September 28 2020 - Living the expat life, Exploring different Cultures
Today at 10.30 our quarantine will end. Finally!!
Yesterday I spent my Sunday as usual, with one big difference: I packed my bags! And this morning I was so full of energy that I got up early and started to finish packing. So here I am, early morning on what’s officially day #15 and all set to go.
I feel like this old little lady who is so eager to be taken for a day out, so she sits all ready to go, next to her bag, waiting to be picked-up by her family who will not come for another 3 hours. Yep, that’s me today.
And what is John Denver doing in my head anyway?! (“All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go..”)
So, how was it, 14 days in quarantine?
As Hendrik Willem put it nicely: “it’s certainly doable. But I would not recommend it”. That sums it up.
What really helped me through were just a few basic things: the many supporting calls and message over skype and other media from all of you, the hourly countdown calendar I put up the wall, daily sports, music, some comfort food and ensuring I had something to laugh about every day. Is that all we need?
Well, we could certainly have done with a little more fresh air and a nicer view (sorry dear neighbors!) and we really did miss each other. But all in all, it’s just 2 weeks and that is….well, doable.
Since the last year we all have stories to tell, and some are more surreal and horrible than others. People got sick, and some of us tragically lost loved ones to Covid. All of our lives were disrupted in one way or another. I know that especially some of my friends in the expat community have been hit hard. Like my dear friend Lalitha, who is still stuck in India and has not been able to see her husband in Germany since Christmas. Or Hendriks Willem’s friend who got stuck on Bali for months when the lockdowns happened. The Dutch family who have not been able to get back to Dubai for months, spending an unexpected half year in The Netherlands.
There are so many stories like these, and I fear there are more to come still. It puts 2 weeks quarantine a little bit in the right perspective. After all, what’s 2 weeks?
And it’s amazing how we all start to appreciate the small things in life. The other night Hendrik Willem said to me: I don’t care where we go next, I just want to be able to hold your hand and go for a walk outside.
Only 6 months ago our world came crumbling down. We had to cancel the trip of a lifetime, we were without jobs, without house and it all seemed sooo overwhelming.
And look at us now. Being crazy happy from holding hands, fresh air and….well, ok, I’ll say it: a beer would be nice!!
So yes, it’s all doable. But we would not recommend it.
And now, let’s open that bloody door and let us out!!