I’ve mentioned before how it feels to be a Gringo Family in a small Panamanian town. A lot of people know me and our family even if we don’t know them. Here are just a few examples of this:
-the lady who showed up at my door last year when I was getting the girls officially enrolled in school. She said “I heard you might need help translating your daughter’s transcripts. I can help you if you want”. What? Do I know you? How did you know all this? And how did you know where we lived?
-the girl in line next to me at the grocery store. She looks at me and says “How’s Haley doing?” Uhhh, fine? I think? Evidently she’s a friend of Haley’s. Ok!
-walking to the square, I smiled at someone. She says “How’s your little doggie?” OK! I guess she knows Phinny!
-making a doctor appointment in Chitre, I was giving the lady my name and cell phone number. She says “And you’re from Pedasi, right?” Uh, yes. Not sure how you knew that but, yes.
-ordering a pizza for the first time at a local restaurant. While ringing me up she says “How are your girls doing?” Evidently she knows my girls…?
-the lady who showed up at our door last Sunday, saying that she found Zoe’s bike. Really? How did you know it was missing? And where we lived? And who are you, anyway?
These are just a few examples. I am not even counting the endless smiles and waves when I leave the house. I can’t go 10 feet without someone saying “Buenaaas” and waving at me. Not just a friendly wave, either. It’s definitely an “I know you” wave. I recognize about 50% of the people who say hello but have no idea where I know them from. It’s a weird feeling but I’ve learned to live with it. Most days I like it but days when I want to run to the grocery looking like I just rolled out of bed I’m not so fond of notoriety.