You Can’t Always Get What You Want

But you can get what you need – in Chiriquí.

Moving anywhere with almost nothing is difficult even in the best situations. However, most people move from places like Atlanta to Louisville. That gives them plenty of options where to find a mixer, sheets, TV cables or a pair of boots. Moving to Boquete is not that simple. The first places new Chiriquians head is David where they have familiar looking department, wholesale and hardware stores. We got some new household appliances there within a week of moving to Boquete. But it is too time consuming to travel 45 minutes (each way) to David for day to day items. I don’t know how long it will take before we are familiar with what’s in Boquete stores, but we are learning more all the time.

You will have no idea what a store in Boquete actually carries until you go inside.

Ivan's in Alto Dorado

Ivan’s in Alto Dorado

For example, Ivan’s looks like a grocery store but it’s also one of the best stocked place for tools and hardware. Ivan has a better selection of wood but Alto Dorado hardware cuts the wood for you. Mandarin also looks like it’s only a small market but they probably have what you’re looking for in housewares. They also make keys. Unfortunately we did not find out that valuable piece of information until we had visited three stores all the way down in David. La Reyna appears to be a clothing store, but walk to the back and there’s luggage and blenders. Pet stores are also garden and feed stores. Many homeowners sell plants.

One great place to find stuff are the frequent ‘garage’ sales and flea markets. Expats come and go or move to other homes and want to get rid of stuff quickly. That doesn’t mean you’re going to get bargain basement prices but it can save you a lot of money. Sometimes goods are given to one of the local charitable organizations who sell the items to fund their projects. That’s how we just got a much needed dehumidifier.

Vegetables, fruit and fish are frequently bought from the back of a truck or at the Tuesday Market.

We had great success with decorating the bedroom – once we figured out where things are. Foam was found at the leather shop and cut to size with a machete. Fabric for the curtains was found at our fabric store in town. The woman at the store actually helps you. We found great stuff for $1.75 yd. The final decorating story once the room is finished sometime next week.

living in Panama


3 thoughts on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want

  1. This is all great stuff, the kind of information that one needs to know as they contemplate this (what looks to be) giant leap of faith 🙂 Thanks for continuing to share your fabulous journey.

  2. Yep, sometimes you find things in the most unexpected places. I wish I had taken a photo of the guy cutting the foam with a machete! I’m looking forward to pics of your bedroom when you get it finished.

  3. I also learned this morning that you must check that they give you what you ordered. I ordered 3 yards of fabric but I only got a little over two. I hope they have more when I get there on Wednesday. I can’t do the last window as I am about 1 foot short. grrrrrr

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