Sep 29 2021

Visiting during the COVID pandemic

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 14:47

I dread the question “When are you coming home?” when it comes from my friends and family living in Romania.  The main reason is because I never felt “at home” in Romania. I can probably blame this on my parents for moving often when I was growing up, and thus never having a fixed place where I felt safe and that I could feel at home. I however am an adult, and I am past the point where I blame all my issues on them, and acknowledge the fact that even after moving away from my family I never lived for long enough in a single place and never felt safe and content enough to call any of those places home.  Also, Romania is not the kind of country I ever felt safe and proud to be a citizen of. So, hearing my friends asking me when I come “home” blocks my brains for a few fractions of a second… it just doesn’t compute. I am home, who’s home are you talking about? Where do you think I live? And then I realize my mistake and answer… “To Romania, umm, not sure”.

Yesterday one of my aunts asked me the dreaded question. I had to blame COVID and Brexit for me not being able to go back to Romania to hide my total lack of intent of doing so.

This entry is not only about going home, is about going to see people in general. I’ve noticed something … peculiar. I’ve lived in Romania in a city that was a two-hour drive away from where most of my relatives lived, for 13 years. How many of them do you think ever came for a visit? Looking back, I did not invite them either, after all I was renting the place and lived with three other flat mates, but nobody ever showed any interest in where I lived and how either. With my closest friends we have this understanding that they are always welcome at my house and me at theirs, and they can come whenever they want to, as long as they let me know beforehand so I can prepare to host them properly. I would assume this goes for family as well. Does it need to be said explicitly?

I don’t know why, but I am not the kind of people to invite people over every time we chat. It feels like I’m yearning for their company which to be honest … I don’t. Maybe it’s my brains that is broken but I don’t think I miss anybody in particular, but if they would say: “Hey, I’d like to get away from my house and life for a bit, can I come over?” I’d be “Sure. When and what do you need?

A week ago, my sister asked me when I will visit her in Italy. And again, I blamed the COVID pandemic and Brexit. It’s not that I don’t want to visit – I mean, it’s Italy in autumn, when the figs are ripe, where you can find good mozzarella and excellent olives everywhere, but I just bought a flat in an amazing Scotland city and I still have to paint and decorate it and also, I have an extra bedroom. I’ve been to Italy in 2019, why isn’t she coming over? I asked her and I received a mix of excuses about not having a passport and the inability to make one, and then not having vacation days and other mumbles about Brexit. So yeah, in short she won’t be visiting me.

A while ago I was browsing reddit and there was a thread about dating facts and advice, and somebody said something that rang true to me: “Nobody is busier than somebody who doesn’t want you”.  It goes for family too…  if they don’t make the effort to come visit me in the house that I’ve worked all my life for, if they always ask me to make the effort to see them… do they actually want to see me? Or it’s all just words without actual feeling behind it, that they say because they were just taught it was polite to say? I don’t have an answer for this. I do blame myself a little for not saying these polite words to people either (maybe I am the busiest one), but let’s put it this way: the people I am always happy to visit and have them visit me, they know. I don’t need to remind/ask them that they can visit every time we talk. I mention it once, maybe twice but that’s it. I won’t beg people to come over to my house so I can show them the perfect host that I can be. I just mention the possibility, feel free to grab it with both hands and benefit, because I won’t shove my hospitality in your face.

Asking people to come visit me during a pandemic and Brexit is such a weird thing to do, I mean this is that this translates to: “Would you be willing to buy a plane ticket that might get cancelled, pay for one or multiple COVID tests and then risk quarantine and being denied entry because of Brexit or your vaccine certificate not being recognized?” So, I don’t ask.  Any one of my friends and family is welcome at my house and they will be treated like royalty if they are willing to go through that, but I won’t ask them to go through that.

Stay safe, stay happy!

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