Monday, August 17, 2020

Under Cover


So. Vacationing in times of a pandemic. I have been back from Nice for a week now and I am really glad I went as it provided exactly the summer routine I had hoped for, even if it was different from previous years. Spending hours at a time with a nose and mouth covering was not exactly a pleasant experience. From the moment I entered Vienna airport, during our flight, upon arrival at Nice airport, on the train ride to our home in Nice. I was really looking forward to taking that mask off and hop into the shower before heading to the beach when our landlady (a friend of Mademoiselle's) and her husband greeted us wearing a mask. We understood that we were supposed to do so as well and spent 70 (!) minutes listening to her explain things pertaining to the apartment and fill us in on the latest French Covid-19 news. By the time they finally left, I ripped off my mask and was almost gasping for air. My first impression: wow, the French are taking things way more seriously than we do! In hindsight, I think they were a just bit paranoid that us foreigners just off a plane would infect them. Fair enough. The French (at least people in Nice) did take things way more seriously than the general population here in Austria as masks are obligatory in any type of shop and there a disinfectant gel dispenser by the door in every shop and you are requested to use it, too. I don't think my hands have been that clean and germ-free ever in my life. The cashier at Galeries Lafayette disinfected her hands every.single.time she reached for an invoice and handed it to a new customer. Our landlady had warned us that we might not be able to try on any clothes but this turned out not to be true at all. It was possible to do so everywhere and the sales had really good deals, too so I did my best to help the French economy. Ahem.
I decided not to go on any daytrips this time (the idea of sitting on a bus or train with a mask did not appeal to me) so we mostly spent time at the beach, where you don't have to wear a mask. Most people placed their towels and other beach paraphernalia at a proper distance, but there were less tourists than in previous years anyway. We heard mostly Italian and our assumption was that many of these beach-goers were daytrippers as the Italian border is quite close.
Would I go again? Yes, I would, but there is always that tension regarding travel warnings changing at short notice. At the moment, trips abroad by car (ideally to neighbouring countries) seem safer than flying to a destination where there currently is only one flight a day.


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