As much as we’ve been saying that the prices aren’t really that much cheaper here (at least not where we’ve been so far), I now know that it depends on what you are getting, and where you’re getting it.
The other day, Jonathan and I went into town for a few things.
Jonathan needed a USB wireless port for his computer (as his internal wireless just went out). He was also in desperate need of a haircut. (You’ve all seen the pictures; it was getting way too long.)
So, our friend Cora was going that way, and gave us a ride into town, and to the local “computer” store. They didn’t have much there, but they did have what we needed. So, we bought it. It cost $25.00. I know that you can get cheaper ones, and probably better quality ones for less than that in the States, but it works, and we needed it now.
From there, Cora took us to the grocery store, but on the way she pointed out the local market. It’s where the farmer’s take their crops to sell them. She told us that we’d probably find fresher produce there and that it would cost less than buying it at the store.
We love our vegetables, and I was really excited to see what the farmers grew, and get it straight from them. So, we went there first.
At first, I only saw one booth, and thought that it was only one farmer who came to sell his stuff, and if he didn’t have it, then we were out of luck. But, then I turned the corner. The building kept going and going. There were probably 10-15 farmers selling their goods. And they looked fantastic! So, we got what we needed. (Now that we know where the market is, we can get fresh produce whenever we need it.)
Here’s what we got: 1 pineapple, 2 red peppers, 1 kilo of green beans (that’s 2.2 pounds), 1 Mexican squash, 4 limes, 1 eggplant, 2 of the biggest green onions I’ve ever seen, 1 red onion, and ½ a kilo (so, 1 pound) of pure sugar freshly made from sugar cane. All of that cost us $2.50! I used to keep track of the sale papers, and buy red peppers in bulk when they went on sale for $1 each. I don’t know how much they cost here, but I do know where I’m buying my produce from now on.
The best part about the produce – it’s so fresh! It tastes so much better than what we buy in the grocery store. Odds are it was picked that morning, and I got to eat it for dinner that night.
Then it was on to get Jonathan’s haircut. We found the place that Cora recommended. I was a little nervous about how it would turn out, since we don’t know a ton of Spanish yet. But, Jonathan was able to get across the basic idea of what he wanted. (I got to watch – which I love to do. I have some weird fascination watching people get their hair done (and women putting on their makeup). 🙂 Thanks Michelle!)
Jonathan seriously got the best haircut I’ve ever seen him with. Too bad I didn’t take an “after” shot. The barber even took out a straight razor to trim and even-up Jonathan’s side burns, and make sure everything looked perfectly. And it did. How much was this haircut? $2.50! I think that’s about the normal tip amount for a men’s haircut back in Colorado.
Now that our errands were done, it was time to go back home. So, we caught a cab. (We usually take a taxi to and from town. It’s only about a 5 minute drive, but it’s a 45 minute to an hour walk, and we were loaded down with groceries.) How much did our cab ride cost us? $2.50 (including tip)!
Wow…I guess some things really are less expensive in Panama.
Now that you know what we can get for only $2.50, what can you get?