Today was like winning the Trifecta as we visited the third of the huge mall complexes. This is a complex built up instead of out. It is a four story building combined with a large casino hotel in a neighborhood of new high rise apartment, business and condo buildings. The neighborhood is called Punta Paitilla. The neighborhood is sort of a bulge out into the bay. The mall is right on Avenida Balboa which is a main thoroughfare that runs along Panama Bay.
The area is very busy with a lot of construction due to a freeway with several overpasses being added to the area. Immediately adjacent to the mall building on the west side they are building a 23 story resort hotel. As with construction in the U.S. the government and press are concerned about the specter of overbuilding. From the number of apartment/condo complexes under construction all over the city the real estate speculators must be expecting a huge influx of immigration with a lot of money in their pockets. Some of the buildings already look like the pace of building is already feeling the pinch of the worldwide recession.
And did we buy anything at the mall? Mary Ann is often nagging me about my nearly bald head being exposed to the very hot sun. Thus, I broke down and finally bought the proverbial Panama hat. It says on the tag that it is a “genuine Panama hat” so I can only hope it came from Ecuador rather than China! I don’t really see too many men wearing Panama hats, so I can now be identified as a real gringo, assuming you could not spot me anyway. In any case the hat will be terrific for the hot summer at Lake Chelan.