In Spanish the phrase “no hay” is pronounced like “no I”. It means “there is none”. Today there was none of a whole lot of things.
I went to the chino (grocery store) for the dinner ingredients and I asked for a bag of ice to restock our ice bucket. No hay. OK! Then later Haley and I were going to Las Tablas for an orthodontic check up and we were low on gas so we stopped on our way out of town. Nope. No hay gas. Luckily there was gas at the next town down the road and I had enough to get me the 20 miles. Not sure what I would have done if I was completely out of gas. Maybe there would have been “no hay” orthodontic appointment?
After the appointment we went to the grocery store in Las Tablas to stock up on meats for dinners this week. The meats there are better and there’s more of a selection. I wanted filete, which I have discovered is a nice tender beef. No hay filete. I also wanted ground beef for spaghetti or lasagna. Nope. No hay. I was also getting some chicken breasts and I wanted to stock up for the freezer. Si, hay, but only 2 packages. No hay mas.
When I got home I was discussing this with our cook, Marta, and she was telling me that Panamanians got paid on the 30th so for about a week after they get paid all the stores are out of things, especially meat. Really??? Well I guess that explains my day today. I thought maybe this was just a supply problem to the small towns at the end of the road. Marta grew up in Panama City so I asked if it was like this in the city and she said it’s even worse. More people, more stocking up right after payday, more “no hay”.