May 17th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Panama Day!

Shopping day.  Panama day – with any l;uck our last Panama Day… in the city anyway.  An early start, up at the crack of dawn (6) + over to take the 7.30 ferry.  Once there we split up, Jack to see to his purchases, the rest of us to see to ours.  The Post Office + bank first, + then I strolled over to the travel agency in the YMCA, to check out flights on from Tahiti.  Needless to say, they were ridiculously expensive, + Jack + Alma seem to think we only have to put up $600 apiece as our bond for leaving, so we left it (+ may live to regret it.)  We then caught a taxi to visit a friend of Alma’s, Anita, a writer + painter, in an apartment overlooking the ocean.  She was very nice, made us coffee, drove us to the supermarket, + arranged to meet us for lunch.  Then a swift dash around the shelves – tho’ we didn’t load up nearly as much as I thought we would – no more than I’ve seen plenty of the farmers’ wives shove into their baskets at Norman’s.  The biggest pain was getting a taxi afterwards – the crop was scarce + the competition fierce.  However, we managed it in the end, + then had to guide our driver to our destinations: first, a Chinese fruit + veg market, + then to the Yacht Club.  First real work of the day – lugging all the boxes ‘n bags down the stairs.  A leisurely couple of hours then, before lunch – Val + I had leathery hamburgers + tough chips.  J + A had arranged for a friend of theirs to come by + pick us all up, so, when it looked as tho’ he wasn’t coming (+ after work 2 – lugging all the stuff back up again) we persuaded some delivery guys with a van to deliver us + groceries to the pier.  Jack then shot off again to buy some ice (meanwhile, work 3 – groceries onto ferry) + while he was away, friend turned up – with ice.  It was starting to look as if Jack would miss the ferry too, but he turned up in the end, in the nick of time.  A hectic, busy day, + by the time we were all on board the “Alma” once again – it took 3 dinghy trips to ferry everything across – we were all shattered.

All a bit procedural, running through chores.  But there does at least seem to be a sense of urgency, a feeling that we will soon be on our way… again.

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