It has been more than three years since my last trip to Tucson, Arizona from Boquete Panama. It has been great to see friends, see my son Sebastian and his lovely wife Carol. Sebastian and Carol are back in the University, he in a doctoral program in Biology her in graduate school in Nutrition, I am proud of both of them.
I was in Tucson in Jan 2010 and witnessed what appeared to be a dying city. Credit what ever you wish, government or sun spots, the city is recovering. There is a lot of new infrastructure built with Federal pump the economy funding, a turn around in the housing market and apparently fewer empty commercial properties. It seems that Tucson is bouncing back.
I have had one day with boots on the ground, or I should say a with a 2013 Mustang on the ground. I rented a Ford Focus, AVIS gave me a Bright Blue Mustang, something so totally out of character for me that I am enjoying the surprised faces of friends an family when I arrive.
The trip was uneventful except for one question at immigration in Houston. The immigration officer started with welcome home, then looked at my form which said I was a resident of Panama. After asking the apparently obligatory, why are you here, he asked about the cost of living in Panama. It was fast and I answered that it was lower than in Houston unless you picked Panama City.
I was wrong, what a change, the government seems to think there has been no inflation for years, my guess is the statisticians have a disconnect between their numbers and their reality. Some thing are less expensive here than in Panama, housing being the biggest bargain. Diesel is about the same price, gasoline lower, cars are less expensive and depending on your choice of restaurants either lower or higher.
It is said that confession is good for the soul, so I confess to eating a Sausage McMuffin with egg, my favorite on the run breakfast. I cannot remember the cost in David, but here it was $3.70 when they gave it to me it lacked the potatoes and coffee, they said that was extra, it did however include 620 calories, no extra charge.
From what I can see overall eating the way I eat, is more expensive here than Panama. Most of my eating habits have evolved in Panama, (hypocrisy of Egg McMuffins noted) to lots of seafood, grass feed beef, free range pork and chicken served with fresh locally grown vegetables and tropical fruits. Even some of the trash food I like is expensive here. When I return I will post a short super market survey for comparison of food costs. I have been working on my list of food related items as I take care of the business that lured me back.
My neighbor and friend Phyllis has tried to inform me that taking picture of food is related to some mental disorder, perhaps, but if that is my major infirmity I will accept the diagnosis and move on. I do travel on my stomach and each trip is a struggle with not being able to enjoy all the smells, tastes and textures I want to try. Yesterday it was McDonalds, Rosas on Campbell and Ft Lowell for a Chimichanga and Lil Abners on Silverbell for beef. I realized that I have been eating steak at lil Abners for more than forty years, it used to be miles out of town on a rural road. Now it is the still the same funky building surrounded by “progress” and environmental destruction.
Phyllis these photos are for you!