Pan-american Transmissions : The Road to Tierra Del Fuego
Cities are for money and it was time to make some.
Everyone in Hostal Miami earned their rent from the streets. They were stop light artists, musicians, artesanos and they made well above Panama’s minimum wage - a pitiful $1.61 an hour. (It ain’t cheap to live there either.)
For this reason, and many others, Ania and I gave up our job hunt and our hopes of staying in Panama City and started selling arepas in the streets. It was something to do while we waited for a cheap cargo boat to Colombia.
It also paid better than a “real job.”
The Venezuelan corn patties were stuffed with pollo asado and sold for a dollar each. We tripled our money every time we hit the streets.
People loved them. Mostly locals though. Tourists seemed skeptical and ignored us.
Our small business venture was a success …
… until it started causing problems back at Hostal Miami. There was one half-broken stove for 25 people and another couple was running an empanada business out of the same kitchen.
They viewed us as competition.
The guy was a macho, Argentine pretty boy and his girlfriend looked like a prostitute - a skinny, bleach blonde Italian with breast implants. She was 35 and changed mini-skirts at least seven times a day.
Her cleavage: always prominent.
An unexpected find in a place like Hostal Miami.
I ignored them. I simply made more arepas and the tensions grew inside Hostal Miami.
It was a good lesson in capitalism. Two profiting parties using public resources, fighting over them, and pushing everyone else out of the kitchen in the process.
In the end, the money wasn’t worth the trouble. Ania and I sold our last arepas and went into the feather business.