Jack and I were driving home yesterday, chatting away in the car. I was driving and in Jack’s eyes I’m a senior citizen driver because I actually almost stop at stop signs (Alto) and wait for a car-sized opening before merging into traffic. All things that 18-year-olds in Panama think are signs of personal deterioration and poor driving skills.

We were talking about driving in Panama, how motorcycles seem to love your blind spot, how our neighborhood roads are a Swiss cheese of potholes.

Some of the potholes have been filled with rocks, sand, even clothes over recent months. But in the last week or so, someone has put concrete into a couple of the holes. We think it’s a shopkeeper who has done the ones in front of the little strip mall nearest to our house. But one of two potholes (a little bigger than the size of an entire car tire) on a nearby road has been filled also. Of course, the one directly across the road from it wasn’t filled. Is this government pothole filling or frustrated citizens who’ve repaired their cars too often? How does Panama fit into the old adage of the politics of potholes.

We had almost reached home when a coati ran across the road. He looked healthy and like he had been eating well in the neighborhood.

It reminded me to look for the crocodile who lives somewhere near the bridge. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen him.

And it struck me that this had all become almost normal.



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