Here’s another one of those events that make me love living here in small-town Panama.
My new digs are right on the main road in Boquerón, and the buses pass by no more than 25 feet from my front door. I enjoy sitting out on the porch with my computer and watch the passing parade. Often the bus drivers will honk as they pass by or wave at me. Buses will pick you up anywhere along their route. You don’t have to go to a designated “Bus Stop.” They’ll stop for me right outside me door and then go forty or fifty feet and pick someone else up. And this service is just for a 60¢ fare!
Getting off, though, has been a bit different. So far no matter what I’ve said I’ve been dropped off at “el parque” (the park) which is sort of a designated stopping point as is “el chino,” the Chinese-run equivalent of a 7/11 here. It’s okay since it’s only a half a block from my house. Today was a bit different. I’d gone into David to try and see a doctor about a dermitalogical problem I’m having with my left foot and ankle – think Elephant Man. The doctor wasn’t in. He comes out from Panamá and is usually here on Saturday, but not today.
But that’s not what I want to talk about. I waited for a while to catch the bus back home and as we were getting close I told the “Pavo” (literally “turkey” but that’s what they call the kid who handles the fare at the door) “el parque” but without saying anything the bus stopped across from my front door. The driver looked up at me in his rear-view mirror and raised his eyebrows questioningly as if to say, “it’s your house, right?”
I told him “muchas gracias, señor,” of course, twice, and again marveled at the wonderful service they give me for a 60¢ fare!