Rishikesh to Amsterdam 4, from lockdown to lockdown, the second week


Rishikesh to Amsterdam 1, from lockdown to lockdown
Rishikesh to Amsterdam 2, from lockdown to lockdown
Rishikesh to Amsterdam 3, from lockdown to lockdown
Rishikesh to Amsterdam 4, from lockdown to lockdown

One more week to go.

On March 30 I wrote a report of my first sentimental journey there:

Yesterday I strolled around a bit with the feeling suspecting the possibility that this might be the last time for me to see this surroundings. On my way back from the yoga ashram where I said farewell to the yogiji, for a while a lizard and me made eye contact till I came to close.
It walked calmly back in its whole in the wall. In a way a metaphor for India and Rishikesh. Living in solitude in a cave, in open contact with the outside world, yet the solitude being a priority. Or something like that.
Omg, am I getting sentimental? Yes, I think so.
More about yesterday:
On my stroll on the other side through the deserted street with the incidental open shop I saw a nice example of a always wet wall. Then always green ferns.

More on March 30, still about the day before:

This morning the bridge has been closed for ever again.
Because the number of cases in India came above 1000, someone said.
Because the district that I live in has closed its borders, my host says.
She also told me that bringing the military in to replace or assist the police was being considered.
Enfin, this is what the never in daylight to be seen again view is of the street at the other site of Ganga right opposite of where I am writing this now.
The Laxman Jhula bridge on my way back from ‘the other side’, the side where they actually lock the door.
My host also told me that the bridge is a border between two areas. So different politicians ruling.
Somewhere in this picture that I made on my last time crossing the bridge (that I already for decades call my favourite bridge in the world),  is the place that already for a week now provides my window to the outer world.
What a blessing.
My last remark of the day, March 30:
What happens?
………………
Still awaiting the Dutch rescue operation in the making to become effective.
I suspect, but not more than that based on mini indications, that it could happen this week. Meanwhile I am spending day 8 in the usual place.

So, here we are, next day, March 31:
This morning ‘this side’ of the bridge also locked.

Looking along the barricade reveiled this:

Laxman Jhula this morning. Introvert doggy paradise.

Also this day I posted a picture of Lockdown drawing no. 3 with this comment:

It reminds me of this Napoleon quote that he supposedly spoke to his troops on arrival at the pyramids in Egypt in the year 1798.
Twisted to the current context and era it would kind of go like this: From the heights of the Himalayas forty centuries of spirituality look down on us.

Also that day I posted my once upon a time repeated message, just because I myself so much love this piece of Jimi Hendrix. And to with etcetera:

Again a collective happy birthday for my friends that are having birthdays and for all others having birthdays or not.
Who cares? Enjoy.

 On April 1 I started out by showing my daily view, the other side.
Not to the left, not to the right, but straightforward this time.
So, April’s Foolsday.I skipped at yesterday a post about Trump. But I changed my mind. In the context of my already years old idea that in the end America will become more democratic as a inevitable side effect of his behaviour I think it is a important part of this portrait of that moment in history.
So, with this comment I posted a article from The Guardian:

“Trump’s remarks reveal how at least some Republicans have long understood voting barriers to be a necessary part of their political self-preservation.”
Monkey business on April Fool’s Day.
So far, I have shown my daily view from this restaurant to the left, to the right and straighforward. I had the intention to also show another dimension of this view: the one downward. I have the footage but then the repatriation story started to unfold its last chapter.
So, here it is, in premiere, the view downward.
I didn’t know that monkeys could swim, even under water.
They even dived from a swinging branch that was hanging over the water.
I show a downward overall picture, a cropping of another picture where you can see two monkeys swimming under water and a video with just before the end of the one minute a real dive/jump.


So here we are, we get to April 2.
I started out with sharing the just finished lockdown drawing no. 4.
Here another zoomed in cropping of it:

Then this text, above another already kind of fairwell view picture:

Conclusion and effect after a few hours of confusion, not knowing exactly what was going on and finally also myself getting this email that others got two days earlier:
I am on a flight from Delhi to Amsterdam that will leave from indira Gandhi International Airport the 5th of April at 02.55.
The ticket contains this text:
KLM WILL GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU SHORTLY FOR PAYMENT
Sounds real, right?
Working from now on on finding a taxi and getting the required travel permits from the local police.
Two more days to go.
Aho,
hans

The next day, on April 3 I opened with this:

So, that was a busy 24 hours. I’m on the ‘rescue’ flight on April 5 at 02.55 from Delhi to Amsterdam, organized by the Dutch government. And on top of that they just confirmed that they also organized the transport including the travel permits. I can relax now. Maybe another lockdown drawing.
So far so good.
And added a pic of a locked down shop with the obsolete posters as wallpaper:

That night after I came back in my room with the expectation that the departure to the airport would be the next day somewhere in the afternoon.
Only then I found out that the Dutch Embassy in Delhi had sent an email early that evening with this message:
Our apologies for the late reply, but we finally have news about the pick up tomorrow. You will all be picked up from your home/house/hotel.

The driver will arrive in Uttrakhand around 07:30. The first pick up will be between 08:00 and 08:30. (……).
Don’t forget to bring lots of water and food. We heard the shops at the airport are closed. I wish you a safe and pleasant trip.So, suddenly I had to be prepared for a pick up from 08.00 on.
So I packed and went to bed by 02.00
In the end the pick up showed up by 11.00 of course, so time enough for a few farewells and a  last breakfast in my favorite restaurant around the corner.Here is a photo of a sanitary stop at a completely empty gas pump.

We arrived at Delhi Airport at 17.30.

Flight goes in 8 hours.
So far so good.
At Departures was some activity going on, there were three rescue flights that night. One to France, one to Spain and one to Amsterdam.
Normally you happily and right away enter the glass sliding doors of Departures, right into the airconditioned climate of the airport. Yet, this time they made us wait outside in front of the building till 22.00.
Then the improvised Corona version of the check in procedure started, which took quite some time.
This is a picture of the emptiest side in front of Departures.

After another few hours waiting inside, the actual check in started.
Just a few pictures to illustrate that. There was a relaxed atmosphere and quite good social distancing amongst us tourists going home. Most were not wearing masks. At some point I decided to stick to my upcoming gut feeling and have worn my mask till arrival in Amsterdam.

KLM had sent a quite long email:
Coronavirus update: What to expect if you’re travelling with KLM this week.
A few sentences from it.
*You will find a bag containing snacks, fruit and drinks on your seat when you
   board the aircraft.
*We cannot guarantee to serve a hot meal as this is dependent on flight
   conditions. (We were lucky, we got a hot meal).

*Of course, you are most welcome to bring your own snacks.

So there we were, about five hundred mostly masked people.
Packed as usual, thought requested to practice social distancing as much as possible.
Taxiing started exactly at 02.55. And off we went.
We had a meal, I listened for a few hours the whole available repertoire of Mozart, slept a bit and looked kind of like this:

The first picture I made on Schiphol Airport was of five chairs transformed into a two-seater sofa.
Welcome in the one and a half meter society.

Also the luggage belt was transformed in a keep distance zone:
For the rest, yet another empty airport:
Outside I was welcomed by a not so solid Tulip of Amsterdam. Here next to my luggage and the cappuccino that I had scored in a grocery store, one of the very few places that was open. Waiting for my taxi. I was his first ride in two weeks.
I made a selfie with the traffic control tower and posted it on Facebook.

Accompanied with this text:

Hours ago, I wrote to my host in Rishikesh:

Dear Kiran and family.
This morning I posted on Facebook this picture with the text: The eagle has landed. It is a selfie of myself and on the background the control tower of Amsterdam Airport. I am well.
Also my country and my city are in a quite strong lockdown. The world is weird, yet fascinating.
Virtual hug,
hans


The journey from Rishikesh to Amsterdam, from lockdown to lockdown, was completed.
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