Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve had to wash a car… and as you can guess, I’m not actually physically washing the car, I’m paying someone else to do it.
That’s the beauty of living in Panama.
One of the many things that I like about living here is hired help – someone to help clean the house, someone to help me do the shopping (yes, I have been known to pay a driver to go shopping with me when I feel I can’t handle the load), someone to help put up the picture frames in the house, and someone to take out the trash. Well, not quite… I do take out my own trash. But, it’s been forever since I had to wash or iron, and I don’t think I’ve mopped my own house, except for when there’s a spill.
And then there’s the down-side to life in Panama.
There’s the trash on the streets, for starters. Not in Panama City, since we have a mayor at the moment that is really into “keep it tidy”, but the moment you step foot out of Panama City, you can tell that we live in the Third World.
And then there’s the attitude to pedestrians. It’s as if they didn’t exist. It doesn’t matter that many Panamanians don’t own a car and walk to catch a bus or other public transport, but there is a complete disregard towards the existence of the pedestrian. Maintenance of the sidewalks leaves much to be desired. That’s if there is a sidewalk. In most of the little towns, no allowance has been made for pedestrians. They walk on the road, or get their feet wet and dirty in the grass or mud along the road.
That’s not to mention the missing man-hole covers. It’s dangerous enough as a motorist, since you could completely destroy the wheel base if you hit these black holes, but as a pedestrian, they would swallow you whole if you step in one.
But all of that aside, I am happy in this little country, of just under 3 million people and only about 10% of the size of New Zealand.