Aug 15, 2011

Pineapple in Bloom and the Sky is Falling

I was told it takes two years for a pineapple plant to reach fruition.  It must have been 18 months or more since I stuck the top of a pineapple into the ground in the backyard and watched it grow.  I was greeted with a wonderful surprise when I walked out to check it this weekend.  Still a very tiny fruit, but WOW!  It actually worked!   I am thrilled to see it !  Such a nice diversion from all the stress I've been experiencing for the last week. 

After spending the weekend in Costa Rica to renew my visa,  I returned  to learn I  was no longer employed.   The recession is hitting hard everywhere, and apparently I didn't have immunity.  It was short notice, with a microscopic severence, and my health insurance ends in 2 wks.  I'm madly scrambling to figure out how my son and I are going to survive.  He's having to forfeit plans to attend college this September and fight like hell to compete for whatever job he can in this environment of record high unemployment.    I, aged 61, with  ten months from retirement,   am also trying to compete in a tough job market.    Heading back to California to re-engineer life plans.  Never a dull moment!

Depending on how things proceed, it may be a while before I post another blog entry.   Hoping for the best, and doing everything in my power to make this life changing situation eventful and productive.  Wishing everyone economic stability and job satisfaction ! 

Aug 5, 2011

A "Can't Believe I Ate the Whole Thing..." moment

Are you old enough to remember that ancient commercial of the middle-aged, overweight, green-at-the-gills man lamenting at home about his fun night out?    I'm in Golfito, Costa Rica again, and had a late lunch at Banana Bay today.   In the sweltering heat, I managed to down two strong "Imperial" beers while enjoying chicken fajitas topped with special twelve-dollar-a-bottle hot sauce the owner brought out for the occasion.  His sister owns the company that produces the sauces, which are exquisite.  They are made in South Carolina, and there were four renditions.  Each was unique, and each contained a different fruit and spice combination to perfectly accompany the main ingredient [habanero peppers] and compliment any meal.  Daily Red was the mildest (if you could call any of them mild---it was about as hot as Tabasco, only thicker and tastier) and goes well with anything.  Trenholm Venom was the hottest and would probably ignite if you got too close to a flame.  Molden Golden was incredibly special.  Made with mangoes, ginger and other delicate spices, it would be indescribeably (is that a word?) delicious on poultry.  I kept imagining it with roast duck....mmmmmm!  My favorite, though, was Larynx Lava.  By the time I got to it, though, I wasn't really seeing very well, and couldn't read the ingredients.  I think it may have had peaches as one of the contents, but wouldn't stake my life on it.   It's just below Trenholm Venom on the "picante" scale.   

Wish I could remember the brand name for the sauces.  It was something very catchy.   I planned to buy a bottle of each upon leaving, but unfortunately the restaurant's debit card machine was broken.  Having just paid for 4 nights lodging across the way,   I didn't have enough cash left to pay for the meal and all the sauces.  Now, about 5 hours after,  I think the broken machine was Divine Intervention.  Almost a gallon of water later, still thirsty, I have a stomach as taught as a trampoline and I think the reflux may have caused a chemical tonsillectomy.  If I survive the night, I may go back tomorrow to get the name of that company and only one bottle.   Stay tuned...

Selling My House

Well,  I'm going to go ahead and do it.  I absolutely LOVE my little place in Boquete, but I'm putting it on the market.  

Why am I selling?  Basically because I'm getting restless,  I've been here and done that.  Now I want to try another area of Panama.  I'm thinking I'd like to live closer to my friends in Santiago, or perhaps closer to Diane in San Carlos.   And I want to live in a small Panamanian community. 

The huge influx of Americans, Canadians, and Europeans to Boquete is welcomed by many, as more foreign businesses are established and flourish.  You can find things in Boquete that aren't readily available elsewhere.  Want a CD of Swedish Christmas Carols?  I can tell you where to find it.  Want Kosher food from Israel?  Try the Baru deli on main street.  How about Belgian dark beer or  unidose servings of gingseng extract?   The Alto Dorado super has it.  And many of the Trader Joe speciality items---rice milk, soy milk,  Splenda in loose granules,  agave sweetener, etc. can be found in Romero's downtown.  For a third world country, this place has first world tastes.   Boquete also has an incredible artisan bakery with freshly baked bread and specialty loaves daily. 

If you are erecting a custom-built home and want an Old World antique door, or Moroccan hardware, there's a store and design business catering just to you.   Want to try Ashtanga Yoga ?  Or do you prefer Hatha?   There are at least three yoga instructors in Boquete.  How about Zumba classes instead?  We've got that, too !  Need a good acupuncturist or colonic cleanse?  Need a psychotherapist?  What about music lessons from a reknown jazz artist?  Or a tattoo from an oft- sought Hollywood artist?  Hankering for a live theatrical production or musical?    Do you like hanging out in second hand bookstores and buying books at bargain prices?    For all this and more, where 're ya gonna go?   It's all right here in Boquete

I may be out of my mind, and I harbor doubts constantly....but I think this is why I want to leave.   Despite the beautiful scenery and climate,  it's beginning to feel too much like living in a latin version of  Mill Valley, California.  I enjoy Marin county but can't afford to live there.   Boquete reminds me a lot of Marin, and I CAN afford to live here,  but I don't want an inexpensive Marin county.   I want very latin, very rural,  Panama,  and it ain't here no more.

Sooooooooooo, here are the links to my internet ads for the house.  If you know of anyone who is seriously looking for what I just described, please pass the info along.   The highway expansion will be finished in 2013, and at that time most of the properties in Alto Boquete will jump in value.   The seat of city and provincial government is to be re-located here.   A very modern supermarket,  Super 99, is also scheduled to be built right on the new highway [only 2.5 blocks from my house].   For photos and more information,  go to:

Aug 1, 2011

Boquete's Blight

They're paving paradise.  And it's now reached the entrada.  Take a long hard look... and sigh.