Well, my first full day of being by myself in the Potrerillos house. Yesterday Jane, the owner of the house, went to the bank in Boquete and I went along to do a little bit of shopping there. It was just a little since the market wasn’t very large and what they offered was limited. This morning I went down to David to go shopping at the El Rey supermarket and to replenish my supply of Plavix. Catching the bus down to David wasn’t hard at all. Coming back was where the learning curve began.
I got what I wanted at Rey and then walked a couple of blocks to a fruit and veggie market nearby. I waited about 20 minutes for the bus to arrive.
What happened next is part of the learning curve of riding the buses here. As you come up the road from David there are two places where road forks. Bearing right at the first fork takes you to Boquete and the left to Potrerillos. At the second fork left takes you to Potrerillos ABAJO and the right fork leads to Potrerillos ARRIBA (don’t forget to roll that double R), Jane, had told me she had once taken the bus to Abajo and then had a couple of mile hike to get to the house.
Since I had two heavy bags full of canned good and other food stuffs I sure didn’t want to have to make such a hike and this bus was a bit different than the previous two rides I’d taken before. Different driver, different assistant (all the buses have a “conductor” to help people on and off the buses, take care of their bags and collect the fares (you pay when you get off) (the bus that is). Admittedly I wasn’t paying close attention to where we were and when the bus veered off to the left hand fork in the road I assumed it was going to Abajo and called “parada” to be let off. I paid my fare and as the bus left I realized I’d gotten off where the road branches towards Boquete. I then had to wait another 20 minutes to get on a bus to take me the rest of the way to the dirt road that leads to my house.
Now, as I said, one of the reasons I went to David and El Rey was to visit the pharmacy. Two months ago when I got my Plavix at Costco in the States it cost me $154! Here in Panama all medications, except narcotics, are over-the-counter, no prescription needed. Since I’ve been on it for nearly two years now my doctor in the States said I only need to take it every other day, doubling up on the aspirin on the days I don’t take the Plavix. And I know it’s working because I bleed like a hemophiliac at the slightest scrape and bump. Here in Panama they sell the Plavix in a box of 14 instead of getting a bottle of 3o. So, here’s the breakdown on cost. Fourteen pills list for $48.86. The Jubilado (that’s me) discount is $9.97, so the final price was $39.09. Roughly $2.80 a pill versus $5.14 in the States. VIVA PANAMA!!!