Sunday, March 7, 2010

More Amazing S**t About Panama

CCB seems to have had a pleasant gala evening in St. Lou. Too bad we couldn't have included some bits from Panamania. I'm sorry I haven't added to the blog lately, but I've been incredibly busy lately. Well, I've lost my sunglasses and my ipod is finally dead so I'm about ready to head back to the good old US of A. But, in the brief time I have remaining I will try to put up those posts I promised. So, without further ado here is "More Amazing S**t About Panama".

As I have mentioned before, Panama is the banking hub of Central America. And they take their banking pretty seriously. So serious that each bank in Panama (even in a small mountain town like Boquete) has a an armed guard in a bulletproof vest and metal detector stationed outside each branch during banking hours. I was reluctant to get to close to take a photo, but that's one of the guards there. If you want to make a deposit or withdrawal or even to make change, they give you a once-over with the wand, pat you down and then let you in.

Here is the machete rack at the local grocery store. They have an assortment of machetes of various sizes and uses at affordable prices.

Observe the price. A 2 1/2-foot-long machete will cost you $3.60. I'm not kidding-I didn't pull that price tag off of some other product like Corn Flakes. The supply is pretty plentiful and maybe the machete lobby is particularly powerful in Panama City so that may be the reason for the low, low prices. Let's compare with a box of Corn Flakes...

That's right machetes are cheaper than Corn Flakes.

In addition to machetes they also have Hamm's beer. To you this might not mean anything but, my father drank this for years before it was discontinued in New York (or they stopped carrying it). I must have fetched my father roughly one thousand of these over the years. New York distributors stopped carrying it around 1995/1996, so I never really got to have one. They are about 55 cents here and they don't taste too bad. Otherwise I haven't seen since they disappeared. They still have the same can.

This is hard to see because it was taken at about 1 in the morning. April and I were coming back from the bar on a Saturday night and we saw this pickup cab pull up around the corner. And all the people who were waiting for it at the bus stop crossed the street to get in. More and more people (almost all Indians) kept approaching the cab. I began to feel terrible because there wouldn't be enough for all of them and this was probably the last cab they would be able to get for the night. However, the driver spent about 10 minutes on the seating arrangements and he fit every single person. There literally must have been 15-20 people in that vehicle and I was amazed. Then he took off towards the mountains and we waved goodbye.

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