Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Paint The House.....Instead Of The Town......

The official start of the Christmas season began this weekend in Panama with the celebration of "Dia de Las Madres,"  or "Mother's Day."  Tied in with the Feast of The Immaculate Conception, the day is celebrated with families visiting Mom's and Grandmas after attending church services together in the mornings. We stopped at Westland Mall in Arriajan last week and noticed the many "ofertas" or sales on gift ideas such as pajamas for $1.99, household items at great prices, slippers and more.  Some of the selection included rice cookers for $9.99, dish sets, crystal salad bowl sets, ceramic platters and other household items for $2.99 to $5.99 just to name a few. And there were several displays of over sized three foot by two foot greetings cards for only 99 cents too.

Sunday we noticed that the bright pink house across the way is now bright green, in the front only. Another common tradition for Panamanians is to paint their house before the holidays so it looks nice and clean when guests arrive. Sometimes the whole exterior of the house is painted if they can afford it, but if not they only paint the front. At least the colors green and pink go together so it won't look too bad if they leave it that way.  But this woman has a houseful of kids with too much time on their hands during summer vacation, which is now, so she might as well put them to work. This time of year paint goes on sale at the local stores who are well aware of the local tradition. But we painted the outside of our house last year during the dry season, so we're good to go for now.

The House Across The Street From Ours. 
These Are The Kids That Live There Painting

Clyde wanted to make a trip into Panama City yesterday to pick something at a music store located in Albrook Mall. We didn't realize that Monday was also a holiday, apparently part of the long Mother's Day weekend. The good news is that the traffic in the city was very light since many folks were up this way visiting Mama.  The bad news is that those that didn't leave the city were in the malls doing Christmas shopping.  The mall was packed with shoppers and the background chatter was so loud we could barely hear the Christmas music that filled the air.  We picked up a few things and got out of there as quickly as possible. Clyde had a head cold sinus thing last week and this week is my turn.  So I really didn't feel like shopping at all, even less feeling lousy.

A Display At Westland Mall Sponsored By A Cell Phone Provider.
And As Simple As The Locals Live, Many Have Expensive Cell Phones And Blackberries.

Man Playing Instrument Inside Mall

Girl Selling DVD's of what man is playing

Sentence Structure Is Backwards In Spanish So North Pole Is Too!

More Mall Displays

We arrived home to find a brown horse grazing on the grass in front of our property.  He was tied under a shady tree and perhaps was a mode of transportation for someone visiting the area? Since the road in front of our house is a mix of gravel, dirt and grass he had plenty to nibble on, and less for Clyde to mow next time around.

A Local Mode Of Transport Parked Outside Of Our Property, Across The Street

Grazing On The Grass And Shrubs

Last Saturday we spent the day with some blog followers visiting from Colorado and New Jersey. Hugo and his wife Cynthia have been following our adventures through my blog from way back and planning a move to Panama from Colorado in the near future. Along with them was Hugo's niece Sarah and her husband Tom, a younger couple from New Jersey tired of the rat race and also looking for a less expensive, more laid back lifestyle. We invited them all along to a CASA (Coronado Area Social Association) Wine & Cheese Social on Saturday afternoon at Louise's bohio. There they had the opportunity to pick the brains of many other expats who have already made the move here.  They found out the good and bad about living in Panama and left with some realistic expectations about their future plans. We ended the night on Saturday chatting more with the two couples over dinner at a local restaurant. We look forward to keeping in touch and seeing them all again in the future.

Our Christmas Tree And Little Village

Today just taking it easy trying to get over this cold.  We put up the Christmas tree on Sunday and decorated it, but the rest of the boxes are just sitting around waiting for me to finish decorating.  But there's always manaña when things can get done in Panama.....along the gringo trail.

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