On Monday, I walked to the lawyer’s office to fill out paperwork and start the visa process.Her office is only three blocks from my hotel. That was fine – but then she sent me to get photos taken for various official documents (inside Arrocha, a pharmacy that’s like Walgreen’s or CVS). Go straight for two blocks, turn left, go one block, stop at the Subway restaurant and look up to see the Hyatt hotel. The place where you get your pictures taken is across the street.
However, the street became a “Y” intersection after one block. Do I go left or right? I can’t go straight for two blocks. So I picked one and walked for awhile. Did I mention it was about 11 a.m. and the temp was 85° and 1000% humidity?
So I walked some more and asked someone for directions to Arrocha. Got closer, asked someone else. Found it! I had walked past the street I should have turned on, and went several blocks out of my way.
By then I was so hot, my face was beet red, and my hair looked like I had just stepped out of the shower. I sat in a chair near the pharmacy counter and fanned myself furiously in an attempt to dry my hair and cool off (fortunately, it was nicely air conditioned in the store). After about 15 minutes, I felt like I wouldn’t frighten people with my appearance, and stood in line for the photos. It still didn’t look good, but it was better than it would have been 15 minutes earlier!
And then I had to make my way back to the hotel. I was completely turned around, and would have taken off in a totally wrong direction if it hadn’t been for a nice lady who gave me instructions in English and let me walk with her to the building down the street, where she worked. I asked one more person for directions after I left her, and that finally got me close enough to the hotel that I recognized some landmarks.
Day one… check!
On a side note – there was a 4.9 magnitude earthquake about 85 miles northeast of Panama City on Monday afternoon. I happened to be sitting quietly in my room, and felt the building shake pretty sharply. Some things aren’t much different from Oklahoma! 🙂