Panama has a lot of holidays, which is one of the things I like about this country. They find dozens of reasons to celebrate throughout the year and capitalize on every opportunity with parades, bands, food booths, and fireworks,
May 1 is the official start of "low season" in Panama. Many of the tourists have left, and those of us who work with North American visitors take our first relaxing breath in four months. Don't get me wrong, I love the frenetic energy of high season, but my sweetheart and I have had two days off together in the past four months and we were ready for a day of relaxation. We've been referring to today as our own personal fiesta day for the past week, thinking about all of the fun things we would do today.
Since it's just one day, our perfect day was outlined by sleeping in, paddle boarding in the ocean, having a leisurely lunch dripping with wine and sushi, and then going to the mall to buy my fiance's wedding ring, something he's wanted to do for months now but it's too important to rush. Oh, and hitting the bank sometime between squishing sand between our toes and popping the cork on the wine.
If you've been following my blog, you know two things. You know that I went an entire four months without blogging during high season in Panama (which should give you an idea of how crazy-busy it is for a real estate maven in Panama), and you know that I'm engaged to a Brazilian man who is learning English. Being in a multi-lingual relationship has it's challenges, but it becomes easier every day as his English gets better and my Spanglish gets more Spanish.
I started referring to May 1 as our own personal fiesta day, so when he talked about today as a "fiesta day," I just assumed it was our own private fiesta. Even though I've blogged about the Panama holiday schedule in the past, it never occurred to me that May 1 was important. After all election day--a huge national holiday in Panama--is only three days away. He knew that today was a holiday and told me many times, but of course we were having a Whose on First conversation, and I didn't get it.
In case you're curious, May 1 is Labor Day in Panama. It's an important holiday in most countries, so of course banks and restaurants and shops will be closed today. Our own personal fiesta day happened to coincide with a national fiesta day, which means we'll shift our lunch out to a lunch in, and postpone the ring shopping until manana. Heck, we've waited this long, what's one more day.