Panama | Town Life

dscn1899It was something to see, the way the woman could get the horse to tiptoe like that. I had seen her before riding that horse bareback with just a halter. Heads held high on those two. I was walking towards three women who were standing in the middle of the road gabbing away, the horse and women sneaking closer to the back of one of the ladies. That cold wet nose her that warm bare back. She was a shirker that one. A scream of shock and surprise. Everyone on the street falling apart in laughter. That young woman sat proud and gay on that horse. Holding my gut in laughter, I made my way past and into the launderia. I was told the machine on the left was the working one. It took my five quarters, ran for a moment then stopped. The launderia was a concrete shelter of three walls open to the street. I pushed buttons, getting frustrated and ready to pull a Fonz on that baby when out of nowhere in breezes a women holding a kitchen knife. She sticks it between the buttons and gives it a good jiggle—the machine starts running again. She smiles and walks out. I lift the lid, it keeps running with it open but the water is just a trickle, “Man, I will be here all week at this rate.” At this point a man pops in and grabs this six-foot piece of two-inch PVC pipe that is laying under the sink. He sticks that into the open machine, takes the two hoses that are attached to the two faucets, sticks those in the end of the PVC pipe and turns on all the water. He laughs, pats me on the back and walks out. Now we are talking water. Man, I can relate to this kind of technology.

Other women arrive with overflowing laundry baskets. They place them on the floor to determine their place in line for the one working machine. A girl of two is put on top of one of the baskets. She looks some pleased for that cozy place to sit. The ladies are talking away and one would occasionally walk over and check the progress of my load. The fellow who had administered the PVC pipe is now out front in the middle of the road. He is wearing only spandex shorts and he is shadowboxing. The sweat rolls off his back throwing punches into the air. When he threw a hard right a lady on the porch across the street would snap her head like he had connected, humoring the old boy. My laundry finishes and when I am walking out of the launderia, one of the ladies is putting that PVC pipe back in the machine. Got to love it. Love Dave

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