Things are Different

Things are different now. Life goes on, I keep up my routines: Stretches of writing with occasional bursts of creativity. When the Muse does show up, it makes the trudgery worth it! Sporadic house cleaning (and when did our kitchen floor get so dirty?). Long walks out in the gardens five minutes from our apartment, those walks a get-me-out-of-the-house plea for freedom.

Some of the differences I can handle. Kind of. Stay at home to keep the world safe? I’m down with that idea. We are so all in this together.

But the small changes… those are the ones that make my stomach queasy. Here are the changes that are itty bitty things, letting me know life is altered:

  1. We know the owners of Diverso, the best Italian restaurant in our town. They initially had to close, of course. On the day Heidrun and Pasquale began offering takeaway, a Thursday, we ordered pizzas. We’ve done this every Thursday since then. Because we want to support our friends, because this is now the closest we can get to going out to eat, because Pasquale’s gourmet pizza includes gorgonzola cheese and shaved white truffle, and because there is nothing like cold pizza for breakfast the next day. Nothing.
  2. I use two ply of toilet paper now. I don’t know how many I used on average before the lockdown: I do know that the roll gets counted out now that it’s so hard to buy.
  3. There is a book exchange by the UBahn metro stop. It’s wonderful! – a red British phone booth, transformed into a spot to get new books and drop off old ones. I detour and go check it every single time I walk in that direction, because you never know when English language books might be on the shelves. I’ve seen Russian, Polish, French and Spanish books along with the majority German ones. After the first week of lockdown, I had a stack of finally-read books to pass along, and headed over to the phone booth. I entered it and when the heavy door swung shut, I thought “I just stepped inside a Petri dish. Ohhh shit.” I held my breath, shoved my books onto the top shelf where the foreign language books go, and got the hell out of there. Since then I scan the shelves for potential reading material before I open that door. I try not to breathe as I’m looking. And I hold the door open until I’m done.
  4. And then I use the little bottle of hand sanitizer that I began to carry everywhere with me. Touch a surface? Sterilize your hands. Repeat, as many times as needed.
  5. We have bottles of wine we got as gifts, or I’d been saving for a special occasion. Honey, if the current world situation doesn’t meet the definition of ‘special occasion’, nothing does. So I’m pulling those wines from the cellar to drink. I hope that if it’s a good bottle I won’t give into my desire to chug it. I want to treat life right now as special. If this is it, I want to celebrate the fact that Uwe and I are safe, and healthy, and have a roof over our heads, and are connected to everything.



Stay safe everyone. Stay healthy.

NOTES: © Text and photo Jadi Campbell 2020.  To see Uwe’s photos and pics from our trips go to

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12 thoughts on “Things are Different”

  1. Thank you for including the Ubahn station in your latest writing about the pandemic. I can picture the station in my mind so vividly. I like to remember the things I see along the way in my travels. Keep writing and drinking that wine.

  2. Pizza and wine for breakfast – count me in!!! After we returned from Oaxaca and were on our two week quarantine, we ran out of wine. But…we had a garafon with about 4 gallons of rhubarb wine that we had made the summer before last and never used because it was too sweet. Suddenly it was perfect, so into the bottles it went! It was excellent mixed with CO2 water. Saved by rhubarb!

    1. Glad you made it home safely! A rhubarb wine spritzer sounds great. I find wine with pizza for breakfast usually tastes best if you’re eating it sometime around two in the afternoon….

  3. Absolutely wonderful post!

    We’re in month two of “sheltering” on this little island off Scotland’s coast. We try not to think of the Costco bale of TP or all the bottles of gifted booze gathering dust at our Glasgow place, or of all the still-open City shops and restaurants offering takeaway. Or the super fast and reliable WiFi connection there. We really try.

    Watching the technicolour sunrise over the water as we eat breakfast really helps!

    Hope you stay well.

    1. An island off the coast of Scotland sounds like the absolute perfect place to be ‘stuck’. Beam me over, Scotty! Great to hear from you Barb and do stay safe and at peace.

  4. It is a special occasion isn’t it! I too am more conscious of the amount of TP I use even though so far we haven’t had to buy any. I have no idea if there’s any available at our local supermarket or not, but I’m thinking there probably will be when I need it – people are being pretty respectful here.
    We have hand sanitizer tho I’m not using it, just lots of soap and water. My hands are getting dry. Just the little things. Mostly life goes on much the same so far.
    I too celebrate that we are safe, and healthy, and have each other. We are the lucky ones.

    1. A friend contacted Uwe when we were still in Panama and asked if we could buy hand sanitizer for his family. He said, the stores in Germany were sold out. We then got home and couldn’t see our friends… I have a bag of little bottles to give them when the lockdown lifts, and a bottle each for Uwe and I to carry in our jacket pockets when we go out. We really are the lucky ones Alison: safe, healthy, and quarantined with another person I actually enjoy being around. (The fact that I can go into my home office and shut the door is a major help!)

    1. Trey I spend alot of my time wandering around thinking, WTF?!?!? The posts are a way to try and make sense of it. Hellos to you and Barbara! xo

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