Last Saturday when we had the pleasure of having Direct TV installed, the programming seemed alright at first and then started to break up and pixelate. The salesman was quick to send someone out to install the system, and even quicker to send a bill via email.
The next morning Clyde quickly called the representative who sounded very concerned and said he'd send someone out first thing on Monday to take a look at it. Monday came and went with no sign of anyone from Direct TV, after we stayed home all day long. Clyde sent an email to the rep named Michael, who never responded. On Tuesday Clyde called him again, only to get his voicemail. He probably knew it was Clyde calling and decided not to pick up his phone. More emails and phone messages left throughout the day, Clyde was getting more upset all the time. In fact Clyde was ready to tell this man that he sold the dish to a local metal collector for cash. On Wednesday I called Michael from my phone, thinking if he didn't recognize the phone number he would answer. To my surprise he did answer and I quickly handed the phone to Clyde.
Michael made all sorts of excuses as to why he didn't return the phone calls and emails, and this time said he would personally come out to the house on Thursday, promptly at 8am. By this time Clyde had already disconnected the dish from the television and re-connected the cable, since it hadn't been cancelled yet. But to our amazement, Michael did show up yesterday around 10:30 instead of 8am, but at least he made an appearance. It seems that his installers had attached a broken piece to the dish on the roof and that's why it wasn't working properly. He quickly took care of the problem and was very apologetic about the whole mix up. He even deducted some money from the bill since we weren't able to use the service for a week. So once again we have the US networks in English, but they come out of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Hopefully this will keep us a bit more in touch with the rest of the world.
A few nights ago we took a journey to India by way of our television screen, while lounging on the couch. The movie was called "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," and the story hit home since we're living a similar one. A group of seven British retirees from different paths in life all coincidentally move to Jaipur, India at the same time. They're all enticed by the romance and adventure of this brand new beautiful hotel for the elderly. One of the gentlemen lived in India many years ago and always wanted to return. Another woman needs a hip replacement and discovers it would be much cheaper in India. And yet another widow who can no longer afford to live in her home after her husband dies, decides to make the move for financial reasons.
As the widow prepares to leave England her son says to her "but how will I know you're alright?" To which she responds, "I'll call, they do have phones there you know. Or you can read my blog." "Your what," the son questions? "A blog," explains his Mom. "It's a story of my day to day life, and you can log on whenever you want to see what I'm doing."
Greeted by host and manager Sonny, a young enthusiastic, funny character who sings the praises of his hotel. Not exactly the way it looked in the brochure, the hotel is dilapidated and the meals are too spicy for British palates. Sonny assures them that his vision of an exotic, beautiful hotel is just around the corner.
The expats suffer the culture shock of life in a foreign country, but at the same time fall in love with its people and its beauty. As their lives intertwine they realize retirement is not the end of life, but the beginning of a new adventure. As they create new memories and make new friends they begin to embrace their new surroundings.
Change is not easy and in order to embrace it, one must be willing to adapt to new circumstances, make adjustments and be patient. Life in Panamá has not always been easy, but we keep telling ourselves if we were back in the US we'd be working.
Life here is tranquil, relaxing, enjoyable, different and best of all....cheap. Our monthly expenses excluding groceries and gas are roughly $30 for electric; $47 for Direct TV; $30 high speed internet; $3 trash pickup; $6 water and $200 health insurance for both of us. Most of our money gets spent in the grocery stores and on gas for the car. We try to buy all produce at roadside stands since it's cheaper, and it helps the local guy out. Propane is used for our clothes dryer, water heater,and stove and to refill a bottle is less than $5. We use a Magic Jack phone to call the US which goes for $20 a year.
So for us moving to Panamá has been a fun adventure that's brought us closer together. Each day is spent making new memories and having fun with my best friend and husband Clyde. Life was meant to be enjoyed and that's just what we're doing now in Panamá....along the gringo trail.