Wednesday, April 08, 2020

France Quarantine Continues

In many ways, the rules have gotten stricter here in France. We're only allowed to leave the house once a day. We have to take a paper that says we are going to buy groceries or medicine or to help someone who can't go themselves. But the main reason I leave my house is to exercise each day, usually a run, but sometimes a walk.
We are supposed to stay within 1 kilometer of our homes. I roughly try to comply with that.
 I'm allowed to walk with people who live in my house, but no one else.
I try to take a picture on every walk or run to share with my running friends
It's been nearly a month since we raced over the border to Barcelona to pick up Grace and Jack. Even then we were social distancing and the next morning they closed all the bars and restaurants.
I've been to the bakery a few times 
I got breakfast and lunch at the bakery on one trip. 
and the grocery store twice.
The local grocery set up a series of barricades where people can wait until it is there turn to get in the store.
The stores limit the number of people who can go in, so sometimes the longest wait is outside before you can get in.

I've talked to friends from our balcony and over fences.
I'm not sure if Grace and Jack feel lucky to be stuck here, but I'm really glad they are. We have four hands for euchre. And just last week I received a mahjong set, so we can play three or four-handed mahjong.
I used to play mahjong with my homeschool mom friends so it brings back lots of good memories.
Earl apparently never played back in the day, but he is being a good sport and learning the game. 
What else are we doing to pass the time? Well, as soon as the quarantine started, I caved and we ordered a television.

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We rarely watch television in France so I had argued that we didn't need one; we could simply watch shows on the computer during cold winter nights that we weren't out with our friends drinking wine, dancing, telling stories.
But realizing that the four of us were going to be inside, except for an hour per day of exercise, I immediately went on Amazon and ordered this 43-inch television. It isn't a show stopper, but gives us something to do on nights when we aren't playing cards or mahjong.
Our dinners have drifted later, usually starting around 8 p.m., so there isn't a lot of time afterward to watch TV.
We have scavenged a few plants for our garden.
We should have enhanced the soil first with alpaca dung from our friend with alpacas
My life remains much the same. Working most days teaching English to Chinese kids. The hours are longer because they aren't in school so can take classes anytime of day. I'm scheduling two days off every week from teaching. I considered continuing to teach everyday since we're quarantined, but I realized that I need a few days where I can go for a leisurely walk and not rush to shower and get dressed, a day where I can linger at the breakfast table over coffee. So I'm allowing myself those days off.
 I'm also teaching an online university class and am lucky enough that another one starts in May. I take two days off from being online for my class, but unfortunately they aren't the same days that I don't teach the Chinese children. The only day that I don't work at all is today, Wednesday. And it feels like a bit of a vacation.
I know I'm fortunate to still be able to work, so I won't complain about it.
A few restaurants are open these days for take out, so that is a nice break from someone cooking for 21 days straight. We had galettes last Friday -- those are savory crepes, with a delicious bottle of hard cider.
Maybe we'll try the Vietnamese restaurant next or the pizzeria so Grace and Jack can experience some local eateries.

We have also committed to getting a kitten.
Nougaro, who we are currently planning to call Nougat, will be ready for adoption in mid-May. Grace has been having withdrawal since she can't have her cats brought over. We've always had cats so decided it might be a good time to get one. He comes from a local animal rescue organization.

That's our life in quarantine. We'll continue to take walks and look at beautiful scenery. Hope you're all being safe and stay healthy.

Mountains through an arch


Just Me said...


sillygirl said...

Nougat will give us all delightful experiences as you raise him. People forget that raising a kitten is a full time job for a while. He will also bring hope to our hearts - nothing like a new life to renew joy!

Paulita said...

Just Me, Yes!
Sillygirl, You're right. It will definitely give my husband something to do, keeping the kitten out of trouble. Also, I feel a bit resentful of people who offer a nearly year old cat, thinking, you got all the fun of a kitten and now you're ready to pass him on. I'll eat those words, no doubt.

Marg said...

We are trying to do one night of takeaway food from a local restaurant every week in the hope that the restaurants will still be there when this is all over!

Brona said...

Glad to hear you're okay over there. The news sometimes makes things sound very dire indeed. Australia is doing pretty well considering. I think we closed our international borders in time, so that community transmission doesn't seem to have become a thing here.

Take care.

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