Yesterday (Monday), after Scott got done with school, we drove down to David to get the inspection done on my car. When we bought the FJ it still had a couple months left on the registration. So this is the month it will expire and it was time to take care of it. For those of you who don’t live here and don’t know, there’s no convenient notice that you receive in the mail reminding you that it’s time to register your vehicle. No, theres no DMV , you cant just get online and give them your credit card number and then wait a week to receive the new registration sticker in the mail. Here in Panama you must take your vehicle to a mechanic or some other place, like a tire store (where Keith recommended we go), and they check your car, I’m not clear on exactly ‘what’ they are ‘checking’ but they put my car up on the ‘lift thingy’ (as you can tell, I’m not exactly in the “know” in terms of car ‘stuff, but I’m doing my best to explain what goes on here so please forgive my girly explanation) and then they look real carefully at ,who knows what, and take a few photos. Then they gave us a paper that we will hand over to Keith, who will kindly be walking us through this next step in the procedure since it’s our first time. I’m sure there will be plenty of other times in the future and I may even figure out exactly what the heck is going on, but until then I’m just observing all the shenanigans and taking notes for when we’re on our own. Keith emailed us the long list of documents he would need for the next step,( 3 copies of passport 3 copies of insurance 3 copies of title
original Revisado plus 6 copies) When we met up with Keith he informed us that the next step of this registration process takes place in Panama City and that it will take about 3-4 weeks. He’s taking care of this part and then we’ll be receiving a shiny, (well probably not too shiny) new license plate. I’m not sure how often this procedure takes place, maybe every year, and next time we’ll be on our own, but I think this next time we will be getting the new registration done in Dolega which is nearby. Because we bought the car from someone who lived in PC the current registration was there, Keith is transferring it to Dolega and next time that’s where we’ll be going for another shiny new license plate. In the states you only get a new little sticker but here, I think they give you a new license plate each time you register your vehicle.
We knew before going to the tire shop that the FJ was in need of new tires,(we bought it used , it’s a 2010 and we had planned on replacing the tires). So we decided to get a quote on the price of replacing all four tires since we were at a tire store, what the heck, right? Well, we were in luck, they were able to replace the tires at the same time as the registration inspection and it turned out that we also needed new front end break pads. So we arrived at the tire store at about 11:00 and finished at about 3:30. While they were working on the car we took a walk to the Hospital where Scott had his surgery because he was suppose to make an appointment for his final check up on his progress after his hernia surgery. Since we hadn’t been able to get through by phone we figured, what the heck, we have time, we’ll just take a walk and make an appointment. Scott was thrilled to feel well enough to take a walk, but I gotta admit, I was farrrr from being ‘thrilled’ to take a walk given the fact that I hadn’t anticipated walking and had on “pretty” shoes, not ‘walking’ shoes (eye roll here!). Here’s where I will commence with the whining and complaining,(ooops, sorry, I had a temporary lapse of “Tranquilo”) It was HOT, and if you haven’t noticed, I have a lot of hair, and I hadn’t put it up, like I do when I’m expecting to go on a long hot walk. And Those darn “pretty” shoes I mentioned……Ouch! They hurt my feet! Grrrrrrrr! And we really should have brought water! Anyways, the only reason I quietly put up with this walk(yes, I kept all that bitching and moaning mostly to myself) is because I knew how happy Scott was to be out walking around instead of sitting on his butt like he’s had to do for the last month. After successfully setting up an appointment for the next day,(Tuesday), we then proceeded to walk to a BBQ restaurant we had walked past on our way to the hospital, we were ready to enjoy a relaxing lunch… ‘someone’, really needed a glass of wine! But of course, the restaurant was not opened(do I get an eye roll here?) . So we saw in the distance, a restaurant that said, Pizzeria. After entering this restaurant we were told that they only serve Pizza after 3:00, it was only 12:00. We were hot and tired and thirsty so we settled for the tipico lunch and nope they had no wine or beer,Grrrrrr. We had ice tea (no ice!). Let me mention here that I noticed the two very pretty Panamanian women who came in after us (the only other customers in the restaurant) got copious amounts of ice in their ice tea! Grrrrr! But, I was begining to reestablish my “Tranquillo” so I just took a deep breath and drank my not so iced, iced tea. 🙂
Following our Almuerzo we hoofed it back to the tire shop and waited about 45 minutes more. All in all, I felt like we had a really productive afternoon, in spite of my sore feet and warm iced tea. Ha!Ha! Now that the car is taken care of the next big thing on our list of important documents to acquire is our residency Visa. We already got our fingerprints back from the FBI background check, and it turns out , we’re both on the up and up. So the next step is to get the State Department in DC to authenticate it and then send it back to us. Of course, the U.S. government is not exactly working at the moment so who knows how long they will be sitting there? And we thought that the Panamanian bureaucracy was bad (eye roll here!). Given the fact that our residency will most likely not be a done deal before this next month, our next three months is coming up and you know what that means…..another border run!! Nooooo! Maybe we should just plan a little vacation? We’ll see. With our School commitment it’s not too easy for us to get away. I think we’ll just keep our fingers crosses that maybe, just maybe a miracle will happen and our visa will suddenly be ready….Insert Crazy Laugh here! Nope, sigh, not gonna happen. Oh well, I think I’ll get back to watching all my hummers fight over the feeder as the rain falls and the mists roll in. The adventure just continues. (P.S. for those of you who are curious, we got Firestone tires for the FJ Cruiser and they cost $160.00 each)