We started getting our farm logo polo shirts ordered. In Panama, everyone wears a polo with a logo, it is big business, it is the uniform. My fabulous guide proves her value early in the day......... The store, Coto Serigrafic SA is quite a significant business with a warehouse!. It is however, well hidden. Inside a house one of several nice houses in a residential block off the highway. Absolutely impossible to find if you did not know, no signs, no name on the front. Nada. Within 30 mins we have 20 shirts with logos ordered in a nice bright peachy color. Ms Martinez not only found the place: She has negotiated them down by about a week on the number of days to delivery; Managed to get the owner to give us his personal attention to find the nice peachy color rather than the muddy papaya from the warehouse out back; + persuaded staff to open multiple packets to made sure the shirts would fit my workers and family members. I am very happy, we are off to our next chore.
Next to THE fancy clothes store in David - Carrillo's. Only 5 circum navigations around the block before landing. We find the Hotel National almost first time around and find parking the 3rd/4th time around the block - traffic nasty. Once inside: Ball dresses, nice cocktail attire and of course riding gear. This is after all a cow town, least you should forget it. Social events here are more likely to require cowboy boots than a ball dress - but this store has both.
I scored a cowboy hat, cowboy boots and a big buckle. Although I think they all look quite ridiculous, it is a matter of conditioning. When in Rome xxxx as they say. Personal Assistant Ms Martinez pays half her fee by negotiating a hefty discount. She talks about the huge order, she makes lots of arm movements, she dramatically rejects their first offer of a discount....... I feel very comfortable saying I would not have achieved a 'before tax' price point without her.
A few more trips around the block - this time around Hotel David. Enter Daysi. Wow - more high points for the amazing Ms Martinez. An old fashioned habadashery store. Amazing choices of everything needed to make things. Really, these places used to exist 40 years ago in the UK when everything was hand and custom made - here much still is. I am very excited by this shop. What was I thinking buying jam pot cover fabric in Joanne's - This is much superior. We buy butterflies and dragonflies and ribbons for end of term pageant costumes, special tape to put on the inside of hats to make them smaller and an impressive Christmas Angel.
Now for more mundane things - hose connectors for the rose garden irrigation system and large quantities of white paint for the horse fencing. Although I was ready to cave and buy in the first store, Ms Martinez ploughed on. She easily earns about twice her fee by finding the best value on large quantities of white paint - yes, DO IT was $13 cheaper per pot than Novey or Franklin Jorado! On 10 liters this is mucho dollares.
Back up the mountain, almost home and find a gas tanker on fire in the middle of the road. Big problem for someone. We take our SUV over the regular highway and into the 'new highway' to make our way North and around the edge of the canyon to get back into town.
Already thinking about the creations and possibilities in Daysi and may not wait so long for my next return trip. Starting to get excited about what you can find in David. Never thought I would say that.
Huge thank you to Ms Martinez - the best Personal Assistant that there is. Not only does she find things, she is a fabulous negotiator and good company too. ...And the lady is 8.5 months pregnant and expecting any day...... a true professional.