President of Panama for a Day

What I Would do as President of Panama for a Day

So…we’re living near the city now for one of our house sits. In doing so, we had to leave Pedasi and take…the bus. I have a love/hate with buses here. I love that you can take them EVERYWHERE for a very affordable price. I hate that it’s still the bus and you’re at the mercy of someone else’s schedule.

This got me thinking about things in Panama that really grind my gears though. And then I started wondering if those things actually bother me, or if I just need a different outlook on the situation. For the most part I’m able to convince myself it’s the latter, that I’m letting it bother me.

But there’s still one thing that REALLY grinds my gears here. It does bother me, and I let it. It’s like a tickle in the back of my throat that I try to desperately scratch with my tongue. It festers. I stew. And maybe you do too. So let me tell you about the one thing I’d change as President of Panama for a day…but first, a word from this weeks sponsorHabla Ya Spanish School.


Your Spanish doesn’t need to be perfect and it will probably never be either. But a basic grasp of conversational Spanish will help you be happier in Panama. Even the simplest of tasks can turn into a nightmare if you can’t communicate. Habla Ya, with Spanish Schools in Panama City, Boquete and Bocas del Toro, is holding for the very last time a yearly special consisting of 10 weeks of lessons (60 hours in total) for $250.

Call: 720-1294 (Boquete) 757-7352 (Bocas) 394-8326 (Panama City)
Or drop by a school.

And now back to our regularly scheduled blog post…

If I was President of Panama for a Day,
I would change this one thing right away. 

I complain about the buses but I really don’t have a problem with them at all…so that’s not what I’d change.

I can’t change the fact Panama gets hot and muggy,
Nor could I change it that wet seasons’ very buggy.

I hate how the workers at the grocery store handle meat.  It makes me want to become a vegetarian – and I really like meat…But that’s not what I’d change.

Things like water, internet, and power all have their outages, but for the most part, they’re enough to get the job done…so that’s not what I’d change.

People complain about service here, but I’ve been to an expat-owned restaurant where the service was downright terrible. I get a kick out of people who complain when they have to ask for their bill. Meh, whatever.

If having to say “la cuenta por favor” caused me fits of rage,
Then I’ve clearly picked the wrong war to wage.

Besides, it helps you keep your Spanish skills sharp…so that’s not what I’d change.

I wouldn’t change the culture of manana,
I wouldn’t change the check points,
I wouldn’t change the roads, the cars, the fondas or the loud music at the bars.

And I don’t mind the animals on the roads,
Or the humongously, giantly, oversized toads.

But if I could for just one day,
Be in charge and have my say…

As President of Panama for a Day…

you talkin to me

Yeah, I’m talking to you! I have to in order to negotiate a fare!

I’d make meters mandatory for every taxi in the country!

I don’t think I need to elaborate, but I will, sort of. I’m sure every gringo and gringa has a story of unfair cab fare. Sure, you can know how much it typically costs to go from Cinta Costera to Albrook, or Casco to Tocumen, but you know you’ll still have to negotiate the fare.  And if you don’t have any Spanish in your back pocket, you can’t really complain about anything. I can at least tell a cab where I need to get to and for how much – and you should too!  Hey, did you see the commercial at the start of this episode? That might be of some use, eh?

Oh, and this isn’t just a Panama thing. I just think Panama is a country that could easily change something like this. Meters on taxis? #YesPlease!

That’s what I would change. Rant=over.  Call me selfish.

“If you don’t like it, leave”, some will say
And to them I say; “Cállate”!

People can offer suggestions. I mean come on, for the most part, change is GOOD!

Your turn. What would you change if you were President of Panama for a Day? And would you, should you, if you could?

Later dudes!


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