It was a sunny but windy morning. I wore sunglasses more for the wind than the sun, disliking getting tiny objects stuck in my eyes.
The metro station was cool and quiet. People eyed each other suspiciously and moved on quickly. No one was wearing a mask. In the metro, it was impossible to keep a two-meter distance, even though it wasn’t very crowded. I hadn’t taken the metro or any form of public transport in months.
Now, when I talk about the metro, I need you to know it’s not Paris or London. In the scale of metro systems, ours is a junior metro. A straight line with a fork at the end. And when I talk about cities, this is not Paris or London in that sense either. Our crowds are perhaps not what you would call a crowd. A smaller number of people qualify as a crowd when there’s a smaller number to begin with.
All in all, there were not that many people in the metro that day, but it felt like too many. I went where I had to go, and on my way back, decided to hop off earlier and walk.
I used the rest of my tiny, travel-sized hand sanitizer which I had bought for who knows which trip, a lifetime ago. Only half-used, I rescued it from closet oblivion when the weather warmed up and gloves were put aside.
I walked to the main park, hearing nothing but my own thoughts in a place where people jog and push strollers. Where seagulls and drones fly loudly above you, where the police are good guys, and where university education is free.
While our metro is a bright-orange-colored baby, our tram system is a vibrant green-and-yellow adult. It tours the downtown streets of the capital, knowing each nook and cranny.
But I’ve always preferred to walk, even before the virus.
When I came home, my boys asked me if they could pet a dog. Some dog somewhere. They’ve yet to experience that.
“After the germ season is over,” I told them.