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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Panama: What I'm Enjoying

I'm enjoying some familiar things in Panama City, Panama. In addition to the wide variety of American restaurant chains (MacDonald's, Burger King, Domino's, Mrs. Fields, Subway, Tony Roma's, Bennigan's, Quizno's, Pizza Hut, KFC) I've been entranced by other changes.

For instance, sidewalks are used here for walking. Not as a restaurant, extension of a store, street stall, living room, patio, or a place to sleep, but for walking. Odd changes in level, unexpected steps, and strange protuberances are marked with yellow paint. It's faded, but it's there.

A building down the street is being painted. Behind the scaffold, a sheet of netting prevents pails of paint from accidentally falling on passersby. The men on the scaffold are attached to it by a safety harnees. "Obviously," I think, "this is a place that has tort law."

The money is the same, which is nice. The driver's use turn signals, which is even nicer.

You can drink the water and flush the toilet paper.

And since I have been here, the electricity has only gone out twice. Although the rains started late, and they've been warning of rolling blackouts.

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