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Current location: Lobby of Bali Panama Hotel, Chitre, Panama

06.20.11

Price of beer in a bar: US$0.50 for a 12 ounce bottle of a few different beers
Song currently stuck in my head: Back in the Saddle (Aerosmith)

I’ve been on the road too long. I don’t mean being away; I could keep doing this indefinitely. But between being in the states for 3 weeks, being fucked over by Delta for 2 days en route and being between towns in Panama for about 10 days I need a place to unpack fully and keep my toiletries on the sink. Periodic but extended travel scrambles the brain and decimates the budget. It’s the kind of thing you get used to, more or less, when you do it constantly, but we only do it occasionally. We’ve been trying to locate a rental in this region for about a week and we’re rolling snake eyes every time. We plan(ned) to leave today, but a strong lead turned up so we’re going to investigate and re-evaluate from there. The only option we’ve seen was a rental room here in town in a dilapidated and cluttered house for US$200/month. Naw, thanks. There’s a furnished rental unit in town that people keep pointing us to, but it’s rented out for 6 months. The local hostel is also rented out for a few months, in it’s entirety, so we’re paying almost 3X their rate for a hotel room. We like the hotel though, and I can recommend it.

As I mentioned, Delta severely screwed over my return trip, leaving me stranded in Atlanta over night. There are a few things I really hate about flying and they really demonstrate to me that the large airlines aren’t even trying (they’ll always be bailed out by tax money when they go bankrupt, so really, who bother). One is when you can’t go anywhere because the crew has been working too many consecutive hours. They’re an airline. They have the most mobile workforce on the planet. Fly some new people in, for fuck’s sake. You can see this situation coming from at least 6 hours away. I feel similarly about equipment issues; keep some planes and crew on call. It’s not that complicated, other industries do it daily. And no two people of the many I talked to told me the same thing. That’s the part that irritates me the most. Luckily the first of many issues that Delta chained together for me was equipment related, so I qualified for a hotel and some discount meals on Delta. After trying to change their story repeatedly in one conversation, they then consistently lived up to this obligation. I’ll sleep in airports when I have to, but I never enjoy it. I’m glad that I didn’t have to after spending all day at MDW and before spending all day at ATL, arriving in PTY after 3am, 30 hours later than scheduled.

Somewhere along my trip to and from The States my external wifi adapter stopped working. I just replaced it, moments ago, with a similar device I bought here in Chitre. It took me a while to track down and most people didn’t have any idea what I meant (“A USB thing for wifi”), but I decided to start asking in Internet Cafe’s and immediately got directed to an importer with some stock on hand. It seems to be working fine. I also left my sunglasses somewhere (why I’ll never own expensive ones) in The States and left my beloved headphones in the cab upon arriving at my guest house at 3:30 in the morning. That sucks, they just arrived in January.  Oh well, at least the pack’s getting lighter.

BTW, The Granada Summary is up: https://mondayorsomething.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/summary-granada-nicaragua/

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