This month we’re staying in a small apartment building in a second story mini-studio in the older but trendy El Cangrejo neighborhood of Panama City. Though it’s certainly far less square footage than we’ve had since we left the states, the setting and space are perfect for our return to city life. We’re half a block from Via Argentina and a 10 minute walk to Via España, both lively thoroughfares with lots of shopping, dining, and services. As we walk the dogs, high rises tower above us, but single family homes have not yet been completely driven out, and they too bring warmth and a sense of residential living to our segment of the city. The rental came with secure parking, so while we walk most places, we also have the option of easy driving to more distant destinations. The building also offers daily cleaning service with towel and sheet changes whenever requested, but we’re fairly certain that the woman who is assigned to us does not like us, so we only have her visit a couple of times a week and try to straighten up before she comes.
What exactly is a mini-studio? It’s a tiny hotel room with a kitchen and a bathroom stuffed into the miniature closet. Our one “main room” does have a high-top table with two chairs and also a flat screen TV through which we’ve been able to catch a Cowboys preseason game and two Royals’ broadcasts already this month. Woot woot! We have two windows that overlook a giant tree and the furniture store next door’s back patio. The “kitchen” has a refrigerator, microwave, sink, two burners, and wardrobe (naturally), which is entirely sufficient for our needs. Beyond that is the simple bathroom, where I’ve taken hot showers for the first time in 6 weeks (but only for 5 minutes and then the hot water is gone). All jokes aside, the mini-studio is just about perfect for us, and we’re quite comfortable in our August apartment.