It’s Time for Some Change

8 Jul

Panama using US currency, though odd, is super convenient.  But HEY, US MINT!  I think you’re not sending down enough coins and $1 bills, because it’s frickin IMPOSSIBLE to buy anything in Panama without the cashier asking you for change. 

“Your total is 19.67.”

“Here’s a 20”

“Do you have 67 cents?  Or maybe 7? Or 2?  What about 4 dollars and 67 cents so I can give you a 5?” 

And if you try to pay for a cab (which costs $3 max) with anything more than a 5, prepare to be stabbed.

I’m not sure if it’s some ridiculous game they like to play with gringos, or if all of these businesses really haven’t adopted the craaaaazy concept of going to the bank to stock up on change regulary, but this whole thing is, quite simply, retarded. 

“No, bitch, I only have a 20.  Give me my groceries and my exact change.”

WTF, Panama??


It’s Raining…2x4s?

24 Jun

Walking down one of the busiest streets in Bella Vista today, a large 2×4 came flying down from the 10th floor of a building under construction and slamming into the concrete below.  Miraculously, it landed right after one car had passed and right before the next one drove up. 

It was kind of a terrifying moment.  Everyone on the sidewalk paused and looked.  What did we see?  Construction workers 10 floors up giggling like school girls and a few on the ground floor running into the street to grab the board…also laughing up a storm. 

Are you effing kidding me?  IT’S NOT FUNNY.  You very realistically could have killed people.  Accidents happen (and DEAR GOD I hope this was an accident and not actually done as a joke), but laughter and jokes are not the appropriate response.  I wish there was any kind of government agency here that would give a damn about this, because I would’ve reported it immediately.  Unfortunately, everyone just kept walking, and the construction workers went back to dropping things, whistling at girls, and covering the streets in mud instead of actually building the building.  No repercussions whatsoever for their irresponsible behavior that puts other people in danger.  It’s sad that no one will do anything to monitor this until it’s too late and something truly tragic happens.

WTF, Panama?

Now I Know Why It’s Direccion

20 Jun

I always thought it was a little odd that the way you say “address” in Spanish is “directions”.  Well, in Panama, that makes perfect sense.  No addresses?  No postal service?  No problem! 

Why would anyone need to mail anything to anyone when Panama City is so small and easy to get around due to its lack of traffic?   And it’s oh-so much more fun to get in line for a while and pay one of those speedy cashiers rather than simply mailing in your utility bills. 

Oh, and if I need to find a specific location, who needs things like building numbers or street signs…or just one name per street, for that matter?  Just tell me that it’s diagonal from where the old toy store used to be, just past the old man wearing the blue t-shirt and yellow Crocs selling raspados on the corner.  Can’t miss it!

Or you could get fancy and a create simple, easy-to-follow sketch to navigate clients to your place of business, like Yoytec Computer:

Seriously, though, this is a massive problem that needs to be addressed.  Panama is a major economic/business/cultural hub.  It needs to start acting like it and create a logical system for navigating it.  I encourage everyone to get on Google MapMaker and start making changes to the Google Map of Panama to make it at least somewhat accurate.  Once the changes are approved on MapMaker, they eventually make it onto the actual GoogleMaps, where they can make life easier for all of us. DO IT NOW!

WTF, Panama?

Reader Submission: Water, Water Everywhere…

14 Jun

Got a great submission from a reader (what!? I have readers??) yesterday.  Interesting that it came right after Sunday, when the electricity and water kept going out in our neighborhood.  Why those two things would happen together is just completely beyond me…

Here goes!

I haven’t had regular water output since 8 Dec of LAST YEAR!  I live in Casco Viejo who is supplied by Miraflores.  Every week it’s a new thing:  either no water pressure at all during the day, or just at nite or every other week…..on top of that, IDAAN wants to double-charge me from last month’s water bill, which was paid IN FULL……..WTF, PANAMA!

Love it.  “Dear customer, could you please come wait in line for an hour or two to pay us again?  We’d love to get some more money for not carrying out our sole responsibility.  Thanks.”  

Two oceans…a massive canal…lots of lakes…don’t even get me started on all the rain…and yet sooo many problems with getting people water in their homes.


Wherever, Whenever…Even After the Fact

14 Apr

HSBC sent this out today, April 14th

WTF, Panama?

Meeting All of Your Funeral Needs

16 Mar

Want to make sure your next funeral bash is a huge success?  Why not copy some fliers, right there at the funeral home?  Or maybe you just prefer to be surrounded by the stench of rotting corpses while you copy the handout for your next meeting? 

Either way, only 7 cents a copy.  Come on in. 

WTF, Panama?



4 Mar

Snow cones with condensed milk??? Sounds awful…tastes AMAZING.   Vendors of these tasty treats can be found all over the city, especially when there is some sort of outdoor concert or event. 

They’ll cost you just 35 cents or so, but forking over an extra dime can get you some additional condensed milk deliciousness.  I also really love that you order them by colors. 

“What flavor?”

“Red, please!  And with 10 cents worth of extra milk!” 

WTF, Panama?  That’s effin’ awesome!