My mood is souring and has been over the last few days. The frustration of not being able to go anywhere of importance is still like banging my head off a wall, except now I’m aware of the futility of the action before I do it, i.e. I’m no longer thinking in terms of what I’d like to do; instead, what I should have been able to do.
The reason I’m feeling extra pissy right now, is because I should have worked a half shift today and left the office at lunchtime, happily giving everyone the
figurative finger and shouting ‘me ne vado’ at anyone who happened to see me. I should have spent today packing my suitcases and charging up the kindle, watching an Italian film and singing myself to sleep with ‘Una Notte a Napoli’. Then tomorrow, I should have been meeting Mamma and there should have been a leisurely taxi journey to the Holiday Inn at the Airport where we should have spent a pleasant afternoon and evening giddily preparing ourselves for the adventure ahead.
Friday morning at 7:25am I should have been on the fucking plane to Naples.
I saw this above tweet about a month ago, right around the point when we all realised Coronavirus was here to fuck up everything and I got the email to say the holiday was cancelled. Now we were fortunate enough to get a full refund from the holiday provider, the insurance and the airport hotel, however, are refusing to refund anything. I understand what no cancellation means, but I didn’t cancel – Jet2 did. And if no virus had appeared, then we’d be in the damn hotel and making use of the insurance now wouldn’t we?!
I digress. I get it, I do. This is not a joke. All the years that people called me nuts for raving about horror movies, and having a zombie plan in place (not to mention a ton of tinned food – I didn’t need to panic buy, Karen) and it’s finally here. Governmental response has been far more meh, than in any zombie film I’ve ever seen, yet given the track records and who we’re talking about, did we really expect them to step up?
But as the tweet above says, we can still be aware of the gravity of this situation and still be sad for the things we’re losing out on and missing. No one ever expected life to be shut down almost completely, not during ‘peace time’ anyway. The debates will continue forever about why Coronavirus happened, what it will mean for the future, and what does it say about societies and consumer lifestyles.
Before all that we can still lament, people missed out on weddings, births have happened in private, funerals are restricted, milestone birthday parties have gone on zoom and wishes are sent via TikTok dances. And for me, it was the chance to return to one of my most favourite places on this spectacular planet after seven whole years. A place that shaped me and formed me; from the first time I was there in 2008 and I was just a 19 year-old stuck with family and practising tiny bits of Italian, awed that I could order full meals and have basic conversations by the end of the holiday. When I returned in 2009, young free and single and only 20 years old, the feeling was unreal, the high wasn’t like anything I’d ever experienced. By the time I’d arrived in Sorrento, I’d had so many wonderful, random conversations and met a whole host of colourful characters. It was then I made more memories, took more chances and grew more confident, not only in myself but in my ability to do the things I’d set my mind to. I chose to learn Italian, I chose to keep studying and working away when others told me to chill out and relax. Now I can relax by the pool with a limoncello and having a fantastic conversation with the hotel staff teasing about the effect of Federico Moccia and Tiziano Ferro on my life.
Well, I should have been relaxing by the pool…