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. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

There Goes My Flight Again

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

I read on the news today that hospitals in Panama are on the brink of collapse because of a surge in COVID-19 cases. It means that their government may decide to again extend the suspension of all international commercial flights for another 30 days. Flights are supposed to resume on 7 August 2020, but that's probably not going to happen. My flight out of Costa Rica has a layover in Panama; but if Panama further restricts travel, I won't be able to leave as planned. So there goes my flight again. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Stuck in Paradise

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

"A new guest will arrive tomorrow," the innkeeper said, sounding perplexed. "He's coming from San Jose," he added. Foreigners still can't enter the country, so we assumed that he's a local craving for a few days of sun, sea, and sand.

We were wrong. He turned out to be like me: stuck in paradise. He's a Pakistani who's been working for an IT company in Costa Rica for several months when the borders closed in mid-March. Like me, he's left without any means to go home. But instead of hunkering down in one place, he's wandering around the country while waiting for travel restrictions to be lifted. 

It is comforting to know that I'm not the only one; that there are others out there who are stranded, alone, and trying to keep it together as the world goes to shit. 
 
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