Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Weather in Panama (Coronado) versus Canada (Ottawa)

The Weather in Coronado versus Ottawa

 

  1. In Ottawa, freezing cold weather can be very dangerous while walking or driving. A slippery patch of ice will frequently result in a broken hip, pneumonia and even death in some cases.
  2. In Ottawa, the occasional time when I had a car accident the roads were always very icy.
  3. In extreme cold, say below even minus 15 degrees centigrade, one must be sure not to run out of gas or have a mechanical problem with the car particularly in remote areas.
  4. In Ottawa, your car is slowly being eaten by road salt. I once had the bottom of my Volkswagen Super Beetle just fall out.
  5. Cold, damp weather as is common in Ottawa is not especially good for any arthritic and/or respiratory conditions.
  6. Shoveling your driveway after a heavy snow fall is a major heart attack risk.
  7. During periods of cold icy weather conditions, which can last for weeks at a time, elderly people are confined to their homes breathing reheated air.
  8. Cold weather means wearing a lot of heavy expensive clothing. In Ottawa one requires about $1000 of exterior clothing to dress for a typical January day.
  9. Cold weather in the Ottawa Valley frequently results in “temperature inversions” trapping polluted air. Air quality can be as bad inside as outside.
  10. During Ottawa winters, you will scrape the ice, frost and snow off your windshield every morning and evening unless you have heated garages at both ends.
  11. Cold Ottawa weather means much less time outside walking and enjoying nature and the sunshine.
  12. Cold weather means using your swimming pool for a maximum of three months even with a solar panel or propane heater.
  13. Cold weather typically means that you tend to eat more red meats and fatty foods so your body feels comfortable but of course more susceptible to heart disease.
  14. Cold weather means that you will tend to eat fewer greens, veggies and fruits which are relatively more expensive and/or less available.
  15. For some strange reason, people in Ottawa seem to love the summer months and start wearing shorts and T-shirts in April when temperatures are still in the low to mid-60s.
  16. Many of my friends in Canada become avid “snowbirds” spending up to six months in Florida or some other warm clime every winter. I have never been sure why.
  17. In contrast, in Panama, one spends a great deal of time outside breathing clean air for 12 months a year. Here one can be a snow bird full time.
  18. On the Pacific coast one rarely uses an air conditioner although, 2014 was an exceptionally hot and humid year with daily temperatures about 4 degrees higher than average.
  19. Biting insects such as mosquitoes are almost nonexistent in Panama and by spraying several times a year they are never a nuisance. In Ottawa, I remember visiting places such as the waterfalls at Meech Lake where the deer flies will drive one crazy. We also lived at McGregor Lake, just a bit north of Ottawa, where the black flies in June and the mosquitoes in July would totally ruin the short summer.
  20. In Panama your diet includes local fresh grown vegetables, tropical fruits and “almost” organic meats because the local farmers do not have money for pesticides and hormones.
  21. With such a diet, the average expat will lose 10% of her weight within three months not to mention experience fewer allergies because of the air quality and diet. You just naturally get more vitamin D and exercise here.
  22. In Panama one wears sandals, walking shorts and a T-shirt all year.
  23. In Panama one is surrounded by the most incredible richness of fauna and flora. In 2014, the already well known Biodiversity Museum opened in Panama City. It was designed by world famous Canadian architect Frank Gehry. Why Panama you might ask. There is a good reason. The very large central park in Panama City (just for example) has more varieties of birds than all of Europe. Almost 1000 species.
  24. In Panama the driving is safer in all seasons except at night. Occasionally, however, people will pull off the road during a torrential rainfall which might last at most for one hour.
  25. In Panama there are several different seasons although they are much more subtle than in Ottawa. During the rainy season, for example, from April until November, it rains every three or four days for an hour or so. Then there are the “fruiting seasons” etc etc.
  26. In Panama you can sit out on your terrace chatting with friends while sipping a quality glass of wine (costing 40% of Ottawa prices) until past midnight any day of the year without a screen for insects or a heavy sweater and boots if you are so inclined.
  27. Summertime is always a more sociable season and one frequently bumps into friends and neighbors for a chat. In Panama, it is always summertime.
  28. Construction activities are much easier and considerably cheaper in Panama than in Ottawa. For example one does not have to build foundations to withstand 6 feet of frost or build a 10/20 insulated house.
  29. In Panama there are very few storms, zero hurricanes and no earthquakes.