Dear Toto

I think we’re not in Kansas anymore.

Should you too, dear reader, find yourself swept up in a whirlwind and deposited in Panama, do not be alarmed to discover the following.

  • It is customary to greet friends with a kiss, right cheek to right cheek. Unlike Europe where one never knows which side to start on or how many kisses are customary in the country you’re in that day, one on the right is standard. You may also find it polite to repeat this action upon leaving.
  • Stopping at stop signs and using turn signals are more of a rarity than a norm. Honking to alert other drivers of your presence is acceptable and possibly expected.
  • This is an iced mocha. It is prepared by placing chocolate syrup in the bottom of a cup and adding milk and ice. Then add espresso. Top with foamed milk. Do not stir. Present to customer.
  • You, a non-native, wilting from the humidity, may don a typical summer outfit – sleevless shirt and skirt. You may then go to the mall. Do not be surprised if the majority of people you see are wearing jeans and/or sweaters.
  • Upon discovering empanadas, you may be inclined to purchase one every time you visit a cafe. This is perfectly acceptable behavior.

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