So for all the hype about Boquete, after living here for 2 months, here are my thoughts so far:
- It is now VERY VERY expensive to live here.I’ve been trying to find a place to rent for around $300-400 & I can’t. The only garbage is small tiny cabins or apartments that hold only one room & the kitchen is pretty much non existent.
- People here think you are nuts if you have specific needs for a place to live. They make me feel like I’m asking for the moon because I need Internet (fancy that) & 2 bedrooms, AND a kitchen with counter space & cupboards. HEY, why should you require such a thing in a kitchen???? Kitchens aren’t meant to be cooked in, they are meant for dolls & pretend cooking.One assistant translator I hired moved into a cabin out back with NO kitchen. She was going to wash her dishes in the laundry tub.I’ve come to learn that even when they build BIG houses, they don’t know how to build a kitchen. It’s TERRIBLE.
If you want the kitchen, you will need to find the elusive expensive American style house.
- The kitchens in Boquete are terrible. Even in Arraijan where I used to live they were better, although not by much.Again, no counter space & NO cupboards or drawers, so you once again have to live out of boxes if you do any cooking at all.
- The positive is the cooler weather, but it CAN get really really cold at night so much so that my face & hands turn numb.I did have to buy a housecoat & this was after I gave mine away when I left Canada. What a waste of money.
- I NEVER ever heard from anyone that the winds in Boquete (moreso in Alto Boquete than downtown) were HORRENDOUS.From the moment I got here the wind was SOOOO bad, you’d think there was a Canadian storm brewing outside. The windows & doors were shaking non stop & I’m NOT exaggerating.
- Lightening is a HUGE issue here in Boquete.I just lost my computer from a lightening strike & also lost the modem. This whole incident is costing me over $1,000 now.Two days later I lost the 2nd modem & was devistated. It took Cableonda (the terrible ISP here) 6 days to get me another one.
I was literally suicidal because I could NOT work & thought I was going to be fired. This went on every day me waiting for Cableonda to show up, & me killing myself walking with the laptop. I couldn’t use my phone, nothing. I couldn’t even look for places to live.
I lost more money having to sit in restaurants & order food just so I could use the wifi.
If you have to deal with anyone in the REAL world, they will NOT put up with you losing work because of something that has taken place here in Boquete or Panama.
In the 2 years I lived in Arraijan, I NEVER had lightening strike my computer or modem & there was plenty of storms there.
I was told (I only believe this because it makes sense) that it’s because there are soooo many rocks here, that the ground isn’t porous, & can’t absorb the lightening.
I thought it was only this TERRIBLE house I’m in, but after telling others what happened, I heard almost everyone has lost things like modems, routers, I even talked to one guy who was struck on the arm in his own house.
Is it worth it to live in this area if there is this much stress & the extra cost of having to replace routers, FULL computers, & a loss of work?
- The food here is sometimes double the price than I used to pay for at my fonda (ready made food) in Arraijan.AND the portions are half the size. Instead of getting a 1/4 chicken, they either give me a drumstick, or they cut the thigh in half & charge you for that so you are getting almost all bone & no meat.They serve you one spoon of salad as a portion.
Lasagna is over $3 a piece & sometimes the pieces are tiny.
Fish is over $2/piece.
One of the Sobroson fondas here (although they call it a restaurant) is very greedy. No smiles, no thank you, I can just feel the greed in them every time I buy from them. They have 3 restaurants here & dominate the town.
The other fondas are better in how they treated me, but their portions aren’t large, or the food is either no good.
I walk out paying $20 for food that maybe lasts me 2-3 days.
In Arrijan I could spend $13 & it lasted me 4 days.
- I thought (ignorantly) that the produce here would be sooo much better than in panama city because it’s so close to where all the farms are, but I learned that’s not true.The vegetables are first of all very dirty. Much dirtier than what I used to buy.The quality is much less than what I’m used to.
Garlic (the long big bag of it) is more expensive than what it is in Panama which is $1.25.
Chilantro is outrageously expensive. They do something sooo stupid here.
They put a tiny string around the end of the stalk, & charge you 5 cents per. By the time you get a huge bunch, it’s costing you a fortune, not to mention I have to waste time cutting the little string off of tons of stalks.
I can buy a ton of chilantro in Panama City for $1.25 (NO string). Here I’m lucky if I get half of that for $1 AND the leaves are shorter.
The pineapple here is terrible. I had to throw the one I bought out.
They don’t sell herbs here. I used to buy leaves of aloe for $1. I can’t find it anywhere here. I had to get 3 leaves from a very nice guy’s garden.
- The only benefit to being in Boquete is you are around expats who for the most part speak English & have a brain.There is a large German community here which surprised me.
- You will get overcharged by expats here although they do the same in Panama city, so what else is new. If you want a good place to live, DON’T rent from an expat. They will charge you double the price, although the locals have learned from them & they are trying to do it now too.
- I have been lied to already by a Realtor, & I just talked to another girl yesterday who was also lied to.The house I’m trying to leave is terrible.a) when it rains, water (I don’t mean a little) comes in underneath the doors & rolls under towards my electronics. Even towels were unable to control it.
b) when it rained, it rained into the house from 2 spots in the ceiling.
c) I was told there is Internet here, but there isn’t AND Cabelonda hooked me up KNOWING there was no stable Internet. Someone jimmied the neighbor’s line, & the Internet is terrible. I’ve had nothing but problems for 2 months & it’s gotten worse. Cableonda claims (they could be lying) they asked the neighbor if they could run a new line & the neighbor refused to let them.
As I write this, every 5 minutes the modem reboots. I’ve had Cableonda out here at least 8 times in 2 months. The time in between appointments has grown. Before it was 1 1/2 days. Now it’s upto 5 BLOODY days!!!! And they claim they will be out to your place within 72 hours.
d) the kitchen sink leaks water
e) the gate is so hard to open, that it’s even a struggle for a manf) when it pours rain, the front area fills with water. You have to go around otherwise you will get soaked.
- The roads here are terrible. I’m talking the roads to the houses. Only a few roads are paved & I’m not talking gravel roads.If you don’t have an SUV, GOOD LUCK. You will ruin your car.The road leading upto my house has HUGE rocks jutting out of it. I’ve almost twisted my ankle several times & taxis refuse to take me up to my house.
- I get less exercise here than I did in Panama.
- The air is definitely cleaner than Panama city or Arriajan, BUT the trucks & buses STILL spew toxic diesel fumes.
- It is quieter, but the schools here do this parade thing for like 2 hours straight that drives me batty. They do it every Thursday & Friday.
- They still let their dogs bark here in the middle of the night for hours on end.
- The dogs still lie in the middle of the street & make cars go around them.
- The dogs here are still selfish, just want your food or to be pet & then walk away.
That’s it for now. I’m done my post & I STILL can’t do any work as the modem keeps rebooting. This was after I put in a report that there’s a problem. It got worse, NOT better.