Category Archives: Panama Journal

It’s The Little Things

Today I am going to charcoal hamburgers. I needed hamburger buns, dill pickle slices and baked beans. Should be no big deal because I am 5 minutes from El Rey, which I think is the best super market in David.

Now there are just two of us who will eat these burgers, but I am going to cook four burgers. In the hamburger bun area there are about four different selections. Three are 8 bun packages and are very small buns. Larger than slider size, but not by much..

The other choice is jumbo buns and perfect for the sized burgers I am going to cook. However, these only come in a package of 12. That would mean I have to store 8 buns and they will be dried out be for I want to cook burgers again. Too much waste.

I go with the small buns and the meat will just overwhelm the buns. I bought burgers at Su Carne and these are big burgers.

Now on to get some dill slices. None to be found. There are some whole dill pickles, but I am not going to slice pickles. I settled for pickle relish.

Then I go in search of baked beans. I always get Bush’s Baked Beans. None to be found. I hate Campbell’s Pork and Beans and there are plenty of them. I notice that a large area that used to have several types of Bush’s Baked Beans now filled with the new Rey Brand of canned Guandu.

That was a double disappointment. I can’t stand the Panama national vegetable of Guandu. I almost want to leave the house when Lilliam cooks it to go in rice and I refuse to eat it.

I see that many shelves in El Rey are now filled with its own brand of products. Rey cereal, Rey sodas, Rey this and Rey that. I have been Reyed.

I doubt that I will buy any of the Rey products. I am sure they are less expensive than the ones next to them on the shelves. Since they are replacing products I used to buy, I will boycott them.

This may be the straw that forces me to spend more time in Super Baru. At least I haven’t noticed any Baru brands on the shelf.

I really don’t want to shop in Super 99. After seeing the corruption of the previous administration, I can’t support it. That only leaves me with two choices, El Rey and Super Baru. It is the small things that count and El Rey seem to be removing the little things that matter to me.

Haircut or Dog Tags

I was starting to look a little shaggy and I solved that problem by going to see Yanie. She has been my barber since 2006. It is the best $3.00 I spend and when I think of the expensive haircuts I had in the U.S. I am grateful.

She has moved twice since I first met her. One of the thing I like about Yanie is that she always has a smile on her face. A great haircut and a smiling face always helps to make the day a little bit better.

HERE is the post showing her location with directions to Dariush Salón. If you see Yanie, tell her you read about her on Chiriquí Chatter.

Costa Rica Consul in David, Chiriquí

IMG_0277Lilliam recently needed to renew her Costa Rican passport and there is a consul in David.

When I researched information on the location of the Costa Rican Consul on the Internet, I found THIS.

All the information on that site is incorrect.

If anyone wants current information on the Costa Rican Consul in David, it is currently as follows:

The office is in the Banco Universal building.
Address : Avenida 1 Este Calle C
Phone: 507 7747128

Fun with Friends

Michael, Ellena, Patrick, Roxie

For the last several years, Lilliam and I have had an annual get together with a Chiriquí Chatter couple and their children who come to Panama to check up on their farm close to Santa Marta.

I forget where they came from the first time we met, but I remember in 2011 that they had just escaped from Libya. That was quite a story.

Currently they are in Scotland, where Michael is working as an engineer. He is planning his next move and one of the places he is considering is Qatar, where I seem to remember he had worked before. He said the temperatures can get up to 150 in the daytime there.

I am happy to be in cool David.

On this get together we went to Mar Caribe in Pedregal. It had been a long time since Lilliam and I had eaten there. Our food was good and reasonably priced. We all had more than we could consume. The place was packed when we had finished eating.

I have committed to a BBQ at our house in David for next year’s visit.

Photos of our food:

Cable Onda Off The Hook

Over the last 24 hours, I have done several networking tests. I can’t say that I understand all of the problems I have had, but I have solved my speed problem and don’t care to put the effort in to understanding more.

The primary problem was IDrive, which I installed in December. Proving that it was IDrive, proved to be a challenge. Granted, it should not have take me as long as it did, but it did require me finishing a previously scheduled task of installing one of my MacMini’s and connecting to my living room TV so I could easily connect it to my router and or Cable Onda modem.

What had confused me was that the response time could be bad whether IDrive was running or not. The last day’s tests showed that if Drive had been running for over 30 minutes, my whole Internet started to fail. Even though IDrive was only sending traffic, my download could start to degrade.

It was as if CO thought I was using too much upload bandwidth and reduced all bandwidth. Using the Apple line monitor, I could see the upload and download usage bandwidth I was using and it was never that much (never more than 169kb going up), but enough for something to decide to start throttling my up and down.

The solution was not all that simple as it should be. Obviously, I cancelled my account with IDrive. They were not happy and wanted me to continue and pledged for me to continue using their product. When they realized my mind was made up, they gave me the instructions for uninstalling. It was not a simple task as I had to find some hidden files in Apple directories.

The good news is some of my neighbors have noticed an improvement in their response time since I started communicating with Cable Onda. Also, my speed is better than it ever was before CO installed the new modem.

Bottom line is I have to say that a huge portion of the problem was because of installing IDrive. However, it still doesn’t explain why once I shut down my laptop running IDrive, my response time would not improve until I disconnected my CO modem and it reset.

Still, it was not worth the effort to understand all of the problem. It was a good exercise for me because I was forced to use several networking tools (Apple’s and others) and I am better prepared for any future problems.

I Hate The New Bridge to Boquete

I have been meaning to post something related to the bridge that was built over the InterAmerican Highway for the new road to Boquete.

As one that lives in David, I HATE IT.

It was ill conceived and poorly designed.

The reason I say that is because I do not believe they really studied how it would impact the normal traffic in David. It was built to satisfy the needs of this living in Boquete and for them, it is probably a blessing. But then they only want to get into David as fast as they can and out as fast as they can.

I understand that.

Now that it is built here are the problems I have to deal with.

It is not possible to exit the InterAmerican Highway and go north or south on the new road. In the past I could. Sufficient space was not provided to design entry lanes.

Worse than that, crossing the new highway is a real pain if not impossible. Many or the previous cross streets now have blockades preventing crossing.

The drivers using the new highway drive at speeds that never existed on those streets before. You take your life in your own hands crossing at the intersections that are not blocked.

For the money expended, they would have been much wiser to have set up traffic lights on the InterAmerican Highway. The trucks coming from Panama City need a reason to lower their speeds any way. They always drive through town going around 80 and never use their breaks, only their horns.

This Morning, I had to take Koki to Happy Pet to get clipped and that forced me to make use of the bridge because my old way is now blocked. Because of other blockades, I have to go right on the Boquete Highway and then make a left on the first cross street and then turn around so I can go back to the Boquete Highway and make a right to cross the bridge.

For me the new bridge, and I bet for most living in David, is a pain in the butt. Money ill spent with less benefit that a good traffic light would have provided. But then it was only built to satisfy the politicians who were probably getting a kickback from the construction company, which was probably owned by other politicians.

That’s my humble opinion. Now back to my Internet problem.

David Gas Price January 10

IMG_0256It has been a while since I posted the price of gas in David. I took this photo yesterday.

Remember for U.S. comparisons, you have to reduce the octane rating by 4. Therefore, 95 octane (in Panama) is 91 in the U.S. and 91 (in Panama) is 87 in Panama.

The price of Panama’s 91 octane (what I buy) is $.65/liter or $2.46/gallon. Best price we have seen in some time. You can see that diesel is slightly cheaper.


It seems Lilliam can not go two months without changing something. Sofas are changed. The dining table orientation is changed. Potted plants are moved to other parts of the house. New plants are purchased and planted. New curtains magically appear.

Well, it has been several years since I modified Chiriquí Chatter’s blog appearance.

Information previously in the right sidebar may now at the end of the page. To leave a comment on the Aside posts, you click on the permalink, which is the date posted.

If you are a long time follower, you may think you are in the wrong place.

Let me know what you think.

Thinking Of You

If you keep up with the news in the U.S., then you know that the U.S. government has extreme budgetary problems. The national debt increases by unbelievable amounts every second.

Well I am here to tell you that some portions of the government are looking at ways to live within their budgets.

Yesterday, I received an email stating that I had a Christmas Card sent by our Ambassador and it was waiting for me at FLETES CHAVALES.

I had to go that way to deliver items for Robert in Hogar Santa Catalina, so I put Fletes Chavale on my todo list.

I made my stop in front of FC and ran in to get my envelope. I signed for the envelope and as I was getting ready to walk out, I was informed that I needed to cancel the debt. A mere $1.50.

Now that is what I call efficiency! It was a perfect way for me to know that I was being remembered and an effective way to insure I would not forget the event. It just doesn’t get any better than this!

UPDATE: I received an email from the Embassy stating that several cards were sent out and the recipients had to pay. The Embassy had paid some how it did not reflect that it was paid. I was certain the Embassy would not have sent it collect, but noting is easy in Panama.