Multiple post carnival hangovers
By the time you read this the party will be just about over, and large parts of Panama’s population will be walking around with a bunch ...
By the time you read this the party will be just about over, and large parts of Panama’s population will be walking around with a bunch of headaches. the first, based on over indulgence and lack of sleep will pass in a relatively short time, and may be helped on its way with a hair or two of the dog. That’s good news for the beer and seco makers.
Other headaches make take longer to cure, and some will be incurable. There will be visits by some to specialists in STD’s (sexually transmitted diseases), while others will end up later in the year, in a maternity ward. But all of the above will likely be afflicted with CCB (Credit Card Blues). As Chiriqui entrepreneur Sam Taliefiero recently said on his Panama Investor blog: “To a Panamanian, nothing is more important than a holiday and the biggest holiday is the carnival which comes each February. The entire country basically shuts down for a week long party.”
Cynics like to say there’s no such thing as a free lunch. For most carnival revellers there’s no such thing as a free party, and when the time comes to tot up the cost of the bachanalian celebration, lots of the country’s lower paid workers will be in for a shock.
As Sam so rightly says.” Unfortunately, the banks offering credit cards to anyone with a job coupled with the lack of financial education, quickly get people in debt beyond their capacity to pay it back.” This has special significance this year with unemployment clouds on the horizon. As the construction industry slows down, and those with jobs tighten their purse strings the clouds will get darker, and unless there is a massive increase in tourism, the lay offs could spread into other sectors.
TOURISM HOPES. Panama city’s long annual shortage of hotel rooms is likely to be solved in the very near future, as new buildings are sprouting across the city. Declining tourist traffic, could mean that for the first time in many years there will be a surplus of rooms and the astronomic prices will begin to fall.
CAMPAIGN QUOTES. Surveying the presidential election campaign from the sidelines, it would seem that Ricardo Martinelli leads in the quality of campaign slogans and commercial jingles. There is often a helping of veracity in some of his messages like going into politics with empty pockets and coming out a millionaire. The lead in the advertising field has translated to a lead in the polls.
This weekend, Balbina Hererra grabbed most of the headlines the hard way, when she was struck by a loaded beer can, hopefully not purchased from 99. She received a bunch of stitches to repair the wound, but the incident is not likely to translate into sympathy votes.
MISSION COMPLETED. The Canadian Global Vision team, led by former Canadian legislator Terry Clifford is safely back home after a stop over in Costa Rica where an agreement was signed with the government to set up a Vision branch in San Jose. Hopefully, when he returns later in the year, a similar agreement will be completed here with Panama becoming the Global Vision hub for the region.
LINING UP. While he was touring Panama, Terry paid an extra curricular visit to a Pacora Health clinic. En route he was taken with the construction on a multi-million dollar road being built in the Duque family fiefdom in election year. It reminded him of old-time Canadian provincial politics when roads to nowhere were built in election years. Sarah Palin is another experts in that field.
But what surprised him most was to see, at 7.30 in the morning, long lines of patients patiently waiting for a ticket for treatment, and who would the have to wait again to see a doctor. Some has been there as early as 5 a.m. He took a photo of the line back to Canada to show friends who might have complained about a 30 minute sojourn in the relative comfort of a modern hospital waiting room.