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Saturday, August 11, 2012

I have gas now...and I love it!

Yup, I have gas. I'm talking about for cooking and doing laundry. I just picked up a cheap tank. I love those gas tanks. Crazy right? Who loves gas tanks? I do, that's who!

Living in South Florida, I never had to worry about gas (for the house of course. Get your mind out of the gutter). Everything was electric. Then I moved to Chicago, and for the first time, I had to figure out how to light a gas burner. I thought I was going to blow the house up. I was scared to death. Now I'm a pro.

In Panama, most stoves and dryers run on gas. However, unless you live in a condo building, most people here either have large gas tanks (about $40 each) delivered to their home by either Panagas or Tropigas. What most people do is order two tanks. That way, when one is empty, they call the gas company to get it switched out while using the other tank. There's nothing worse than baking a Thanksgiving Day turkey or a Christmas lasagna (I've got Italian in me, and lasagna is tradition) and having the gas tank run out. Especially if you don't have a back up tank to switch to.

I recently moved to a small house in Villa Lucre, an area of Panama City, and we started using the small $5 propane tanks. These are the ones most people in the States have connected to their gas grills for barbecues. I have one connected to my dryer (the washer is electric) and I have a second one connected to the stove. When I had the larger $40 tanks, it seemed they were always running out, quickly. I've figured out the reason. Back then I had a maid working every day, who cooked and cleaned for us. She'd cook lentils or red kidney beans every single day. Beans take a long time to cook, so the gas was running for several hours straight, every day.

Now, without a maid (well I do have one, but she only comes twice a week for $30 each day she works) the gas is lasting a lot longer. When I cook beans it's usually pork & beans out of a can. I'm more of a pasta guy.

Anyway, the point I'm getting at is, I have two $5 gas tanks. One of them ran out yesterday, so I dragged the one from the dryer into the house and hooked it up to the stove. Problem solved. Then, today, I made a quick run over to one of the little mini-supers (like a 7-11 only dirtier), paid $5, gave them my empty tank, and picked up a full one. I don't have to worry about larger $40 bills ($80 if you count two tanks). The small tank lasts about a month (can be a shorter or longer period of time depending on how much you cook, or how much laundry you do). Plus, I no longer have to wait for a tank to be delivered, which can sometimes take several days.

I love it. I love gas tanks. I love the $5 gas tanks anyways.