Yes, My Electric Bill for This Month Was Only $14.54

Since nay sayers think I make up this amount, here is proof that indeed my electric bill was indeed $14.54 for the month of Aug-Sept for a 30 day period living in David Panama. This is of course with my Jubilado (old age discount) of 25 % as noted on the bill below. So I got a reduction of $8.19. Not bad, eh!!

I use electricity for lights of course, fans, internet, charging phones and tablets, television and washer/dryer.

My propane runs the stove and instant hot water. The last time I changed my small tank was in March. So I pay about $12 a year for propane.

Here is a copy of my Electric Bill.

electric bill for Panama


Healthier Living Abroad

Healthier Living Abroad?

Fruit and Vegetable Market David Panama

Okay this is my personal observation. I have been in Panama now 4 years. What I have personally witnessed is many people who came here with lists of prescriptions they were taking are not taking them anymore.

With huge lifestyle changes, their dis-eases have gone away or regressed to the point they no longer need the long list of medications.

While we have added new stresses about getting used to new protocols of our country, we have lessened the pressures from our home country.

We have also changed our eating habits, not by choice necessarily but because we had to. Imported items like potato chips, brats, Ben and Jerry ice cream are excessively high priced. What is plentiful, delicious and very cheap are local fruits and vegetables. Swapping new recipes for local in season produce is what we do.

And then there is TV

Maybe some don’t realize the stress watching TV puts you under. But I do. Those of us permanently living here have a different focus on the world. I don’t know anyone here who watches TV during the day, and most don’t at night. Furthermore, most of us don’t have a subscription for TV at all.

Flickr Photo by victorio marasigan

First it is expensive. Second you may get, say 100 channels but only 5 or 6 will be in English and they are usually not the channels you have watched in the past. Second of those 5 or 6, 2 will be CNN and FOX news.

Our days here are not focused on world events, local problems or politics. Yes we pay attention to what is going on here in Panama, but we choose not to have our daily lives bombarded by the news and therefore we are not stressed. We do not have anxiety and we do not talk about the news when we are gathered together. We are all pretty easy going.

I never thought much about this until recently. It just sort of naturally evolved for all of us living here permanently. We live in the moment and put out and want positive energy. We have given up the stress and negativity that TV feeds us.

I live in a gated community of 21 condos. During the high season when we are full of renters who are snowbirding from North America, I have made a keen observation. The majority of all the renters watch TV and some incessantly. No one opts to not have TV here when renting. There seems to be a need for a lifeline for an intravenous feeding of news. Also the louder the better. For some, the TV is on from waking up to going to bed. How sad! They have become news junkies and can’t let go.These people never experience Panama or realize what their habit is doing to them.

When we all gather for fun, the topics are about politics or local happenings back home. Their stress levels remain high as they get excited to share their take on the latest reporting of a news item. I witness their anxiety and negative energy. You can almost see their blood pressure rising.

Were we who are here now full time, once like that?  I would guess most of us were.

But now most of us are healthier physically and mentally. We put out positive energy and receive it back. We are at ease not dis-ease.

It has been an unexpected present to find our lives made better for making the decision to move abroad. By choice or chance we have let go of anxiety and stress. We eat better and feel better and enjoy each day to the fullest.

Flickr Photo by Adrian Scottow

La Barqueta Beach, David Panama

Playa La Barqueta Beach, Chiriqui

Playa La Barqueta Beach, Chiriqui

Playa La Barqueta beach is the closest beach from David. This dark sand beach stretches over 18km with formidable waves that make for great surfing. The southern swells that break along the shore line have given rise to the name of Las Olas for the resort. The entire area of Playa La Barqueta and the the Las Olas Resort and development is owned by a 4th generation family in Chiriqui who have made this area one of the most important agricultural areas in Chiriqui since the 1600’s.

Las Olas La Barqueta Beach

From downtown David it will take about 40 minutes to arrive at the beach. The route follows road number forty eight.

When you leave David you will immediately leave the city hustle and bustle behind. The two lane road to the beach winds and twists through winding pastures of rice fields and sugar cane.

You will drive through the small village of Guarmal and continue on until the road is straight and you can see the Las Olas Resort in the distance and the Las Olas subdivision on the right with houses lining the horizon.  Once you get to where the road ends, the entrance to Las Olas Resort is to your left and the public beach access area is to your right.

There are currently two small local eateries at the public beach area that offer local typical food and drink. Or you can have a wonderful fish fry meal at Las Olas resort for under $10.

Las Olas Fish Fry

During the week there is not much activity and you might even find yourself alone walking on the beach. Although this beach looks tempting for swimming, it does have undertows and it is only recommended for expert swimmers and surfers. But you can enjoy long walks seeing crabs and occasionally spotting fish jumping in the ocean.

Also if you are inclined, you can get a day pass at the Las Olas Resort to use the pools, showers and other amenities there.

This is a great day get away from David where you can relax and enjoy one of Panama’s beaches.


Tours of David and Surrounding Chiriqui

Tours of David and Surrounding Chiriqui


new pic

Do you need to get familiar with David or Chiriqui? Something special you have in mind you want to see? Don’t want to drive yourself?

Well, I am offering a customized day and half day tours to do just that. Your itinerary, your way.

Full Day- 8 hours/flexible $75.00

Half Day- Mornings or Afternoons $45.00


Alaska Nieve in David Panama

Snow in David Panama

Yes, Snow in David Panama

A company called Alaska Nieve evidently tours around with their portable deep freeze containers, sets up shop and charges $15 for you to play in the snow in the deep freeze.

I suppose for those that have never experienced snow this might be a big deal. Except it is inside a dark enclosed area, inside a Chiriqui Mall retail shop site.

Looks like they visit several places in Panama and Ecuador.

I just keep wondering what their daily electric bill must be compared to what they make.

Just another wondrous thing about Panama that catches me off guard.


Grocery Stores in David Panama

Grocery Stores in David Panama

I have almost lived here four years. In that time I have witnessed a huge transformation with regards to grocery stores in David and what they sell.

When I first arrived in David, days were spent searching out numerous items that were common place staples in our pantries and refrigerators back home in the US.

Dorado Center David Panama

Now, not only have the more unique items appeared but the selection of brands has increased. With more and more competition in David with new stores opening and the prospect of many more, I think grocery stores in David now know they can sell those obscure items now.

It may seem like an odd pleasure, but to find say sun dried tomatoes or wasabi mayonnaise is a very big deal.

Grocery Store Chains in David

With a growing population of over 125,000, new grocery stores in David are popping up everywhere.

The biggest excitement is for the chain Riba Smith to open here. They have several stores in Panama but none in David. They are a high end import grocery store with a diverse deli and imported items not found elsewhere. We should have one here by the end of 2017, hopefully.

In addition we have another new large grocery store being built on the Interamericana highway.

We consistently have more Romero’s opening along with our new Super 99 that opened in 2014. Super Baru’s are still widely popular for their unique imported items. We also have a Rey Supermarcado which is owned by Romeros. And well you can’t get better than Pricesmart for warehouse style shopping for groceries. These are the big box stores.

Super 99 Grocery David Panama

In addition you have hundreds of smaller Chinas as they are called. These are mom and pop corner stop and go places that carry the staples you might run out of. These are usually the places where you get your propane tank exchanged for $6.00.

Most of us in the know also make use of numerous fruit and vegetable stands around the city where you can find prices well below half of what the stores charge. And to be honest, the vegetables look better, are riper and smell terrific. Plus the selection is much better.

So many of us make a day of it, going from one grocery to another. We basically make it an outing and if we are lucky, Pricesmart will be giving out free samples!

Layouts of Grocery Stores in David

All grocery stores have the same layouts you are used to in Canada and the US. Outside perimeter is consistent of the good stuff, meat selection, veggies and fruit, deli’s, bakeries. The inside aisles are all the staples, snacks, liquor, cleaning supplies, personal stuff.

Grocery Store in David Panama

Most larger stores always have a pharmacy and a Pago where you can pay your bills. Oh and remember to get and use a store card ( if they have them) to get points for some nice items. You can add points to your card by presenting it to the pharmacy or the Pago. So if you are paying a water bill, cell phone bill or what ever, the amount of the payment will be added in points to your card. Cool eh!!

I Guess I should Explain Multi Pago’s

Multi Pagos are a one stop place to pay all your bills with cash or check. It saves time rather than having to go to the electric company, cable/internet company, water department, insurance office or cell phone service office. You can fill out a simple form with your name, account number and amount paid.

Plus most Pagos are open 7 days a week from 9am until sometime in the evening. So you don’t have to hop all over the city. You can pay your bills in one place and get your groceries too.

Multi Pago Form


Gringos in David Meeting Tomorrow

September 1st

The monthly Gringo Meeting in David group is meeting tomorrow as our usual first Thursday of the month is here again. Remember 1PM sharp. This time we will be meeting near down town at the Hotel Gran Via’s restaurant. It is near El Campeon.

Here is a link to their website with directions

Hotel Gran Via David Panama



New Stores in David

Construction is everywhere you look in David. I am not exaggerating at all. I do mean everywhere.

Chiriqui Mall

Lots are scraped, old businesses are torn down and mini malls or high rise structures are taking their places.

While some structures seem to take months to get done, others seem to go up overnight. From new fancy car dealerships to coffee shops, it is hard to keep up with what is going on.

Recently I came across a new mall taking up an entire block downtown. The design is modern with lots of parking and beautiful manicured landscaping. So far just two shops are in but I am excited to see what else will come to David.

Mall David

David now has a  “The Vitamin Shoppe.” It is the chain from the US which I have used forever to get my vitamins from. The new store in David is large and carries a nice selection.

Also in the same location is a new upscale jewelry store. Lots of bling! I try to update all these places to my Google maps area for purchasers of my book, Getting Familiar with David. If you click on the links in the book you can view the updated maps.

So far in the last month: A new coffee shop called Warala. you can find it on Facebook at It serves sandwiches, ice cream, crepes and other goodies. It is right next door to a new bedding place called Vianney, which has nice comforters, sheets and other bedding supplies. Very upscale. Here is their Facebook page

David Panama

There is always something to add. Sunday mornings since the traffic is light, I like to get out early and scout around David for more new business openings.

It is indeed exciting to be a part of a city that is growing and seeing a bright prosperous future.