Sunday, January 18, 2009

Exploring the Neighborhood

I can't wait to rent a car!

One of the first things we do after getting unpacked is to find out what is around us. We are living in the Congrejo district which is a very nice residential area on the edge of the downtown. Just half a block from the building is a bustling street of stores and restaurants. We were actually looking for a grocery store so we could stock up on the essentials. We found a small neighborhood food store to start our kitchen, knowing that the next day will reveal a Super Mercado somewhere near. It is discovered in our first Panama purchase that they also use U.S. change. The Panamanian balboa, their alternative national currency shows up only in the coins in the same sizes and denominations as U.S. coins and both are interchangeable. So easy! We also discovered a bakery around the corner, for fresh breakfast goodies. Doesn’t get any better than that!

After hauling all the stuff back to the condo, we head out for dinner. There were a lot of good selections and we end up at Mama Mendozas. It turned out to be Mexican, rather than Panamanian, so the first meal in Panama was some very good nachos and quesadillas. Don’t ever say we are not totally international.

By the finish of dinner we are seriously fading so head back to the condo. One thing you need to watch, especially at night, are the sidewalks, or what are represented as sidewalks. Not a lot of money has gone into some of the infrastructure (no street signs, no stop lights) which include a lot of defective or non existent sidewalks. You walk around a lot of cars, go into the street, back to the edge of the building and be sure to watch your feet. If you do not pay attention to the elevation changes, grates, gaping holes, etc., you can surely end up injured. Thus, walk slowly or stop when you want to check out the views. Back at the condo, it is time to try out the bed. Wow, slept like a log for eight hours without waking or moving. Maybe we should think about a new bed at home or not so many flight legs!

No comments: