Holy Covid Test, Batman…Now We Can Run Free!
Friday we took a minivan to get our covid test. They told us to book a car and go there. The cab driver yelled at us when he dropped us off because he said we should have told him we were going to take a covid test, because now he will have to quarantine. We explained to him that no one is sick, but that we had to take it because we just finished our own for coming into the borders. I felt bad for him. I hope he doesn’t shut down for two weeks on our account. We stood in line among the cars, because it is a drive up test and we do not have a car yet. We are in no hurry at this point to get one, either.
The test was brutal. They shoved it so far into my nose that it scratched the deep back side of my throat. I had to come home and take an alieve, which if you know me, I might take one once a year. I have to be in a lot of pain to pop the pill. I had to take it. They only did one nostril, whereas in the states, they did both sides. From there, we went to the grocery store and to the long awaited toy store for the girls.
I am now three days out and finally sitting down to write. It has been a lot to take in at a very quick pace. Everything is busy. It is crowded and it’s busy. When we first made our walks from the testing site to the grocery and back to our house, it overwhelmed me. It was scary because the cars on the opposite side of the road really overwhelms all of my sensory abilities. The sidewalks are so narrow that I cannot walk them and hold both girls hands and let us all be side by side. One must be in front of the other and the cars zoom by. We also learned that stop signs really are just a suggestion and do not expect for any cars to stop at the stop sign and let you go first as a walker. Five cars ran the stop sign and did not let us cross. We cannot afford to be pushy Americans here and assume we won’t get hit. It does not work that way. Walkers do not have the right of way. I have now walked to the store three days in a row. We had breakfast at their cafe this morning and did our daily shopping. It’s quite a work out. It’s not that far, but it’s hilly. Walking in a mask is difficult as well.
Everyone here wears a mask indoors everywhere and you do not have anyone making a fit the way you see back home. People comply. Not because they are sheep, but because it is the law, and they respect the law and each other. It is nice not to see mean and angry people yelling in stores. People so far that I have seen, keep to themselves.
Yesterday we went into the town of Silema to visit with the boss and his wife. We had lunch at a beach club. Holy moly, the beach clubs are restaurants lined up side by side, each with their own giant swimming pools where tons of people hang out for the day and get out to order food. It was glorious. It’s hot as can be here and people are still distancing, but nothing like at home at these restaurant/beach clubs. The rule is you must wear a mask until you reach your table. Then the tables are spread out so each group keeps to themselves. The pool and restaurant overlooks the water. We just sit and watch the boats go by. It was incredible. We also walked to the mall and everyone had their masks on. The mall was three stories and had stores like Esprit and Benetton…those went away long ago in the states. They also had a huge store just for Birkas in the mall. People here do not hate Muslims. They don’t carry the same fear or threat here. It was actually neat to see a high end fashion store dedicated only to those wardrobes. To me it signaled that all are welcome.
These are phots from the beach club restaurant. That is the water view from where we sat. The food is a lemon ravioli and the salad is a salmon salad. Both were lovely. The city is absolutely stunning. The buildings are glorious. But everything is very crowded and very busy. I was told I simply have to wrap my head around the idea that it is a very small island and that all of it is busy all the time. It reminds me a little bit of New York city in that there are so many buildings all so close to one another. Everything is tightly packed, the roads are narrow and the cars go fast. Everything feels fast when you are in the car, and then everything feels slow when you are looking out on the water. The photo of the city past the water is our view from Silema over to the capital of Malta, Veletta. We have not been there yet, but it was a perfect view. Everything is close to each other.
We just got our bus passes, so maybe me and the girls and Ms. Barbara will brave a city tour this week while the men are at work at the office. Tomorrow night we are heading to our landlords house for dinner. Everyone that we have met here are extremely delightful, welcoming people. I’m excited to see her home and get to spend time with her family. Being out here without my own family makes me be more open to the idea of creating new families with new people. It’s very exciting. Actually, it’s a flash of so many emotions. It’s exciting, it’s overwhelming, it’s scary, it’s exhausting. It takes me many times of repetition to get anything down and into a comfort level. I know myself well enough to know that this will take a lot of getting used to. But the beauty, the energy of this place is welcoming. I will embrace the welcome and move slowly as I find my way into it all.