Thursday, December 3, 2020

I craved further loneliness

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Transcendent Kingdom
"She paid for the chips and my sandwich as well, and we headed over to the high-tops at the far end of the shop. It was almost empty save a few undergrads who had made their way over to this graduate student part of campus, probably for the quiet, the decreased chance of recognition. I’d once been like that, so lonely that I craved further loneliness. Even after I’d made a few friends in college, I would still go out of my way to create whatever conditions I needed that might allow me to be alone."

~ Yaa Gyasi, Transcendent Kingdom, 2020 

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Favorite Experiences in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Rio de Janeiro doesn't have a good reputation when it comes to safety. But it's not as dangerous as it seems to be. Alone, I walked along the beaches of Leme, Copacabana and Ipanema, I took cabs, I wandered around Sta Teresa and Lapa, I visited the usual tourist destinations—while taking photos of everything with my phone. Nothing bad happened to me. The cariocas I met are warm and friendly, eager to help a lone female traveler like me.

Here are my favorite experiences in this wonderful city:


Exploring Jardim Botanico

Standing in awe of the sheer beauty of the city

Walking along the beaches of Leme, Copacabana, and Ipanema

Wandering around Centro

Seeing the Maracana Stadium

Monday, November 23, 2020

Journey Home to the Philippines

Monday, November 23, 2020

Early last month when there still were no available flights from Costa Rica to the Philippines I decided to go to Rio de Janeiro and from there catch a flight to Manila. I knew that transiting through Brazil isn’t safe considering the lengthy travel time, the multiple airports I had to go through, and the high number of cases in the country, but I had to take a risk because I wanted to be home before the year ends. From Manuel Antonio where I was based in Costa Rica, I took a three-hour bus to Alajuela where the international airport is located. From Alajuela I flew to Rio de Janeiro through Panama City, a total of 9 hours travel time.  I then spent a week exploring Rio de Janeiro while taking extra care not to contract the virus. 

The journey from Brazil to the Philippines involved 36 hours of travel time and not enough social distancing at the airports and aboard the planes. Social distancing protocols for checking in, boarding, and disembarking were hardly enforced nor followed in the flights from Rio to Sao Paulo to Istanbul to Manila. It was worse than I expected. I made sure to isolate myself as much as I could, constantly wear and regularly change my surgical mask, and obsessively wash my hands; but I knew that despite all of that I could contract the virus because of the lack of social distancing among passengers and other travelers. My being extra vigilant paid off, however. I tested negative when I took the PC-RCT test for COVID-19 upon arrival in Manila. But just to be safe and sure, I even completed the recommended 14-day quarantine before meeting my family.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Another One Like Me

Saturday, July 25, 2020

I found another one just like me. He sits alone every morning at that small cafe near the bus stop, painstakingly eating a plate of rice and beans, trying to make each spoonful last. He's from Denmark and is currently the sole guest in one of the hotels here in Manuel Antonio. Like other travelers who were not able to find a flight home before the borders were shut, he's been stranded in Costa Rica for almost five months now. But it's not only the lack of flights that troubles him. In dire financial straits, he's worried that he will no longer be able to sustain his stay in the country as travel restrictions are extended until September.

I wonder how many of us are trapped in Costa Rica or in other countries without any means of going home. I wonder how others are holding up. I wonder how they manage to rein in those dreadful, destructive thoughts. 
 
muffled solitude © 2007-2019. Design by Pocket | Distributed by Blogger Blog Templates