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Our trip to Colon
Old 12-26-2005, 09:35 AM   #1
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Our trip to Colon

After waiting for a taxi for an hour we finally got one Christmas afternoon. We arrived at the bus station and got on the "budget" bus with no AC. As it was overcast for the entire day we just opened the windows and enjoyed the cool breeze.
My 3 year old son had his portable DVD player which he didn't use because he was busy looking out the window at the billboards and what he calls the rain forest. I had almost forgotten what we did before portable DVD players and laptops! The fare was $1.60 per person from Panama city to Colon and took about 1.5 hours with stops along the way.
Once we got to Colon and arrived to my great grandmother's (she's 91)house I was amazed at how many people you can pack in a very small house that more resembled a typical hotel room in size. My son was esctatic as he had not gotten to play with kids his age since we arrived. I was glad to see him having so much fun and once we finally left he cried and didn't want to leave.
We had a great time with family and friends yesterday just enjoying their company and good food.
On our way back to the station the"express" bus was there waiting. We decided to take that bus which costs $2.60 to go back to Panama city nonstop. It was basically a cross between a first class flight and one of those greyhound type buses. The seats reclined and a movie was playing in Spanish (nothing like brushing up on the language for an hour) with AC.
Although it was simple, we really enjoyed our first Christmas here in Panama and look forward to many more. My wife and I didn't exchange gifts as I think we both felt this move was a big enough present. So far we have no regrets and can't really think of anything that we would do differently to get here.
I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas and here's to a prosperous New Year!
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Re: Our trip to Colon
Old 12-26-2005, 12:04 PM   #2
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Re: Our trip to Colon

Arif, that sounds like a lovely trip. You are lucky to have family there that you can visit (and great-grandma is lucky, too!). I'm sure Panama is much more family-friendly than parts of the US. You will find that living outside the US will do a lot to help your budget. You'll find that since people have fewer "things" there is a greater importance placed on human contacts, friends, family (and good food, of course!). You'll find that there's little occasion to do much impulse buying.

What were some of the Panamanian Christmas delicacies?

Here in Italy the traditional Christmas Eve meal is based on fish, and EEL is the star of the show!

In the small town where we live the entertainment consists of making the rounds of the creche scenes each 'quartiere' has set up. On Christmas Eve they light a bonfire. Today there was a reading of 'sacred texts' at the church, by a local who's also a national soap-opera star (!). I don't miss the malls one bit. (OK, maybe a little bit* ).

Feliz Navidad to you and your family and do keep us posted on how you progress!
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Re: Our trip to Colon
Old 12-26-2005, 01:54 PM   #3
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Re: Our trip to Colon

Ladel,

Why do you say that it's much more family friendly than the US?

You found another country, maybe you can find another retirement board in Italy that's much friendlier also.

I take your comment as an insult.
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Re: Our trip to Colon
Old 12-26-2005, 02:57 PM   #4
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Re: Our trip to Colon

Quote:
Why do you say that it's much more family friendly than the US?

You found another country, maybe you can find another retirement board in Italy that's much friendlier also.

I take your comment as an insult.
I agree with ladelfina. The part of my family in the US while close is not as close as those in Panama. Maybe it's because we are spread throught the US or just everyone consumed with their careers and lives. As I mentioned in a previous post, yesterday we were packed into a room that was as small as my bedroom growing up with no AC. No one cared and everyone was happy to see each other. Also in Panama you might have several generations (4 generations in my great grandmother's house) in one house which is a rarity in the US.
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Re: Our trip to Colon
Old 12-26-2005, 03:06 PM   #5
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Re: Our trip to Colon

We eat the same food as when I was in the US so it wasn't any difference. Our usual dish includes rice and peas with coconut, plaintain (of course), baked macaroni w/ onions, corvina (my mom's favorite fish), and drink called sarill which is a spicy drink served ice cold.
NOt sure about the customs yet but Carnival will be here in February. I'll be sure to post pictures of that!

BTW- My wife and mom dragged me to the mall more times since we've been here than I have been in the last 3 years. Now that I have cable and internet access I'll be back to my once a year to the mall ritual. Can't wait to start scuba diving in the next few months though.
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Re: Our trip to Colon
Old 12-26-2005, 03:19 PM   #6
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Re: Our trip to Colon

Funny, but we also had 4 generations in the same house yesterday.

Did you mean that your closer because the room was so small?

In that case I'm not insulted at all.
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Re: Our trip to Colon
Old 12-26-2005, 03:24 PM   #7
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Re: Our trip to Colon

Quote:
Funny, but we also had 4 generations in the same house yesterday.

Did you mean that your closer because the room was so small?

In that case I'm not insulted at all.
They actually live in the same house.

Glad I didn't insult you.
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Re: Our trip to Colon
Old 12-27-2005, 10:41 AM   #8
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Re: Our trip to Colon

Quote:
Originally Posted by 73ss454
Funny, but we also had 4 generations in the same house yesterday.
I'm highly averse to getting four generations in the same TIME ZONE, let alone the same room.
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Re: Our trip to Colon
Old 12-27-2005, 11:11 AM   #9
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Re: Our trip to Colon

With a 72 year old dad and an 11 month old son, theres a nice possibility of ending up with three generations at my house sometime in the next 10-15 years...
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