TAXI KNOW HOW
In Caldera, we learned fast that the taxi drivers consider “gringos” easy marks for getting higher fees for rides. On our first trip into Boquete from Caldera, the taxi driver said “veinte cinco” $25.00. Not knowing any better, we said OK, and hopped in. Coming back, the taxi charged us $10.00. The next day we called for a taxi again. This time a taxi driver quoted us $8.00 to Boquete. We learned the hard way that you must know what you SHOULD be paying before you get into a taxi.
That being said, when we moved into our home, we decided to walk down to the highway to catch a passing taxi. It works great. The taxi drivers are all over, and you can find one in under 10 minutes. Kevin flags them down. The taxi might already have passengers, but we squeeze in. The last ride we had into town, there were six of us in the small car, including the driver. The more people he can fit in, the more money he makes. So the fee from our highway stop to “centro” Boquete costs $2.00 for both of us. Not bad and cheap compared to driving and buying a car. The taxi drivers are very good drivers.
When we are done shopping in town, we stand on the street and flag down another taxi to take us back to the house. Another $2.00 for us both. This is the interesting part of the story. I should digress a little here:
As in Most Latin American Countries, Panama’s Buildings Do Not Have Addresses
Identification of a homes whereabouts are done by reference to something or someone that is recognizable by the locals. There is no home mail delivery in Latin America due to the fact that there are no addresses. There are post offices, but that is a different story for a different time. We had the realtor write out on a piece of paper our specific address “reference.” In case you want to find us you must look for:
Alto Dorado – altros del Colegio BTA-altros de la Professora Sanchez. (That is our home.)
Translation is : Subdivision is Alto Dorado, behind the High School BTA-behind the house of Professor Sanchez, because everyone in town must know where she lives. It is really weird that all I do is show a piece of paper to the taxi driver and he knows where to go. Cool, huh!! I am feeling spoiled already.
For more information on adapting to your new residence please visit :Settling in to Your New Country