On Wednesday I finished the process of registering my motorcycle. It was the WORST part of the whole process.

It’s a good thing I didn’t try and get my “placa” (license plate) Tuesday after the “revisado.” While waiting for my turn to have that done the sky started to seriously cloud up so I thought it would be best to head for home before it started to rain. After about an hour at the house when I went to put the bike away I discovered that the front tire was completely flat! I don’t know what I would have done had that happened in Bugaba. I’ve had a very slow leak in the tire for quite a while and have had to pump it up every couple of weeks as I did before I went over for the revisado. I guess what I have to do now is pump it up and time how long it takes to deflate throughout the day to see if I’ll be able to make it into David to get a new tube put in.

Anyway, I took the bus over to Bugaba Wednesday morning and hiked the couple of blocks from the bus stop to the “Palacio Municipal.” The Town Hall, but I just love it that they call it a “palace.”

There were two windows marked “entrega placa 1 & 2). Two was vacant so I took my papers there. The lady looked at them and said I needed to go pay the cashier first. So I got in that line. I figured it wouldn’t be too bad as I was four places from the window. Well, it took over an hour for my turn to get up!

The guy at the window had multiple transactions and the cashier had to leave her post several times to consult with someone back in the office section, so it took a long time to complete his business. The next two in line didn’t go much faster even though they only had single issues to deal with, so I got in a conversation with the gentleman behind me. He told me he’d spent some time in the States visiting family in Florida, Tennessee and Ohio and that he owned pasture land here in Boquerón with about 60 head of cattle. Of course the whole conversation was entirely in Spanish.

When I finally got to the window I discovered what was making everything so slow. First of all the girl only typed with a single finger on each hand. She’d enter a few letters or digits onto the computer and then it was back space, back space, back space. Horrible. I’ve seen kids on the buses texting away with two fingers on their smart phones at lightning speed. Well, it took the girl at the counter nearly 15 minutes to fill out my bill so I could continue.

I had to wait, again, to get processed because the multiple transaction guy was at the window. But this lady knew what she was doing so it wasn’t an awfully long wait. When I got to dealing with her she said, “This isn’t going to be a really good year for you.” I asked her why. “The color of the placa is really going to clash with you motorcycle,” she said with a laugh. Well, my bike is orange and this year’s license plate and the decal you have to attach to the bike somewhere is an awful puke green. At home I found it really isn’t that bad a color combination.

Thankfully I have a year to recover from this fiasco and psych myself up to do it all over again next July.



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2 responses to “Finalized

  1. We’ve got to renew our car tags so thanks for the heads up to allow plenty of time. But, this is Panama, and one must always allow time for everything. It’s different though when you don’t have to rush back to work, and it’s interesting how you can make new friends just standing in line somewhere.

    How easily the process goes depends on where it’s done. I went with some friends who had to do it a couple of times in Dolega and it was a snap. They seemed to know what they were doing. I told them, the Panamanians, that they should go up to Florida and give the DMV there some lessons.

  2. indacampo

    And I kind of like that green… 🙂

    I created some of it in my early days. Wasn’t in diapers when I did, either.