Hanging in there…

Owl we spotted in Kanha National Park.
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This morning at breakfast, we realized we’d been at the lovely Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai International Airport for one week. It seems like so much longer in the same manner that lockdown must feel for all of you regardless of where you may be.

In many ways, lockdown is easier for us than many throughout the world who are confined to their homes for an indefinite period. They have to figure out how to get food and supplies while exposing themselves to the dangerous risk of becoming infected while shopping and out and about.

Although the menu options are restricted at the hotel due to reduced or non-existent deliveries and the choices are limited for my way of eating and Tom’s taste buds, we are managing well. Neither of us is starving and our two meals a day are holding hunger at bay.

Yesterday, the hotel had a delivery of some items including white bread (for Tom) and fresh vegetables for me. Last night’s dinner of grilled chicken and vegetables with a side of delicious paneer butter masala was perfect. 

Tom had his usual chicken penne pasta with a white sauce. They were out of bread needed to make garlic toast, which he enjoys with the pasta. This morning at breakfast, I had an omelet with 1½ pieces of bacon and Tom ate the other half of the bacon, fried eggs, and white toast. This will hold us until dinner at 7:00 pm when the restaurant re-opens.

A Sambar Deer and her youngster.

No alcoholic beverages are allowed in India during the lockdown. A glass of red wine for me and a cognac cocktail for Tom would be nice but we’re doing fine without it. 

Also, we don’t have to clean, prepare meals, wash dishes, empty trash or manage any usual household tasks. We’re in air-conditioned comfort and although our room isn’t huge, we only occupy a small space. Tom sits on the bed all day while I sit in a comfortable chair with an ottoman.

We’ve decided to continue to wash our clothes in the room after we estimated the cost of having it done by the laundry service which becomes available tomorrow. 

Having our laundry done would cost no less than INR 7553, US $100, a week. With the cost of our hotel room and dinner each night plus the high tax rate in India, we’ve decided to keep our costs down during this time. We have no idea how long we’ll be living in a hotel or the costs we’ll incur when we can finally leave the country.

Entertaining ourselves is relatively easy, although most TV channels are spoken in Hindi. But this fact is irrelevant to us when we seldom watch local TV while living in any country. We prefer to stream shows, even when we may have to pay for certain programs.

A Black Eagle on the lookout for a meal.

A few days ago, we discovered Nat Geo Wild is available on the TV and each morning, after checking the local and international English speaking news channels, we often keep Nat Geo on the TV with the sound off while Tom listens to his favorite radio podcast from Minnesota, Garage Logic.

The toughest part for us is the concern hovering in our minds as to how long we’ll be able to stay in this hotel and if not, where we’ll go. Sure, the limited space of a standard hotel room is confining, but that’s a small price to pay when we are safe in this environment more than anywhere else we could have gone.

Had we made it to South Africa, we’d have been exposed to the virus to a much greater degree having to go out to shop every few days. With the frequent power outages in South Africa for extended periods (load shedding), keeping food safe in the refrigerator and freezer would have been a constant challenge requiring shopping for perishables every few days.

Let’s face it. It’s not easy for any of us. I haven’t cooked a meal in over two months and the simple act of doing this someday in the future will be quite a pleasure.

I think for all of us, we’ll have a greater appreciation of so much in life we may have taken for granted in the past. There is no time in most of our lives that we ever had to sacrifice so much for our own well-being, our family’s well-being, and the well-being of those throughout the world.

Hang in there, everyone. This, too, shall pass.

Photo from one year ago today, March 31, 2019:

And, here are our girls! Female kudus enjoying pellets. For more photos, please click here.