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One of the many things I like best about Panama is the fresh and very affordable produce. It’s readily available year round. Sometimes I buy at the grocery stores but the best prices are at the local farmers market or even vendors along the street. I wrote previously about the 50 pounds of carrots I bought for $6.
Well, last week, I topped that… I got 100 fresh oranges (42 pounds) for $4 in David. They don’t look so great but they are delicious and great for juicing.
A few weeks ago I woke up with a sore throat. The next day we drove from our 4600 foot elevation to about 2500 feet and I got severe ear pressure. I could barely hear. When we drove back to a higher elevation the pressure went away but then I got blocked sinuses and started sneezing. Over the counter drugs did little good. By day 3, I was feeling miserable and finally went to a doctor in Boquete. I had no appointment but was seen right away. He looked in my ears, nose and throat and listened to my chest then told me I had a sinus and ear infection. He gave me antibiotics for a week and ear drops plus told me to continue taking the over the counter drugs.
I asked how much. I have international health insurance and was prepared to use it.
But, I was pleasantly surprised at his reply. $10 for the doctor visit, antibiotics and ear drops. Plus, he gave me his cell phone and said if I was not feeling better in a few days to call him. He makes house calls for $20.
Imagine getting that kind of service for that price in the USA!
by Linda Card
So you’ve decided to live in Panama for an extended time to see if it’s right for you. And you’re going to heed the universal advice given to expats moving to a foreign country: rent before you buy. Excellent. So what’s your next step? Find a place to live. How? Here are some pointers.
Get a Head Start
You can get started on your research before you leave home by looking online for rental properties. Sites such as encuentra24, Viviun, and craigslist: panama are excellent resources to familiarize yourself with what is available and costs. You can also locate realtors or property managers to contact directly, and send them details about what size and kind of house you seek, where, and how much you want to pay.
Visiting and posting on forums and chat groups such as Viviendo en Panama/Living in Panama and Gringos in David Panama (among many others) is a great way to make contact with other expats and get their input. Ask about reputable realtors and property managers for the area where you want to live. But don’t expect to have a deal worked out before you get on the plane.
There are many things one can do long distance via the internet, but I suggest that renting a house is not one of them. One thing that gets North Americans in trouble is their often near obsessive need to have all their plans made, decisions settled, and details arranged before they leave home. If you’re going on an all-inclusive one week vacation to some exotic resort this may be a perfect plan. But if you are renting a place to live it could spell disaster. Horror stories abound from folks who paid a lot of money for a rental, before they even arrived in Panama, only to discover that what they paid for was not what was promised via email. There are too many variables and unknowns in a foreign country that are impossible to anticipate. Go ahead and make your hotel reservations for your arrival in Panama, and then, hit the ground to find a rental.
What You Need to Know