What I Miss Most Living In Panama

The day before I left to visit my daughter and her family in Seattle I was on a panel with Nikki and some other folks. It was for the weekly Tuesday Meeting at the Boquete Community Center. It was primarily for folks who were new to the Boquete Community/

In the question and answer session someone asked, “What have you missed most living in Boquete?”

I was first up.

corn on cobOther than my kids and grand kids … the first thing that came to mind, it being August, was corn on the cob! And the audience erupted with yeses and applause. As I write this I’m leaving Seattle and heading back home to Panama, but while I’ve been here I’ve had some fantastic sweet corn on the cob. Maybe the best I’ve ever tasted!

And the peaches!! Like you’ve died and gone to peach heaven!

corn

The second thing I’ve missed … Trader Joe’s. More applause!

Trader Joes

Even although “Two Buck Chuck” is now “Three Buck Chuck.”  And Trader Joe’s isn’t cheap.

To the above I would have to add Home Depot, Costco and or Sam’s Club.

And there is a certain convenience to things, in part because of the familiarity of knowing where to find what and that for the most part the language of business and commerce is my language.  Interestingly though my daughter has to go to certain parts of her house to get a cell phone signal the same way I need to in Boquete, but they have great Internet and Cable TV which some areas of Panama also enjoy.

And what I don’t miss about living in the States …

OK, I have the “Bougainvillea Standard” of living … meaning if Bougainvillea grows there (meaning no killing frost) I can grow there.  It is August and the nights and early mornings have that end of August, school-is-starting, Halloween-stores-are-opening, Christmas-decorations-are-appearing-in-stores feel.  And while I enjoy deciduous trees in vivid color, pumpkins, fresh apple cider, I know at the end it means winter.  I admit snow is beautiful … in pictures, but … I don’t want to live with frigid winters anymore.

I don’t miss the traffic.  Of course if I lived in Panama City I’d have far worse traffic than Seattle, but I like my small-town, country living outside of Boquete.

I don’t miss that everything seems to be about money.  It’s not just that my daughter is delighted to have found a place to get her hair cut that only costs around $50 … compared to $8 in Boquete.  Items in the grocery store are pretty much a wash price-wise, but in the States you do have an entire aisle of salad dressings from which to choose.  Chicken, which you’d think would be much cheaper in Panama, costs about the same.  I’ve actually seen bananas on sale for less than what they cost in Panama!  Trader Joe’s $3 wines really aren’t  bad.  I don’t give Seattle high marks for bagels, but for $1.50 you can get a bagel four times the size of Mort’s $1.50 bagel, even generously loaded with asiago cheese.

But in the States there is an undertone that money is the most important thing in life, for everything.  You don’t move without spending money.  The car you drive, the brands you wear, the size and location of your house.

 

 

 

 

One thought on “What I Miss Most Living In Panama

  1. I have followed your blog for quite some time now as well as other blogs and coverage about people relocating out of the U.S.  I have noticed that now many especially those who left the U.S. because of limited/expensive healthcare or inadequate stream of income are beginning to return to their native homeland.  I notice that your home and estate in Panama is for sale.  Following your blog it is evident that creating this place was truly a labor of love for you and your wife.  Would you be willling to share with us what future considerations are for the time when you sell the estate?  Will you continue to expat in Panama perhaps in smaller digs?  Will you move closer to Panama City where healthcare is more comprehensive and more convenient than in the mountains?  Or, will you relocate back in the U.S. closer to your family?  You really haven’t shared much with us about people as they age needing a Plan B and whether that is on the drawing board for you.  I think your readers looking for options of their own have this question in the back of their minds.  Any information along these lines would be helpful in understand the expat lifestyle.  But….we understand if you want this info to be under the belt too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s