Monday, May 17, 2010

What We Did Yesterday

Yesterday was the Census in Panamá. We held a bilingual Mass on Saturday afternoon because no one could leave their house on Sunday until after they had been counted. You could get fined or even arrested, so staying home was a good idea. I liked it because I got to sleep in on a Sunday! Wow! Instead of getting up at 5:00 am on Sunday morning I got up at 7:00 am! I was able to watch a couple of the Sunday Morning Talking Head programs, and, you know what? I won't be doing THAT again! That Mitch McConnell and John Kyl are out of their minds, and David Gregory needs a good slap! But I digress. . .

The Census worker appeared at just after 9:00 am. I had a sample of the questionnaire I had filled out as I don't always understand español perfectly. It had lotsa cool questions, like: Do you have faucets for drinking water inside your dwelling? (yes) How many days a week do you have drinking water? (7, usually) How many hours a day do you have drinking water? (24, usually). Is your toilet a: hole or latrine? (no) Connected to the sewer? (yes) Connected to a septic tank? (no). Don't have one? (I told you, connected to the sewer!). If you don't have a toilet, the next question is: What place is used more often to deposit er, well, you know? Mountain? River or stream? Ocean? Use your neighbor's bathroom? I wonder how the Tea Partiers would react to such questions back in the ol' EEUU?

I found these questions kinda embarrassing: Do you have a stove? (yes) a refrigerator? (yes) a washing machine? (yes) a sewing machine? (yes) a residential telephone? (yes) a radio/stereo system? (yes) how many? (2) an electric fan? (yes) how many? (10) an airconditioner? (yes) how many? (five) A cell phone? (yes) how many? (1) a car? (yes) how many? (1) a television? (yes) how many? (1) is it connected to cable? (yes) a computer? (yes) how many? (1) connected to the internet? (yes).
Man, we gotta lotta stuff!

Then she asked where my mother lived when I was born (not here!) Did I come to Panama before the year 2000? (yes) Where is my permanent residence? (California, EEUU). Same questions for the Lovely Mona, and then, since we are extranjeros, we were finished.

We received our "empardronado" (registered) cards

and the empadronada sticker was placed on the wall.

Later, we watched Dulha Mil Gaya, which was cute and fun, but really didn't pick up until Shahrukh Khan appeared mid-way through the film. What fun, eh?


Matty Boy said...

Do they count the whole country in a single day or is it split up?

Padre Mickey said...

I think they do it in two days, as the form said 15 y 16 de Mayo.

KJ said...

Oh, our process was ever so much more banal -- No toilet counting at all! I am shocked at your number of air conditioners -- You're missionary wannabes! Now, back in the day...

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