A New Place To Live

One month from today the owners of the house I’ve been living in for the past five months return.

My first choice for a move would have been to Dolega, a small town about half way between Potrerillos Arriba and David. Click here to see my previous post about this village. But I couldn’t find any available houses of apartments for rent there despite asking people at the stores, in the park and strolling around.

Daily I checked craigslist both for houses and apartments by themselves as well as the possibility of finding a shared place. One ad caught my attention, the price was right, the location seemed fine (in David itself), but when I inquired about who I might be sharing the house with it turned out that the other occupants were in their 20s and 3os. Wouldn’t have worked. I did check out one place that was offered by someone I met on a visit to the hostel where I stayed in David. The young man, well, young in relation to my dotage, is personable enough and is on the road much of the time so I’d have the place to myself much of the time. But while the location was quite good, a short walk in one direction to the bus terminal and a similar hike in the other direction would take one to the main park in town, the furnishings were, well let’s say, somewhat shoddy and past their prime. In the States Goodwill and the Salvation Army wouldn’t have taken the stuff. I took a pass.

I got one response to an ad I’d placed, myself, on craigslist looking for another house-sitting position.  It was for a place in a community close to David called Los Anastacios. What I’ve seen of it from the bus windows going up and down the hill it looks like a pretty decent place with modern, gringoesque houses. It is rented by an 84 year old gentleman but the owner of the house was looking for someone to act as property manager, care for the pool (hmmmm), mow the lawn, etc. I passed on this one, too.

One of the reasons I passed on those was I’ve come to realize I enjoy my solitude after having been in a five year live-in relationship with a girl followed by another six years of having a roommate. Actually the roommate situation was better than the relationship since in the entire six years my roommate and I never once got into an argument. That certainly doesn’t come close to the live-in arrangement.

I checked out the bulletin boards at the supermarkets that offered a variety of places for rent. Many were asking more than my budget would allow and the ones that I could afford weren’t in places I’d want to be.

I’d put up notices on various Yahoo Groups dealing with Panama and got several responses. Again, most of these were either too expensive or in locations I didn’t like. One of the responses was from a gringo lady who lives not too far away. I wrote to my friend Joyce who knows a lot of people in this area and she told me the lady was a bat-shit crazy, right-wing teabag sort, so that was out of the question. Since Joyce and I are on similar wave lengths I value her opinion.

Then I got this response: “A friend of mine has a small house in Boqueron for rent.  Semi furnished with air condition and nice swimming hole.  He is asking 200.”

Okay, the price works. Not as good as FREE! But certainly well within budget. Interestingly, when I was first looking for a place to live, just after receiving my Pensionado Visa, I was corresponding with someone who had a place to rent in Boqueron. Unfortunately I couldn’t get down here in time and it was rented to someone else. It also appeared, from Google Earth, to be farther away from David than I wanted to be, as well. But I didn’t know better at the time.

I got back to the person who sent me the message and then started to correspond with the owner of the house who lives in Texas. The house was renovated within the last year and the owner was willing to lease it out for six months rather than a whole year. This is perfect since the owners of this house on the hill have asked me if I would do it all over again next year. Since I really like the place there’s nothing I’d rather do.

So, on Monday I took the bus to David and then another out to Boqueron where I saw this:

I would be renting the downstairs. Admittedly it’s going to be a lot different than living here:

But then, again, I went from living on this for three and a half years,

To living on this for the next five years…

And I can’t honestly say that the larger boat was any more fun than the smaller.

Boqueron is a Panamanian community. I will be the only gringo in the neighborhood which is decidedly middle-class Panamanian. Decent houses and the owner of the house says he loves his neighbors. Transportation is much better to Boqueron than it is to Potrerillos which will be a big plus. But Boqueron is closer to La Concepcion than it is to David, so that’s where I’ll be going to do most of my shopping for the next six months. You might remember that I wasn’t at all impressed with the place when I visited it last month. https://oldsalt1942.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/a-quick-look-at-la-concepcion/ And while the saying is true that you never get a second chance to make a first impression I’ve found, over the years, that my first impression of people and places haven’t been all that astute.I’m hoping that’s what will happen with La Concepcion.

We’ll see how it goes and I’ll be putting my impressions in photos and videos right here.

Oh, yes, one thing I’m looking forward to is the swimming hole in the river that passes by just a few steps from my new back door.


Filed under Boqueron Panama, Living Abroad, Retirement Abroad, Uncategorized

2 responses to “A New Place To Live

  1. Cool that you’re renting from someone in Texas. It’s amazing to me how many people here I know who spend part of their time somewhere down there – Panama, Costa Rice, Belize, etc – or who have moved down full time. It sounds like a good deal all the way around.

    I smiled at your comment about solitude. I just was mentioning to someone yesterday that it took a long time for me to figure out that isolation and solitude are two quite different realities. It’s a fact that I’m rarely lonely when I’m by myself. Put me in the middle of a cocktail party and it can be a different thing.

    Love the swimming hole. That may be the best part of the deal.

    The fact that the owner of the house is from Texas wasn’t a positive selling point for me, Linda. No offense, but Texas and the majority of Texans are, in my opinion, a half step below a British soccer hooligan on my list of favorite things. And don’t get me started on the Dallas Cowboys…America’s Team my sagging, 68 year old patoot. (My favorite teams in the NFL? Anyone playing against the Cowboys and the New York Jets)

    Discounting the fact that the two Presidents we’ve had from Texas had a thing about getting young Americans killed in unnecessary overseas conflicts, I do make some exceptions to my antipathy towards the Lone Star State…yourself, the fact that Marcia Ball, a Louisiana girl, lives there, the Texas Tornados and this guy…

    In order to accept solitude one must be comfortable with their own company.

    I think the swimming hole will be a great place in the heat of the summer. Though we are still slightly north of the Equator, the seasons in Panama parallel those of the southern hemisphere, at least in the minds of the Panamanians. Right now, the rainy season, is considered to be winter and January and February are the middle of summer here.

    • No offense taken, re: Texas. Only thing I’d say is that nearly everyone outside Dallas/Ft.Worth hates the Cowboys, too, and the unfortunate truth is that “real Texans” – people with a history and roots here – have pretty much been overrun by pretenders. Get out in the country and there are some fine folk fishing, shrimping, ranching and doing business-in-general. But that’s true anywhere.

      I think the most offensive of all Texans are the ones who moved there (a moment of insanity, perhaps?), bought a pickup truck, a gun rack, a Stetson hat, a pair of Tony Lama’s and the biggest belt buckle they could find.