Travelling from BA to Belgium in times of corona
Lockdown in Argentina started on March 20th 2020. It is still up to this day the country with the longest and most rigid quarantine. According to the facebook count of my American friend Deby in Ba, today is day 200 !
As a hotelier running a small eco boutique hotel in Buenos Aires, I was fortunate enough to host stranded tourists on their way home for the first 2 months of quarantine. Being able to work and thus make money made me feel secure. Then business came to a halt, I started panicking, not knowing how to make ends meet. For the first time in almost thirty years my dad decided to help.
Tough restaurants started opening in BA and could serve food if they had space outside, life in Argentina is far from normal. I can continue to get up, have breakfast, work on my blog…. but being Belgian I am entitled to travel to Europe as well. Argentines with a European passport and European citizens can travel to Europe on one of the few semi-commercial flights.
DAY 2 – Aarschot
It took me a few weeks to think it over, but here I am, in Belgium with my daughter, staying at my mom’s for the next 2 months. Once life is back to normal, I will never have the opportunity again to spend that much time in my native country.
Today is day 2 of our Belgian holidays since we landed yesterday morning on an Iberia flight via Madrid. I spend 9 out of 12 hours chatting to my neighbor, an Italian born woman, who grew up in Argentina, and is now living in Spain. I was under the impression the plane was super clean. Yet, a few reminders of corona: we had to board row by row, large hand luggage was not allowed but checked in free of charge; no alcohol on board, no special meals; dinner and breakfast came in paper bags stuffed with gluten rich goodies. What a bummer. Luckily it diminishes pollution. No plastic cups, yet still plastic forks and spoons.
I usually travel with little luggage in this direction, cause my mom has a large wardrobe for me. In stead, I brought two backpacks 2 Dutch guys had had to leave behind in a hotel in San Telmo. They picked them up late last night and returned their gratitude with a magnificent bunch of flowers in stead.
I had a wonderful sleep last night and woke up at 11. Under a grey sky and facing wind I went cycling with my daughter. When I realized I had lost 50€ during the ride, we decided to cut the ride short. How stupid was I to squeeze it in my pocket. It must have slipped out when I stopped to take some pictures.
Well, it should not stop me from enjoying my vacation. Tomorrow we are heading to Ghent by train, booked our tickets to visit the MSK ( the modern art museum ) where they currently run an exhibition on Gustave van de Woestyne.