The following two pictures have nothing to do with the rest of the post. I saw both signs on my walk home the other day:

Panama, Funny Signs

Panama, Funny Signs

I know you were wondering how much a blower costs here.

Anyway, the following few paragraphs are about some of the challenges unique to living in an incredibly hot and humid tropical country.

Slow Walking

Picture this: a hairy white guy  in shorts and a tee shirt, arms held out unnaturally far away from his body, walking slowly, as if he’s trying not to wake up his parents after sneaking back into his house after curfew. Mouth open like a panting dog, he’s walking almost comically slowly, yet still sweating profusely from every part of the body that produces sweat. That would be me, every day in Panama City. Within five minutes of leaving the house, any effort I made to look presentable and crisp is erased and replaced by a drooping, stinking zombie. I’m actually usually sweating before I even leave the house. This is particularly challenging for me since I walk quickly even by east coast United States big city standards, so I’m constantly naturally accelerating, then abruptly slowing down, zombie sneak-back-into-the-house walking, then speeding up again on accident. Never has anyone more literally portrayed a “hot mess.”

zombie animated GIF

Credit: Giphy

14 Minute Rainstorms

In the U.S., rainy day typically means rain most of the day. In Panama, it will probably rain at some point every day, 9 months out of the year. Often, it lasts less than half an hour, but God help you if you’re outside during that window. I’ve never seen rain so intense, or rain that begins so abruptly. I was once walking with my umbrella on a partly cloudy day, I felt a single drop of rain and immediately began opening and lifting my umbrella. By the time I got it up and over me, I was practically drenched, like someone had poured a bucket of water on my head. From one drop to drenched in less than 5 seconds. Ridiculous.

Super Molding

Clothes mold here at an alarming and unstoppable rate. If you can get them into the sun every few days, that is ideal. I can’t in my current apartment, so I’ve taken to hanging them outside the closet and blasting them with a fan. Even with these drastic preventative measures, clothes that survived 7 months in a basement closet in Maryland without molding, molded in less than two weeks here. Ridiculous.


Fan Directly in Your Face While Sitting Shirtless, and Perfectly Still 

I work from home most days, in an apartment without air conditioning. Most of the time, the overhead fan/no shirt combo works just fine, but some days the heat is so intense that I end up dragging a fan over to within about four inches of my face. That’s really close, but entirely necessary. After about two and a half total years in Panama, I’m still baffled that I can sit perfectly still, shirtless, in the shade, and still sweat profusely. RIDICULOUS.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s quite literally hot out here for a hairy white guy from the northeast.