Our plan was always to go home to Amsterdam at the end of March. By then, we will have been on the road for 200 days. But now home is the new coronavirus epicenter. The projections are that the Netherlands will follow the pattern set by Italy. With only so many hospital beds, respirators and medical staff, Dutch doctors will have to triage. They will treat the younger patients with a higher chance of survival. The others are on their own.
We have no good choices. Staying on the road presents its own dangers. Hotels are vectors for infection. So are restaurants and public transportation for so long as they stay open. We could hunker down in an AirBnB. But who will tell us when the lockdown begins or ends?
The Balkan in my neighborhood, I give him small amounts of money a few
times a week, it’s not what you think. A lot of people do this. About his wife,
he tells me he has none. My daughter, he sees her smile a flash flood,
always gives her a cookie. His word is börek, translates as ‘savory pastry’
pronounced “boo-wreck”. For this I gladly give him money. Spinach and feta.
Bigger than your hand, hot from the oven. With meat or cheese, pasta layers,
flaky dough. He works 6 days a week. He was taking a nap in the park a few
years ago, we were there eating homemade sticky cake. I offer him some, he
rigorously declines. Does he recognise me? Was it inappropriate?