Saturday, November 10, 2012

Boots, Drugs, Wipers And Mexican....

While shakin' my booty last weekend at the Halloween party, sometime during the night the heel on my boot broke.  And as soon as I dragged myself through the door to our house I noticed the other one had fallen off totally. Although they were just cheap, suede boots that I'd bought in the states years ago, I hated to throw them out just because the heels were broke.  So today we made the trek into La Chorrera to find a "zapateria" better known as a shoe repair shop to us gringos.  What's turned into a lost art in the states, shoe repair is common here and these little shops are abundant.

Directly on the main road through the city sits a tiny, hole in the wall shop.  With no place to park Clyde just pulled over as far as he could and left me in the car with the blinkers on hoping not to get side swiped.  I watched from the car as Clyde showed the man my boots and he grabbed them out his hand and began to replace the heels.  Before he progressed to far he told Clyde the price would be $4.00 and once Clyde agreed he continued.  He replaced both heels by adding glue and nails to secure them in place.  Not that I have too many places to wear boots here in the tropics, but then I didn't wear them too often in south Texas either since the weather was the same as it is here.  But I was happy to have them fixed instead of having to throw them out.

Next stop was El Machetazo which is Panamá's closest thing to Wal-Mart for a few things.  The name means "machete" probably because men carry them here like men in the states carry pocket knives.  Boys grow up here learning how to use a machete for chopping grass, cutting fruit off trees and a variety of other things.

The gents out there can stop reading at this point since what I'm about to say will only interest the ladies.  Us ladies all know what it's like to get that burning, itching, and drainage thing down there.  Commonly known as a yeast infection or vaginitis, we usually run to the store to pick up some creams that we use at bedtime until the problem is gone.  I approached the girl at the pharmacy and explained what I needed.  She asked if I wanted a "crema" or "tableta?"  Well in all my years of being a woman I'd never heard of an oral solution for yeast, especially without a prescription.  Then she went on to explain that using both the tablet and the cream was the best option, to which I agreed.  Just like a doctor this young girl instructed me to take one pill a day for the next seven days while using the cream too.  The cost for both was around $9.00 and I was anxious to come home and research the pill that I had never heard of before.

The medication is called Flagyl 500 mg. (metronidazole) and my research tells me that it's an antibiotic used to treat a variety of infections and does require a prescription, but not here in Panamá.  The cream of course is the same drug only used a different way, hopefully zapping the problem from both ends.

This is how you buy med in Panama
They cut out how many you need in the blisterpaks

Yesterday while feeding the chickens, Clyde cut his finger on the chicken wire and it's starting to look a bit infected.  Since we were at the pharmacy anyway, we asked for some antibiotic cream which they also had.  They sold us a large tube (30 g.)of Neobol Cream which is a combination of Neomycin and Clostebol for around $6.00. 

Then one last stop was at an auto parts store also in La Chorrera.  Clyde has been looking to replace the wiper blades on our car for months now, but hasn't been able to find the right size.  We thought this was odd since every other car in Panamá seems to be a Toyota Rav 4, yet no one stocks parts for them. One wiper blade is 16 inches and was priced $4.50 and the other wiper is 24 inches and cost $6.95.  He also picked up an air filter too for $6.50 which he'd been searching for since he changed the oil a while back.

And of course a trip into La Chorrera wouldn't be complete without a stop for produce at the large roadside stands.  A few pineapples, bananas, potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and green peppers to name a few before heading home.

Tonight we headed over to Coronado to try a new Mexican restaurant called "Ora le."  This large modern, two-story building that houses this new spectacle was decorated with authentic Mexican garb.  The huge five-foot menu on wheels was brought over to our table for us to order from.  One side was appetizers and drinks, while the other side provided us with a selection of entree's.  Whenever someone entered or exited the resturant the help yelled "puerta" (door) and the closest one ran to open the door for the guests.  As the place filled up with affluent Panamanians heading to their weekend homes, there was a constant flutter of young waitstaff yelling and running for the door, which did get slightly annoying after a while.

Along with the funky, modern decor they provided a variety of plastic firemen's helmets, hardhats and Mexican sombrero's for guests to wear during their stay.  And since this place was even equipped with a pole to slide down from the second floor, it was a delightful kick for the senses.  But try as I did I couldn't convince former Fireman Clyde to reclaim his old self by putting on a helmet and sliding down the pole.  Although the prices were high for local standards, the food was tasty and served with a variety of salsa's from hot to blazing hot.  Despite what we've heard that the locals don't like spicy, hot food and will not eat Mexican, this place was packed with Panamanians.  We were the only white folks in this place even though it's located right in the heart of gringoland Coronado.

After dinner we stopped at a nearby shopping plaza to browse and stumbled into McDonalds to indulge in ice cream for dessert.  Again located smack in the middle of Coronado which boasts a large expat population, we were the only gringo's among a restaurant full of locals. Stuffed to the brim with good food and sweets we headed home to relax as another day in paradise comes to and end....along the gringo trail.

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  1. Imagine this...I have a few things to say here lol
    First, Terry again? Poor thing, but I hope (and know) the meds will work. Flagyl cured me for a condition called "giardia". TMI? Nah. Just a parasite infection from a lake I was swimming in. I kept eating and eating and losing weight. Never should have taken the meds! It's a great medicine! Next, we thought El Machetazo meant something like "we slash prices". Get it? With a machete! I also have read that Panamanians don't throw anything out and there just aren't consignment stores. You replace the heels just like you did. Even if you only wear those boots two times a year! Finally, where is the new restaurant? Now that I can picture Coronado, where is it located? Maybe it will be open when I get back?! What a day the two of you had! Love your posts :)

  2. Ray just reminded me where the restaurant is :) Figures I missed out by two weeks!


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