read in The Gringo Guide to Panama II: More to Know Before You Go which just came out on January 5, 2014 in paperback!)
At least, you’ll be able to laugh along the way. With this little exercise, I’m smiling again!