I'm a normally decisive person. When asked to choose the color of a leather couch that I'll keep for the next decade, I'll make a snap decision. If I need to choose a great wine for people I've just met, no sweat. But ask me to choose a TV from the thousands of TV's on display, and my natural ability to make quick decisions gets fried by all the gamma waves.
I don't know why I thought buying a TV in Panama would be easier than buying a TV in the US. The stores have different names, but the sensory overload is the same. Instead of Circuit City and Best Buy, Panama has Panafoto and Multimax. Like their counterparts in the US, the bigger-than-life images and louder-than-natural sounds poke and prod at you until you're either mesmerized into plopping down a credit card or overloaded with so much stimuli that you run screaming from the store.
If you were in Panama recently, that crazy white woman in stilettos and a big hat that you saw pushing her way out of the store was me. I wanted a new TV, but I was hoping that Panama would only have 3 choices... small, medium and large. Now that's a decision I can make. If it were that easy, though, I would have bought a new TV a year ago instead of anguishing over techno jargon that I didn't understand and punishing myself with a dozen trips to the electronics store.
When I finally bought a TV in Panama, my decision came down to three things:
- Is it smarter than a fifth grader? (I love TVs that label themselves as SMART. It takes the guesswork out of the already-too-tough decision.)
- Is it big enough to see Brad Pitt's pretty face without a pair of binoculars while I sit in my favorite chaise two rooms away?
- Can I pay for it without jeopardizing my retirement, pimping out my fiance, or going into coronary arrest?
Happily, given this criteria, there was only one TV that fit the bill. I didn't hesitate. I whipped out my credit card and checked this gadget off of my list.
If you're a technology junkie considering Panama, you'll love the choices of TV's, smart phones and other gadgets you can get here. If you're like me and you don't speak techno-Martian, either bring your own geek or consider buying a hammock and investing in a stack of used paperbacks.