Paitilla sky. Photo by Eric Jackson.
Fleeting impressions by a guy who takes the bus
There are all of these obvious things that led to inferences as I lack or lacked anything close to full knowledge:
– Were the colegiales buses on strike or being hassled by authorities? Waiting at the caseta starting about six in the morning, at least a dozen regular route buses passed by, not stopping because they were jammed full of students. Didn’t see any of the yellow school buses, which are the privately owned colegiales. It took almost an hour to get a bus in to Anton.
– Outdoor advertising is severely depressed, with beer and food billboards the main exceptions. Does Ricky Martinelli still control much of that sector? Is the housing market that bad that developers don’t see the use of marketing at the moment? LOTS of little owner-installed ‘THIS farm, house, plot of land, business locale for sale’ stuff. But generally, the most empty billboards since the COVID lockdown, maybe ever.
– Plenty of unpaid PRD campaign signs along the way. Get into the city and Gaby stuff on upscale condo towers and Crispiano stuff on the backs of buses. Where is the Pedro Miguel González stuff?
– In Arraijan especially, hillsides along the road blighted by the combination of illegal burning and illegal dumping. Are they still doing that ‘you gotta pay to get your garbage picked up’ stuff in that crowded bedroom community for the capital? Will that place with its extremist capitalist dogma be the next source of Panama’s next locally-generated epidemic?
– Business seems generally slow in the city, more so than in Anton, which is also not totally thriving.
– There have been spritzes of rain and there are little patches of green, but it’s still pretty brown out in the fields. Delayed farm planting? I think there is a bunch of that.
– Some of what was once upscale and still in a way is has been allowed to get a bit ratty.
Add a layer of dry season burning to this thing that Telemetro reported earlier, and it’s what I saw on the Pan-American Highway going through Arraijan:
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