By Mac Davidson - The Assistant to Señor Spears
Shopping here is second to none! If you are a hardcore shopper like I am, this is definitely a place you need to check out! I want to show you what you are missing.
Anyone who loves shopping, hitting the malls, street vendors, outdoor markets will be in heaven here.
The malls are amazing. I've been here only a short time, and haven't traversed all the malls yet, but so far I have seen so much that puts most malls I have been to shame.
The malls I have hit so far such as the Albrook Mall and Multiplaza are wonderful. Have I hit the pavement for every mall in every city here?? No, not yet....soon I will. But I guarantee you will find everything you need and more. Every brand name in North America is here. For example, I made some tours and snapped a few pictures to show you...much easier and more than explaining it to you.
Scroll down for a snippet of what you can find here....something for everyone!
Thats just a small trinket...there is much much more....
The big malls such as Albrook and Multiplaza are ever expanding wonders. Walking through Albrook is similar to walking through the West Edmonton Mall or Mall of America... It keeps going on and on, and the best part is there is little repitition of stores. Each section you walk through, you can discover new and exciting treasures.
Here are some snapshots from Albrook, which just goes on and on and on... And they are expanding the malls as I write this. More stores coming, more shopping coming... A shopper's paradise!
And the prices here are truly a steal. You will find deals even the malls... At least in comparison to Canada (where I am from), brand name items which typically go for $100 and up...will be half that here. I will try and get some prices for you soon. Hopefully the stores will allow me to take pictures of that.
I think the only thing the malls are missing are hug water parks and shows... Being in this climate, I am sure its only a matter of time before those are built. A water park alone would be a huge cash cow if someone could set it up.
Now, I know malls aren't for everyone, and sometimes shopping locally has its advantages. Especially when you are grocery shopping. For example, I was able to check out the Vegetable Market in La Chorrera recently. In comparison to any other farmer's market I have been to (or any other grocery store), this place was a steal! 75 cents for 3 juicy ripe pinapples, 50 cents for a bag of huge red tomatoes, 1 dollar for all the potatoes you could carry... I went in with 20 dollars, maybe spent 6 dollars and have enough fruit and veggies for 2 weeks!
The current state of this farmer's market in terms of location and visual comfort are not quite on par with what I was used to...but everything was fresh and so tasty. I am told the government is actually building a new Farmer's Market complex next door to the current location so it will have a better look and feel with less traffic. Maybe even parking!?!
The other interesting aspect of this farmer's market is that you can drive up in your car and order from your window. Then drive up to the next booth, order, get what you need without even having to leave your car...if you want. I prefer getting out and walking through each of the shops and see it all.
Here are some pics for you to check out! Enjoy!
Needless to say I will be a regular there for sure! Everything is fresh and the price is perfect!! I still couldn't believe the price for everything...and to drive out of there with a trunk full and still have change from a twenty leftover just blows my mind!
I will try and find a map/directions on finding this spot. Its definitely worth the trip!
So whether you are looking for the latest fashions, need to escape the heat of the day, need some exercise or want to find the best bang for you buck...I recommond shopping in Panama! You will not be disappointed!
The service in the stores I have heard has been iffy...but nearly every store I visited, I was greeted, and the kids working there were more than helpful (from time to time I was ignored, but hey, they are teenagers...no different than teenagers in Canada...). Unfortunately my Spanish is not yet fluent so that barrier is still a small hurdle to overcome. But hey, I am in Panama, not Canada.... I should be the one learning and speaking Spanish!
What I still have to get used to is everywhere you go, whether you are a expat/foreigner or a local, everyone says hello to each. If you walk into an elevator, store..everywhere, almost everyone says hello to each other or a simple greeting. Strangers greeting strangers....go figure!? If you don't respond or give a greeting, it is considered rude. I love it.. No one says hello in Canada unless they want you to spend money or want something from you. No way would I walk into an elevator and say hello to everyone...and even if I did, people would think I were strange and give me a look.
If you have any questions about shopping here, please let me know. If I don't know the answers, I am sure I can find out for you.
I can't wait to start Christmas shopping!! The malls here I am sure will be totally decked out in the Christmas spirit soon! Come back soon as I will have more about Shopping in Panama coming soon along with more observations, stories and pictures.