Current location: Living room of apartment, Boquete, Panama
Price of beer in a bar: I was paying about US$1.25 for each bottle on Friday night, though the bar down the street was selling them for US$0.60. We just wanted to check out some different places.
Song currently stuck in my head: Panama (Van Halen)
There’s nothing quite as amusing as the first time a European backpacker (or an especially young American one) discovers that Van Halen was aware of Panama before they were. Hang out in any hostel here long enough and you will hear someone cheerfully bobbing their head to a silent, imaginary guitar riff and crescendo a greeting of “Panama!” to some friends.
I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the Boquete weather since we arrived. I’d long since given up on numbers as a representation of temperature; a number like 80 gets rendered kind of meaningless when your body has adjusted to so many different micro climates over the last year. Really, it just starts to fall into categories. “Am I pouring sweat? Is there a dependable breeze? Can I sleep without a fan?” or, more rarely, “Do I need a blanket?” Here it’s no, no, yes and yes. When the sun hits, it hits surprisingly hard (maybe it’s the elevation) but most of the time it’s pleasant. But like i said, I couldn’t say what “pleasent” translates to in numbers anymore. Well, today I found out. We’re basically living in San Francisco.
While The Girlfriend and I are very pleased with our 1 bedroom apartment (US$400, all in with power, gas, cable, internet and linens), I did want to mention some of the other places we saw, specifically two lofts a few blocks off the central square. They were in the US$850-$1100/month range, depending on which unit and how long you wanted to rent. I believe that was all in and they were very nice in a nice, clean, modern building, seemed very secure and the location is very convenient for anything in town. While the price is high and better deals can certainly be found, it’s not outlandish for what you get. I have acquaintances with much larger budgets and if they visited I’d probably advise them to check it out. I don’t have the name handy, but it’s a multi-unit building on the second floor about a large real estate office, North of the park a few blocks on the West side of the main street. The entrance is in the rear. If you want contact info post a comment and I’ll track it down for you.
As I write this we’re on day 24 of our Boquete experiment. I would estimate we’ll bring the month in at US$900 or US$930 (for, as always, two people including rent, food and all day-to-day expenses). Thus far, this budget has provided us with a pretty comfortable month. We aren’t eating out much since the grocery availability gives us lots of opportunity to experiment.