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      The Boquete Feria de Las Flores y del Café   01/12/2017

      The Boquete Feria de Las Flores y del Café begins Thursday, January 12th and runs until Sunday, January 22nd. For those who have not yet seen -- and experienced -- this magnificent fair, you are in for a treat, and some inconveniences. Most importantly, you must see all of the flowers and the tiendas at and around the Fair Grounds here in Boquete.  During these eleven days you also need to be extremely careful, especially while driving and in planning your activities. In recent years there have been well in excess of 100,000 visitors to Boquete. Last year that number was closer to 200,000, and some predictions for 2017's Fair are closer to 300,000 people coming to our area to see the Fair. Traffic congestion will be the norm. Getting seats in restaurants will be difficult at times. Parking spaces will essentially be nonexistent. Buying groceries may be difficult and time consuming. Busses will be parked on the side streets, making driving difficult. There will be lots (as in LOTS) of people walking, standing around the bridge and the Feria and the many tiendas (small shops and stands [kiosks]) while taking pictures, talking, viewing the scenery, etc. Please be extremely attentive while driving, and drive slowly. Some streets will be blocked and require passes to use them. Other streets will simply be blocked based on congestion. Please be careful of your personal items, such as purses and wallets. Having so many people in one area creates a prime target for pickpockets and other maliantes to do their thing. To repeat, most importantly, you must see all of the flowers and the tiendas at and around the Fair Grounds here in Boquete.  Three closing thoughts. First: enjoy. Second: be safe. Third: you might wish to post your pictures, comments, reviews, etc., here on CL (start a topic or reply to an existing topic in http://www.chiriqui.life/forum/118-boquete-feria-de-las-flores-y-del-café/).   To provide general feedback or ask for help regarding Chiriqui.Life, please leave a posting in Problems, Feedback and Suggestions or email support@chiriqui.life or private message to @Admin_01.


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About Bud

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    Bud Huber
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  1. Given all of the postings in this thread, we were concerned about the payment of our garbage bill, but things worked out fine for us. Paid it this morning. It was a sizeable increase, specifically 47.27%. However, this is only approximately $2.00/month, which is very reasonable to our way of thinking. Note that as a resident of El Santuario, we only get garbage service from the city; our water is provided by Acuaducto de Alto Lino, and is paid in April. My 2014 garbage bill was $15.60 My 2015 garbage bill was $23.40 My 2016 garbage bill was $16.50 My 2017 garbage bill was $24.30 (the one paid today) What I don't understand is why the rate goes all over the place. Not complaining, just curious. BTW, there was a lot of keyboard activity on the part of the clerk this morning -- probably close to 3 minutes. And for the first time, I was asked for my cédula, which I provided, and that number is now on my garbage bill. (I've had a cédula for four years now, but it was never requested in prior years.) We were lucky on the timing of our arrival at the Tesoreria this morning, There was only one person in line when we arrived. By the time we left -- total turnaround time was about 5 minutes once she started processing my payment -- there were nine people behind me. Actually there are two lines right now, given large number of people to take care of, but the second computer failed, and so we had to revert to one line. [As a sidebar comment, a friend from the Volcancito area told me yesterday that his garbage bill went up by more than double, to just a bit under $60.00.] The clerk was very professional, and greeted me with a smile, and wished me a good day when I left. Overall, this was a pleasant experience.
  2. Marcelyn and I ate at Restaurante El Viajero this afternoon. It wasn't a planned dining, but just kinda happened that way. Glad that we did it. The food was good, and the service was good. We met the owner, Mattia Bertero. All conversation was in English. Marcelyn had the chicken tacos and I had the special of the day, which was fried chicken with papas fritas. Marcelyn had an Italian red wine, which she said was really spectacular (and was only $3.50 per glass). If you are looking for a new experience, consider trying El Viajero. We likely will put it on our list of good places to go, especially if you want large quantities of good food. Here are pictures of the two plates.
  3. According to our semi-official calendar of significant happenings in Panama, the next school year is scheduled to start on Monday, March 6th, 2017. However, there is a note next to that entry that indicates that the date is not yet confirmed.
  4. Yes, it is new policy, at least for our household. Here are the stats. My first driver license was issued in April 2005, and expired on August 31, 2009 (which is the last day of my birth month). My second driver license was issued in August 2009 and expired on August 31, 2013 (which is the last day of my birth month). My third (current) driver license was issued in August 2013, and expires on August 31, 2017 (which is the last day of my birth month). Marcelyn's first driver license was issued in August 2013, and expired on January 31, 2015 (which is the last day of her birth month). Marcelyn's second driver license was issued in January 2015, and set to expire on January 31, 2017 (which is the last day of her birth month). Marcelyn's third (current) driver license was issued in January 2017, and is set to expire on January 14, 2019. This is the license that was renewed a couple of days ago. Can you see the pattern here? That pattern has now changed. It appears that the law or policy changed sometime after April 2015 and before June 2016. The only thing that makes sense to me is that you can renew your driver license in the month prior to your birth month.
  5. Maybe we are misunderstanding how things work regarding license expiration, but it seems as if there is an issue here. Maybe someone can clarify. If a driver license now expires on the day that your renewal is processed then what happens in the renewal month a few years down the road (pardon the play on words)? Suppose Marcelyn is traveling during the month and can't get to SERTRACEN until after her license has expired, even if it is prior to her birthday? My interpretation is that she would be driving without a valid license. Going a little bit to the extreme, suppose someone is born early in the month and they have only a few days to renew before expiration? It is our understanding that you cannot renew in the month prior, so it seems to be a catch-22 situation. Actually, we have a niece who was born on January 1st. Seems like she would be in hot water if she lived in Panama. There is no way she could renew in a timely manner. Where is the fault in our logic?
  6. Joe, Your posting was very informative. Thanks for taking the time to respond to the question. Let's hope that the upcoming Poker Run is a rip roaring success because the proceeds will be used for a worthwhile cause. For those who were not able to participate in the pre-Christmas party that you mentioned, you can see our posting about that event at:
  7. Sounds more hyped than International Living. Each of us gets to decide our priorities.
  8. The compass direction (in this instance more correctly stated as directionS, plural) that the Pan-American Hwy takes depends on one's location. Parts of the highway are east-west, some north-south, etc. In the particular area where this accident happened it is more east-northeast to west-southwest (or the inverse, depending on your direction of travel).
  9. While in David running errands, we filled up with diesel, only to discover (after the fact) that the advertised price for diesel on the large street-side sign was not the same price as that on the pump itself. I'll give you 20 guesses as to which price was the higher, and the first 19 answers don't count. The street-side sign said 64.2/liter. The pump was set at 64.7/liter. Is this a fairly common occurrence? In my years here this is the first time it has happened to me (at least that I am aware of). No, I did not discuss this matter with the station attendant. We were in a hurry. I suspect ACODECO is the appropriate agency with which to discuss this matter, assuming I want to spend some time doing it. Doubt that I will do that given prior experiences there.
  10. Marcelyn and I were in David today for errands. On our exit we saw and got tangled up with a very strange accident. This was about 1:30PM and was at the intersection on the Pan-American Hwy where Hospital Mae Lewis and the restaurant Smokin Mama's are located. The southbound traffic was totally stopped, The northbound traffic was squeaking by under the guidance of several policemen. I say it was a strange accident because it appears that a power pole fell from a truck onto the roadway. The intersection was totally blocked. There did not appear to be any injured person, just a lot of traffic blockage on the roadway. After we were able to go around the blockage, the southbound lane was totally stopped all the way to the new McDonald's next to La Casa de Batterias. I am sure those people were very distressed.
  11. Marcelyn and I returned to Panama from international travel within this past week. On this entry we were NOT fingerprinted, but both of us were photographed. As in the recent past, the lines at immigration have been changed so that there now are three (actually, four) lines: returning Panamanian citizens returning Panamanian legal residents tourists diplomats and flight crew The immigration line reconfiguration actually works to our benefit because groups 1 and 3 were the longest. There were exactly zero in line for group 2, and so we were through immigration in less than five minutes. Fingerprinting or not is perhaps a changing policy based on their experience and results. BTW, the immigration officer (a lady) was very pleasant, had a warm and engaging smile on her face, and ended our interaction with "welcome home" (in English). We said "gracias, muchas gracias."
  12. I am not aware of any change in the fees for foundations for 2017. FYI, the fee is officially called "Tasa Unica". I pay our Tasa Unica myself with no assistance by a CPA or attorney, etc. Just fill out the form and pay it at any Banco Nacional branch office. You may also wish to check out another related topic here on CL at:
  13. That is one heck of a beautiful skyline shot of PC at dusk. Strongly suspect that Photoshop had something to do with it, but it still is very enticing.
  14. Thanks, Keith. I am delaying the payment of our 2017 municipal garbage bill until after reading what the "official" rates are. Please post here as soon as there is something to report. Our water bill is not through the city, but rather Acuaducto de Alto Lino, and so I am now curious what will happen there. I'm considering asking for a copy in writing of their billing rate table.
  15. Bonnie, You are a good friend, and I am very happy for you as I read that you now have your electrical service back again, even if somewhat inconsistently. However, there is little sympathy on my part, given that we are going into DAY FOUR without service and still counting. In the interest of fairness, I do understand that there are a lot of people without service and that they have to set priorities. Recall that I first came here in 2001. Our home is in El Santuario. My prior outage record was 3.5 days. Before that there several two and three day outages. That is why we have a generator so that we don't keep loosing our frozen foods and being without communications. A new record is being set; I wonder what the number will end up being! Our current service interruption started last Sunday afternoon. I have been calling Union Fenosa multiple times daily, and have yet to talk with a customer service rep (CSR) who I felt was well trained, or even somewhat compassionate. I get the feeling the CSRs want me to apologize for disturbing them. It was only yesterday afternoon that I was finally able to get them to issue a ticket number for my trouble call. My Spanish is not that good, but I suspect some of the CSR responses were worse than rude (giving them the benefit of the uncertainty). When I ask them to speak more slowly (despacio o lentamente, por favor), they only speak more rapidly or repeatedly respond with 'no inglés', even though I was speaking [admittedly not good] Spanish. What has anyone learned from this recent/ongoing experience? Why is undergrowth in close proximity to the power lines not routinely cleared away? This scenario will surely be repeated at the next bad weather cycle. And so I echo your sentiments -- let the fines begin.