Tuesday the 7th
Still no internet. I’m sitting in the City Mall in Paso Canoas on the Costa Rican border. The seating is provided for us of the male persuasion and is right next to McDonalds in the store. I had a cup of coffee at McDonalds and was reading “Decision Making and the Word of God” while Joy, Yari, Ingrid, and Giselle shopped for the Santa Marta Christmas. I quickly finished my café con leche (coffee with milk) and reading and went to my favorite past time of people watching. City Mall is a new store much like a Walmart Supercenter. From here I can see a cross-section of Panama and Costa Rica. Of course babies are still the best. The store is huge, two floors that I can see from here. The escalators are really busy. There are probably more than twice as many people here as you would normally see at Walmart, but it is the Christmas season here just as in the U.S.
I have not seen anyone I know except the manager at McDonalds. He used to be at the one at David. I’m going to quit writing for a while. I’m missing watching a lot of people.
I’m back. I must tell you that most stores here in Frontera (Paso Canoas) straddle the border, that is, one side opens to Panama and the other side opens to Costa Rica. When I took bags out to the truck, a boy wanted me to move so they could unload a truck into McDonalds. So I did. Unknowingly I drove into Costa Rica and could not find an easy way to get back to Panama. After several minutes of driving in Costa Rica (illegally, don’t ya know), I found a place to turn around and get back. Finally found a place to park. Parking space is at a premium all over Panama. Now I’m back to watching and writing.
A very nice gentleman came up and asked me a question. He had no English and my Spanish wasn’t good enough to understand, so we exchanged big smiles.
Most Panamanian kids are spoiled rotten, by my U.S. standards. Of course, come to think of it so are U.S. kids.
I’m sitting near the sundries and notions section watching the sales clerk. Her job, apparently, is to dust the items on the shelves and move them forward as soon as a customer removes one. The shelves are immaculate.
This store is different from most here in Panama in that most put a clerk on you when you enter. They follow you till you check out. As I see it this serves two purposes: one is to prevent shoplifting and two is to help you find things.
Another innovation of this store is their little baskets on wheels similar to pulling a small suitcase. It is the third choice; the other two being the conventional hand basket and the regular shopping cart.
I just saw a young woman breast feeding her baby while walking through the store. This is a lovely sight to me, which I have probably mentioned before. It is not as common as it once was.
I am amazed at how busy this store is. Things are flying off the shelves. Boys are continually bringing in boxes to restock. People here are usually paid on the 1st and 15th of the month and this is Tuesday the 7th, but it is the season. Where do they get the money?
We are home safely, Gracias a Dios. Still no internet. Transcribing this anyway. Joy is walking down our road visiting. Till next time.