Carnavale In Panama City, Panama

“Alberto, would you please take the Prado to the auto shop first thing? So they can start work on the repairs from your accident earlier this month.”

Lief was talking through the day’s schedule with Alberto this morning.

“Senor Lief, I can’t take the Prado over to the repair shop until next Monday. They told me to bring it in after Carnavale…”

“But it is after Carnavale,” Lief replied.

“Huh?” Alberto responded, clearly confused.

“Today is after Carnavale, isn’t it?” I asked, trying to clarify. “Carnavale was yesterday…last weekend…last week. Today Lent starts…”

Alberto laughed.

“Ha, ha, Senora Kathie,” he chuckled, as though I’d made a joke.

Lief and I looked at each other. Then at Alberto. Who stopped laughing.

“I can’t take the car in today,” he explained. “Nothing will be open today until 1 o’clock this afternoon at the earliest. Many places won’t open today at all. And nothing will really get done until next Monday. This whole week is Carnavale. People will get back to business next week. That’s when I can take the car in.”

Lief and I turned around and returned to our offices without a word. No use arguing. When in the land of fiestas and mananas, we’ve learned that the only real options are either to join the party.

Or ignore it.

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