So David Berry in Panama was recommended to me by another expat in Panama
This person first appeared to be nice, but later on I realized he was just a judgmental control freak named Scott. Scott lives in Boquete with his mother & aunt.
Here’s the story:
I had to go out of the country for an appointment, but first I had to stay one night in Panama city to do some shopping & make sure I got to my flight on time, as nothing in Panama ever works on time.
I needed someone to hold onto some items (just grocery stuff & Kleenex) I purchased just before I flew out, as I was going to be back in 3 days, & I wouldn’t have time when I returned to do the shopping before I had to fly back to David.
David Berry from the States (Texas if memory serves me) was recommended.
I arranged things with David before leaving Boquete & he answered his phone almost every time I called him. I was going to stay at a different hotel, but when he recommended a hotel that was close to him, I jumped at the chance, as the price was cheap & it would be much easier to deal with taxi rides. He was staying at the Hotel Latina in Caledonia, the hotel he recommended was across the street. I can’t remember the name & of course I had to pay cash, so I don’t have a record.
After I did my errands, I had arranged to meet him for dinner. I asked him if he wanted to get together for dinner & I had told him what my budget was.
After a long conversation where I learned his parents were pastors & sometimes came to Panama to do missionary work, I also learned that David had lived in David, Chriqui for 5 years until recently moving to Panama city.
Prior to going to dinner, David proceeded to flaunt how he was making a fortune (over $1k per week) doing construction work in Panama.
The dinner came to a close & the check arrived.
I looked at the bill & told David I was going to put my half on my credit card.
The next thing I know David is telling me he has NO MONEY. He thought I was paying because I invited him out for dinner.
I’m like WTF???? LOL, are you crazy?
Now I was REALLY upset. I was on a tight budget, I’m sure I mentioned my financial constraints during our conversation & he thinks I’m going to fork over his share which came to $33 & change on a dinner to celebrate him???? What does he think, that I’m a sugar mamma?
AND he has a girlfriend.
Call me old fashioned, but I still believe the man should pay for the meal. Any time I’ve paid it’s always been because the man was too cheap or was using me for my money (I used to have money back in the day.)
David said he wasn’t getting paid until Friday, so he would meet me at the airport when my flight from Miami touched down & give me the money & the things I bought at that time.
We went back to my hotel where he dropped me off. The hotel was terrible. While it was clean only because it was new, it:
- didn’t have hot water like he said, it was tepid at best & so I never took a shower
- it was VERY noisy until after 1 am. I could hear people at the front desk talking, people walking up & down the halls, etc.
- the mattress was soooo hard, my entire body was stiff as a board when I finally woke up
David appeared very nice & takes me to the airport which in the end was a gawd sent because my suitcase was so heavy I never would have been able to lug it up & down the stairs as I was taking the bus.
I had already paid for the taxi ride (in Panama you pay per person), & since he helped me, I also paid for breakfast. Since he didn’t know of any good breakfast places, he told me the one at the airport was good.
In the end not only was it TERRIBLE, the food was VERY expensive, so I ended up paying over $20. To you this may seem like peanuts, but in Panama it’s a lot.
I return back to Panama 3 days later & David is NOWHERE to be found at the airport.
I’m wondering around the airport & calling him over & over again & all it does it go straight to his voice mail, so I’m paying for every minute I have to leave a message.
Finally I get that something is wrong & being the trusting person I am, I assume something happened to him.
I have to make my way by myself to the bus area, but because I’m SOOOOO exhausted, I give up trying to lug my luggage miles away & I negotiate with the taxi driver who takes me to the Air Panama airport which is where my David flight flies out from.
I’m now FURIOUS that the $120 worth of groceries I had purchased 3 days earlier are NOT in my possession. I had been waiting months for those items as you can’t get them in Boquete or David.
I try David again while I’m waiting at the Air Panama airport & he FINALLY answers & gives me some bullshit story about how his boss made him go to David for a job. Did he call me to tell me this? Of course NOT!
Panama attracts asshole expats. The odd expat is nice, honest & ethical, but those are the exceptions to the rule because most expats who are honest & ethical can’t stand Panamanians & have to leave.
Expats who are liars, scammers & overall scum feel right at home in Panama.
So David tells me he will ship the items to Boquete for me which would cost him $4. He said he will ship me the $33 he owes me for the dinner too.
Well you guessed it, after trying to get him to send me my things for over 3 months, I FINALLY gave up.
I had Scott get into this & Scott claims that David wasn’t the UPSTANDING citizen he thought he was, that David’s ex girlfriend now tells Scott what David is REALLY like.
David is broke & has been for months, Scott claims he even gave David $20 to help him.
David is soooo broke, that the hotel locked him out of his room & my things were IN the room, so there would never be a chance in hell of me getting my things.
I still clung to hope that I would get my stuff back, but of course I never did & for the FIRST time since living in Panama I got ripped off by an expat.
This is just one example of expats ripping off other expats, although technically I did get ripped off by the expat who rented me my first room when I got to Panama, but in that case I knew full well how much I was paying in advance, I just didn’t know I was OVERPAYING.
Don’t assume expats are your friends. Many of them will treat you like gold when you come to Panama & then rip you off in some way. They do this because they know you are alone & don’t know anyone.