Success! I guess we can consider yesterday a day of prep so we could be successful today. We got to the mall at 10:15. The Apple store (called Mac Store here) said they opened at 10 but at 10:30 there were three employees still sitting outside the locked door (along with 4 Shermans). Finally got in around 10:40 but they didn’t have what we needed (Daniel wasn’t sure how anyone could live with only 8GB on their phone). We found what we needed at another store nearby but we wanted two blue phones so the guy went to another store in the mall to get a second blue one while we ate lunch. Nice! They were happy to accommodate the gringos with a bunch of bills. It made me a little ill to be buying these phones but Dan’s is a business expense and we do need to have seamless communication so it is what it is. Bygones! And ebay!
After we purchased the phones we had to go to a kiosk to get them activated. She had the SIM cards but not the rechargeable cards to get data and minutes so I went to a different store for that (this concept of a different store for each step cracks me up). After a little while we were off and running and Haley and I have new phones and Dan’s phone seems to be a lot happier, which makes Dan a lot happier.
Next was the bus station to figure out tickets to David tomorrow. They explain that I had to purchase tickets tomorrow (and of course there was no online schedule or online purchasing. That does not happen here) so we got all the info that we needed (including that there are bathrooms on the bus – yay!) and I was feeling very smug with my Spanish. I had not planned to navigate cell phones or busses on my own. I had planned to take Luis the Taxi Driver to the Expats with us but he’s a busy guy and I muddled through well enough. And both yesterday and today I translated for another gringo at a store and restaurant. Feeling very pleased with that indeed.
After the bus info we had to walk the entire length of the mall back to our meeting spot for our shuttle bus and on the way we found… a pool ball! Yay! It’s our favorite pool game that we play everywhere so that was a nice find. Dan was about to go into business here in Panama selling this pool ball!
We are back at the hotel now and 11 of our 13 bags have left and are on their way to Boquete. Tomorrow we will take the bus to David (second largest city in Panama), which is an 8 hour trip. Then rent a car in David and drive 35 minutes to Boquete where we will have an apartment for 3 weeks while we do our language school. Yay! Settling!
Tonight I hope to meet up with my AFS friend Plinio to say HOLA and catch up on old times when we worked together in the USA.
The girls are doing very well. Haley managed to order her lunch on her own and take Zoe to the bathroom (and ask where it was). She’s answering “gracias” automatically and she’s able to understand a lot of what I say. Zoe has learned how to be sassy in Spanish (“que que??”) so that’s a joy, as well as ask the price of something (but rely on me for the answer translation). This hotel room feels very small when we are all in it (and still very “wetty”) and the girls are anxious to meet some other kids and maybe take a break from each other. D and I are anxious for that too!
Oh, and we managed to find something other than an American restaurant last night for dinner. The others still ordered American food but I had chicken and patacones – fried plantains. They taste a lot like french fries when you salt and ketchup them. We sat outside and enjoyed the weather.
Until next time… Adios!