Monday, October 10, 2011

Good News and Other News.....

Now that we've been here a little over a month it's time to start paying those pesky monthly bills.  We got our very first electric bill from Union Fenosa which is the electric company here in Panama. Are you ready for this.........our electric bill for the month was $1.08.........no that's not a typo that really is one dollar and eight cents!!!  Ok so let's explain somethings in case you haven't been following the blog.  The only things that run on electric all day long are the refrigerator and the laptop.  We have an on demand hot water heater, the clothes dryer and stove are propane, and we don't have air conditioner.  Even when we do get the a/c installed we'll only use it at night if at all.

We had dinner at a nice steak house tonight and ordered a chicken filet with garlic sauce.  Panamanian food is bland so anything that can spice it up is good.  It came with the salad bar, bread (unusual for Panama) and a baked potato for $12.00 (yes pricey for Panama) . Then we shared their signature frozen cake dessert which was very good and sweet which is also very strange for Panama since desserts aren't too sweet here.  Unlike the U.S. restaurants in Panama never and I mean never bring the bill to the table unless we ask for it.  We've talked to other people and they all agreed this was the norm for all restaurants here.  In the U.S. they're in a hurry to get our money and shove us out the door so they can fill the table again and make more money.  And instead of giving a nice breath mint at the end like they do in the states here they give A COUGH DROP.  I even wondered if Halls the cough drop company makes candy too, but these things taste like cough drops with menthol to boot.  How strange! 

We bought a 19 inch tv a few weeks ago because we were tired of watching tv on the laptop and our stuff from the U.S. is still not here. The tv died last week so we took it back to Panafoto the place where we bought it and all of our appliances.  They know us there since we've dealt with their two East Indian managers who both speak English.  We were instructed at the store to take it to another one of their stores that has a service department.  At that store we were told that it would take 3-5 business days to fix the tv.  We stopped back in today since we had forgot to bring the remote when we dropped off the tv. To our surprise they told us that the tv was broken and we could get a new one.  So that made our day.  Panama is known for never taking anything back once it's purchased.

Our morning was spent driving two hours from Capira into Panama City, which is only a 45 minute drive with good conditions.  Today it was in constant gridlock and bumper to bumper traffic.   We arrived at school stressed over that only to be immersed in Spanish school hell again.  We are now in Basic Two since we've completed Basic One. That means we are drowning in verb conjugation.  There are regular verbs, irregular verbs, reflexive verbs (whatever that means) just to name a few.  We must have learned about 50 new verbs today and their conjugation so our brains are on overload.  All of that was homework along with writing a composition about where we plan to be in the next two years, in Spanish of course. 

So we're tired and chillin for the night after a long, stressful day.  Perhaps our brains will be more receptive to learning tomorrow.  It has to get better, doesn't it?  It has to begin to absorb into our thick skulls I should think?  I expected this to be easier and thought that just being immersed in a Spanish speaking county would be a way to learn the language but it's not that easy.  Time to hit the sack and conjugate verbs in our sleep.  Until manana......adios!

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