How to adopt the “Tranquillo” state of mind…



Where to begin? Lets see, yesterday , Monday , went by so fast. We finally got a phone call from good ol’ Oscar at the Toyota dealership , apparently he never received the email we had sent him on Friday letting him know we would like to purchase a truck. He called to let us know that there was an additional “special” on the truck so he suggested we might want to come see him, finally , he begins to act like a proper “salesmen” ! Ha! We informed him that we had already planned to set out for David and he said he was looking forward to seeing us at about 11:00. We decided to skip our walk into town and called Carlos, our friendly taxi driver, for a ride. After a satisfying breakfast and a good cup of Boquete coffee, at Central Park Cafe we got on the bus to David.

The car buying process, although I may say it was quite a smooth process, it was a very LONG one. Now I need to preface this description of our experience by telling you that from all the well received advice we have previously gotten from many very experienced and helpful expats living here in Panama, we had already adopted the “Tranquillo” mindset! And in addition to the mindset, we have taken advice from many who remind us to….”BREATHE’. Things here are done ‘very’ differently and if you go into a transaction with a Panamanian with a relaxed attitude and don’t expect it to be anything even remotely like an experience you are accustomed to in North America, you will fit right in here and you will find happiness ( well at least much less frustration) . So , our mantra as we entered the Toyota Dealership in David yesterday was…”Tranquillo, Tranquillo, Tranquillo, and BRRRRREATHE” AHHHHHH! We entered the dealership at 11:00 and left at 4:00 with a brand new car to be delivered from PC on Saturday….we will not count on Saturday, we will continue to breathe and feel lucky to get it in the next couple of weeks, we shall see. Although, to give Oscar credit, he was very kind and has obviously worked with many expats so he said , with much honesty, “I will call you when I know for SURE when the car will arrive, I know how you North Americans are about that kind of thing!” LOL! He is such a great guy and many people we have talked to had recommended we work with him, like I said before, he was a wealth of information. The first time we met with him he told us as we were leaving his office to please call him if we needed any advice or help with anything at all, Doctor,Dentist, Lawyer, anything at all. I swear, people have been so nice to us, it’s very heartwarming.

This whole, Tranquillo experience took about 5 hours but not all that time was spent in the dealership. There was a 1 1/2 hour lunch break which we made very good use of. We called our knew friends Kris and Joel who live in David. This is another set of Virtual friends who are Actual friends now! Again, I gotta say, it’s been such a pleasure to finally meet all these wonderful bloggers/expats who I have been joyously corresponding with for this past year during our preparations for this move. When I called Kris and told her we were in town she and Joel said “We live really close to where you are, we’ll be right there!” We arranged to meet them at this restaurant right next door to the dealership and we had a delightful lunch with them. Such a great couple! Of course, I already knew that from following both of their blogs. But you never “really” know until you meet someone in person and as I suspected, they were the “real deal”! I’m certain we have some more get togethers in our future. Kris and Joel moved here from Florida a little less than a year ago and are absolutely loving their new home. They recently took a trip to visit their two daughters ,one in Santa Rosa, CA, and they told us about the culture shock of being back in the States. One of the things that really stood out for them was the prices of groceries in the markets. They couldn’t believe how expensive it was for food for a week. Yes, they know they have made the right choice moving to Panama, to say they are in love with their new home would be an understatement! They are beyond happy to be living in such a welcoming, affordable , beautiful place such a Panama.

So we have our first car purchase here in Panama done . Da! Da! Da! (that was suspenseful music!) We have been watching the real estate market here in Boquete for sometime now online. As usual, we have already done a lot of research and we think we understand how the whole real estate thing works here. Of course, it’s nothing like we are accustomed to in the States and our new Tranquillo mindset will again come in very handy during this process. We are in no hurry but have already gone out with Lynn (the eco/jungle lodge owner/handmade soap maker/hairdresser/amazing realtor) to see some lots. She seems to have many good contacts and is in the “know” about what’s what here in the real estate scene. We are in good hands and have very high hopes about finding something just right for our next big Adventure, building a house in Panama! Stay tuned , this next part should get pretty exciting! Cheers! (QUE the suspenseful music agin) DA!DA!DA!

About hollycarter184

Life is Good! But it's time for a change, and more adventure! I'd like to share the whole experience of preparing then actually making a reality of expatriating, and moving to a new country. It's an exciting, and slightly scary move full of possibility . I'm looking forward to learning a new language and making new connections with the people who share our spirit of adventure. This blog is my way of continuing my connection with my friends and family in the States. Sooooo here it goes! :)

7 responses »

  1. Congratulations on your new truck. I love my Tacoma, and I think you got an excellent price. I’m just back in Abiquiu from visiting Katie in Austin (the original home, by the way, of Chicken Shit Bingo). Nice place, but too much action for my old blood. Good to be back in mañana land.

  2. Congrats on your new truck. Thank you for sharing your experience, my husband and I just talked to day about what we will do for a vehicle. Your story gave me some insight of cost too. I’m looking forward to your next post.

  3. Just curious. How does one go about PAYING for a vehicle, assuming one doesn’t have a local bank account (which it sounds like no one has…)? Cash? But who has thousands of dollars hanging around for a possible car purchase? Personal check, bank check? I find it hard to believe anyone would accept such a large sum drawn on a foreign account. Would love to know how you managed this.

    • Well, you go to the ATM Alot!! Just kidding, It really depends on who you buy the car from. And I imagine buying brand new is easier than used. We were dealing with the Toyota dealership and they seemed to have a connection with Citibank so we wrote a check . We also could have wired money from our U.S. bank but it would have taken longer to clear for some reason. We thought a check would take longer but, who knows. Mind you, we dont have our car yet. It’s suppose to be here by friday or saturday but we shall see. Tranquillo, remember? LOL! Cheers! I hope this answers your question, and please keep in mind this is just our experience and we are newbies here so, I’m just sharing my very limited experience.

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