"We are flying!" That’s the motto of Air Panama, our hosts this morning as we wing our way to David, Panama in the province of Chiriquí. Actually, right now we are preparing to wing our way… still have 1/2 hour before the plane leaves. No sign of boarding, yet, though. Which, as you know, has given us PLENTY of time to visit with our friends over at the Café Britt store with their bowls and bowls of free chocolate covered macadamia nuts, and pots and pots of fresh free coffee. I could spend all day in this airport…
This morning’s trip is a far cry from last months’ jaunt back to Key West. Today, the airport is practically empty now that school is in session and summer vacationers are safely back at home. We were told to arrive 3 hours before the flight took off. Tardy as usual, we arrived two hours before… no lines anywhere. Jal was able to take all our passports over to the departure tax desk and pay for us while I waited at the ticket counter to pay for our tickets. After the lovely Air Panama agent HANDWROTE our tickets.
I love this about Costa Rica: "Land of Dichotomy" should be its motto… On the one hand, our ticket agent had to write out our tickets by hand because she didn’t have a computer with which to print them out. This was after calling in the credit card number because she didn’t have a machine on which to "run that thru". She actually took her pen and rubbed it over the numbers on a carbon copy credit card slip and I signed that! Oh, the good old days.
On the other hand, here I sit at the gate, next to the Café Britt store, where I have free wireless internet access provided by I.C.E. (eeee-say, the government telephone monopoly). I wasn’t able to get wireless internet at all in the Key West airport. And in Miami, you could buy access in the main terminal, but none at all offered in the gate area which is where you spend the bulk of your time.
In some ways Costa Rica is SO ahead of the curve. Like with no military. That type of thing.
And what will we be doing in David? Nothing. Sightseeing. I have three days in a row off of rehearsal, so if we are going to go anywhere before the Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean is over at the end of October, we gotta go now. So last night, around 6pm, we decided to visit a city in another country. Isn’t that cool? My new friend Dara calls us "spontaneous." Hal calls us "reckless." I’m going with spontaneous… Plane is boarding… More to come. Pura vida, love, S.
UPDATE: Shades of American Airlines… we have a 1.5 hour delay in our one hour flight to Panama. How much more coffee can I drink in 90 minutes… Jal says they’re checking the cargo hold for hair gel. God, he’s funny.
Three days in David? Now that’s what I would call boring. But if you can spend all day in SJO airport, I’m sure you’ll find something to do. Seriously though, you’ve got to take the 50 minute bus ride uphill to Boquete for some cooler air. Much more comfortable there I’d say. Ahh, the cool breezes and pretty scenery. I miss it. Take some day trips from there up even higher.
Some good deals on electronics in David, well cheaper than San Jose anyway. Let me know if you find anything that would resemble a beach near David. We never did.
Yes, thought it wise and brilliant of the Ticos to realize that all they had to do to not have to pay for a military is preserve their rain forests, and everyone else in the Western Hemisphere will rush to their aid. Tested and proven when Guatemala, some years ago, invaded from the West. Result: easy life for the natives; they import labor from Nicaraqua to pick the coffee beans and harvest the flowers.
Have you been to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico?
Hola Jon – We did not even look for a beach near David (anxious to get up away from sea level), although you are right: ohmygoodness, stores everywhere and so cheap. We bought a phone and minutes for $40, so easy!!! We were only in David for a day, then we spent two nights in Boquete. That was fab – cooler, beautiful. Reminds me of our spot here in Heredia. But next trip, we will go for longer and look for a beach. The beaches there are not developed (keep it under your hat…) so I’m sure are gorgeous!
Hey Maureen – I’ve never been to San Miguel but my mom lived there for a few years and her most recent husband (they married in ’88, then never got divorced to insure they each never got married again…) still lives there. Mom loved it, she may go back… live in her rv on the beach again!