Quirky Design


The nice couple I bought my car from picked me up this morning, and we drove to David to change the registration of the car into my name at the Panamanian equivalent of the DMV. After filling out forms, going to one window to do one thing and another window to do something else, then upstairs to do another thing, the car was officially mine!

They were closing for lunch before we finished the last bit of paperwork, so we all went out to lunch until they reopened at 1 p.m. to finish up. We ate at a little cafeteria they had eaten at before, and the food was very good. I had rice with chicken, a grilled chicken breast quarter, and some veggies. Since they had driven quite a bit (twice) in order to sell this car to me, I gladly paid for their lunch.

Since I took their car from them about a month before they were moving back to the US, they were going to ride the bus back to Volcán, where they live. So the husband drove to the bus station, since I didn’t want to drive on the busy streets of David unless I had to. Then they got out and I jumped into the driver’s seat to head back toward Boquete.

There’s an app called Waze that’s very helpful in getting around when you don’t really know where you’re going. I had it on my phone, but had never used it. It’s a GPS-based turn-by-turn navigation app with voice instructions that’s apparently widely used here. I understand it functions in the US too, but had never heard of it until I came here last February.

Using Waze,I had no trouble finding my way out of David and onto the highway leading to Boquete. It was a pleasant drive, and I was careful to stay under the speed limit. I had no intention of getting a ticket on my first day of driving this car!

On the way home, I stopped at the insurance company that’s just outside of Boquete. Everyone recommends this particular agent, and it took very little time to get my insurance written up. I think that’s the last bit of “official” business I need to take care of for awhile.

I almost forgot – the quirkiest thing about this car is the location of the gear shift. It’s not in the console, and not on the steering column. It’s on the dashboard! To take it out of park, you push the handle to the left, then down into gear. And the emergency brake is below it, also on the side of the center section of the dash. What were the designers thinking??? Oh, well – quirky is cute, and gives the car a little extra personality!

The PRNDL on the dashboard.

3 comments… add one
  • Barb Aug 28, 2018 Link Reply

    Of course, this gear shift is designed for nearsighted drivers.

  • William Eudy (email ) Aug 28, 2018 Link Reply

    We had some rental cars in France that had stick shifts in their dash-boards

  • Tina Hayden Aug 29, 2018 Link Reply

    Love it!

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