Most of us have already read the myriad of articles about Panama, not to mention the “About Panama” section on the websites of every real estate agency promoting property in the region.
There is no doubt that Panama possesses numerous advantages, including its strategic geographic location, incentive program for retirees and a relatively low-cost of living, amongst others. However, some of the reasons that I particularly enjoy living in Panama cannot be when searching for the most obvious reasons, such as the Panama Canal (After showing my 4th visitor the Miraflores Locks, the outing becomes slightly monotonous) or its proximity to Miami (I’ve never been to Miami in my life!). Certain pleasures can only be recognized after living in Panama as a foreigner for some time.
Though I appreciate the similarities that Panama and the “Western World” share, I also cherish the differences, since they are what makes my life here truly unique and exciting.
Here are 13 reasons why Panama makes life so interesting:
1. Casco Viejo, Panama
– 100% different from the towering high rises scattered along Balboa Avenue. Casco Viejo has an interesting blend of architectural styles, most notably ornate Spanish- and French-influenced buildings. However, in addition to the amazing views and unique architecture, there is always something quirky going on in “the Casco”! My roommate is the president of Panama 9º80º, a lifestyle and travel magazine about Panama. Her offices are in Casco Viejo and I get an absolute kick out of dropping her off some mornings. It isn’t often that I get to laugh so hard I almost wet myself at 7:30 a.m. Much better than coffee! (Okay, that was an exaggeration. Sorry coffee.)
One of my favorite “Casco moments” occurred one morning as I was dropping my friend off at work. As we turned the corner onto Avenida A, we saw a little boy of about 7 years old peeing in the street. What made this pee different was that he was not facing the wall or partially hidden amongst the narrow alleyways, but was rather on the edge of the sidewalk, practically in the street, facing the traffic! As we neared the situation, we saw a projectile yellow liquid spurting from his body and said, “That can’t be!” However, it was. To this day, that little boy and his “necessities” still put a smile on my face.
-South American wine, from Chile and Argentina, is much less expensive than in the United States. However, who said you can have your cake and eat it too.
My friend and I were succumbing to our vices one night, and went to buy wine and ice cream at El Rey supermarket. As we were checking out, the $3.50 appeared on the screen as the price for the wine. I said to my friend, “How great is it to live in a country where a good bottle of wine is $3.50!?” Then, the ice cream came, and $8.50 appeared. My friend and I were in utter shock and disbelief. Since then, we have sought out other, less expensive means to satisfy a sweet tooth.
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