Friday, May 31, 2013

Shopping adventures

The on again-off again rain has finally revealed all the leaks! Almost every window had a leak somewhere and Chris has busily caulked everything he touches, except me. When it rains hard here, it is usually at a 45 degree angle and absolutely everything gets soaked because with any wind, that angle may as well be 90 degrees. What fun! We've carefully watched for roof leaks and so far - none. Calling up the builder would do little good, as by the time they arrive to fix anything, it could be dry season again. Chris accidentally blocked a small drain hole in one window so last Wednesday morning we suddenly had a few inches of water under our bed! An hour later, while I imagined myself marooned on a small island, Chris wet-vacuumed all the rain up, and luckily the downfall stopped, so we had a freshly washed floor.

The temperature remains cooler, and the humidity is less, so there are compensations. Ir is amazing really how quickly the land gets soaked and huge puddles appear with torrential streams running down the road like its a river. As soon as the rain stops, all that water disappears so quickly you wonder if you imagined it! All the green is refreshing, and the smell of freshly washed land, sidewalks, cars, people is nice. We had gone to Chitre to shop the day before the great deluge, so luckily could stay home and watch all the fun.

Our shopping trip was another adventure unto itself. First a stop for cat food at Melo, at least an hour choosing new frames and lenses at an Optician's (half the price of what I paid in Canada), and we were off to the mall. A quick moment in Arrocha and we found a few simple items we needed, then we climbed the escalator to Madisons. While searching for laundry baskets, we noticed some new dining sets, and lo' there was a round table with four chairs that kinda looked like what we were envisioning for our inside dining area. We couldn't decide, so went back down to McDonalds for lunch and talked it over. My Spanish with food orders is now almost perfect and it was quite easy to get exactly what we wanted! Finally, after food and drink, we decided to buy the set, so Chris went to collect our groceries at El Rey and I maneuvered back upstairs to Madisons furniture section. We had agreed to meet up shortly so I could help with finalizing the groceries (no list that day), but by the time I finished in Madisons it was at least an hour and a half later, and Chris was in the SUV with AC on and half asleep! By the time we arrived home, we had been gone for 7 1/2 hours!

Ahhh, the joys of making transactions in Panama...Very few staff at Madisons speak English, so I asked for 'David' who had helped us when we bought the couches. He is Israeli and tri-lingual! It took about 15 minutes for him to appear, and of course he insisted he and I carefully examine the entire set, and wouldn't you know - he found a deep scratch on the table top that Chris and I had missed. It took almost half and hour for him to find another available set, in Panama City at one of the large malls, then he had to arrange for it to be shipped to Chitre, then advise me and get my consent. Back to the phone, and he tells me the PC set has grotty chairs but the table is OK, so he will separate the two sets and give us the best of each. Now I have to go through much the same examination process with a salesgirl to be sure the chairs are in good condition on the floor model. Then back to the desk to write this up and finally off to the cashier desk to pay. A manager approved and stamped the invoice, I paid, and happily left. All this time, there were six ladies, two men at the cashier's area plus the two girls helping me, and maybe 10 clients on the whole floor. Remember those days in North America? It seems like another life. The dining set will be delivered next week - cost? $40.

No comments:

Post a Comment