Posts Tagged ‘Street Vendors’
During my bloom of youth way back in the fifties, telephones were a lot different from what they are now. Telephone lines were shared with others. If you picked up your phone, and your neighbor was talking, you could hear the whole conversation. The nascent telephone system used no numbers. Audible codes were used instead of numbers. Our telephone code was one long ring followed by a short ring and another long ring. Simple.
You cranked a small lever on one side of the bulky black telephone set to communicate with a human telephone operator. I remember his name was Kenneth. When Kenneth answered, you would ask him to connect you to the interested party. He plugged in some cables and you got through. Kenneth was the most efficient and most courteous human being I’ve ever been across. He was as polite and friendly as a person can be.
Telephones have come a long way. Now we have smartphones which are really small computers full of features called apps or applications. I consider myself a conservative person by nature, yet I have a Chinese Apple iPhone clone with FM radio, TV, digital agenda, stop watch, camera, MP3, Web browser and what have you. I wonder what would Kenneth say about this latest trend of mobile communication?
Communications pundits agree that there are 3.9 million cell phone subscribers in this small country with a meager population of 3,322,576 Panamanians. This means there are more active cell phones in Panama than people. This makes Panama, one of the hottest mobile phone markets in Latin America. The market penetration percentage is staggering.
The telecommunications sector grew 15.8 percent during the last two years and has not stopped its pace. It ‘s one of the most dynamic areas of the country in full expansion due to low prices, aggressive competition, and massive use. For example, there are 53.6 cellular phones for every 100 Panamanians.
Panama is at the vanguard in Latin America in matters regarding telecommunications. The country is well equipped with an infrastructure made up of technical state of the art installations, being one of the first to introduce the G technology as well as launching the BlackBerry and iPhone smartphones. These new advances create adequate conditions for the establishment of new multinational headquarters shopping around to invest in the sector.
Now that the World Cup football matches are being streamed down the Web, I can follow the games through my cellphone when I hit the road. I could never do that with Mr. Kenneth and his manual telephone central station in Changuinola. Yep, times are changing at blazing speed. Good Day.
In front of El Trapiche Restaurant, I saw a street peddler selling brightly-colored objects which seemed to attracts several tourists while I was there.
I’m a curious guy, so I went over to his place and inspected what he had to offer that was so attractive to tourists exiting the restaurant. They were handicrafts made by Guatemalan Indians in Central America. Among the beautifully made objects were belts, key holders, cell phone bags, hair pins, wrist bands and necklaces, just to name a few. I asked for the price of a hair pin. It was $12.00.
I didn’t want to keep this artistic scene all by myself, so I fetched my Birthday camera and this is what came out of its lens. Here we go.
If you appreciate authentic handcrafts from different places of the world, this is a good place to buy something different for your loved ones. Be prepared to bring some greenbacks. Good Day.