“Daniela Holmes, a twenty-something Caracas native, explains that breast implants have “almost become like a cultural thing. It is like a rite of passage.” “It’s our version of a bat mitzvah,” she continued. “You’re a woman, you get fake boobs now.””

Venezuela Now Has Toilet Paper but No Breast Implants.

“I hardly feel alive here, which is why to say I live here feels disingenuous. To live abroad, particularly for work, particularly in isolation, inspires a particular kind of surrealism. I wake up around seven from the church bells clanging across the street; I brush my teeth, walk down the hill to work, spend all day with my colleagues and students. At night I go back to the gîte, smoke a cigarette off my balcony, and fall asleep feeling empty, alone, and strange. It feels rude to say I am sad here: there is nothing to be sad about. I am working a dream job, in a beautiful place. But as it is easy to be lonely in a crowd, so it is easy to be depressed …”

– Larissa Pham, The Last Book I Loved.

“The revenue and expenditure figures with which Panama’s new president (Juan Carlos Varela) will have to work … are increasingly grim. The public treasury has been looted and commitments have been made without any provisions to pay for them. The new administration is just finding out many of the details. The scale is breathtaking for a country of our size.”

Varela will have to choose between austerity moves, raising the deficit limit or a combination of these things.

“The worst part of writing fiction is the fear of wasting your life behind a keyboard. The idea that, dying, you’ll realize you only lived on paper. Your only adventures were make-believe, and while the world fought and kissed, you sat in some dark room masturbating and making money.”

Chuck Palahniuk, “Stranger Than Fiction.

“According to a recent World Economic Forum survey that examined influence on judiciaries, Nicaragua is believed to be among the world’s most corrupt: Of 142 countries, it ranked 136th. Sergio León, a veteran Bluefields journalist, describes the court system this way: “There is no law and order,” he says.”

Murder And Manifest Destiny On The Mosquito Coast

“They had a joke – how many Zonians does it take to change your light bulb?” says Jill Bany, who grew up in the Panama Canal Zone. “Two. One to call housing and the other to mix your drink.”

Who on earth are the Zonians?

“On the point of dropping my last dollar in this adventure, I was still bored. So profoundly that I even refused to envisage the most urgent steps I should have been taking. We are so trivial by nature that only amusement can stop us from dying for real.”

– Ceiline, “Journey to the End of the Night.

Eleven years ago I came solemnly to Central America …

“My whole life is behind me. I see it completely, I see its shape and the slow movements which have brought me this far. There is little to say about it: a lost game, that’s all.  Three years ago I came solemnly to Bouville. I had lost the first round. I wanted to play the second and I lost again: I lost the whole game. At the same time, I learned that you always lose. Only the rascals think they win. Now I am going to outlive myself. Eat, sleep, sleep, eat. Exist slowly, softly, like these trees, like a puddle of water, like the red bench in the streetcar.”

– Jean-Paul Sartre, “Nausea.

“… is it a buyers’ market in Panama right now? If we had an actual real estate market that worked by supply and demand it would be, but with money laundering, monopolistic practices and outright theft coming into play we have far from that.”

– Eric Jackson, The Panama News