Lucky Us

5am.This time it’s English Lit. Lu has just offered to read for a part in A View from a Bridge. While she reads Katherine’s lines, her eyes being held up by invisible matchsticks, I’ve been flicking through the news. Alright. If she’s offered to read aloud for her class, I better pull my finger out too.

The lockdown ends in Bonaire tomorrow. Last night there was a press conference. We were expecting lockdown to continue here, as cases don’t seem to be abating. There’s about 5-10 cases everyday now, except for yesterday when there was only one new case. Hundreds of people remain in quarantine. For reasons that are neither clear nor encouraging, the Dutch Bonaire Government have decided that lockdown is good to stop.

It’s a weird feeling. On the one hand, I’m grateful that shops are re-opening. When shops are closed, it’s the eeriest feeling. Restaurants are re-opening too – though they are due to shut at 8pm. No mind. We don’t go to these very often. Meanwhile, indoor leisure facilities like gyms stay closed. This means on my jogging run into Kralendijk, they’ll be the same swelled-up number of people heading down the promenade.

Delph and Shona came with me last week. We headed out of the marina at half-six; early enough to avoid the sun. We headed down the main road. Just before the turning to the prom, a car came up behind us – too fast. We didn’t have time to react. It was really just the sound which alerted us it was there.

I turned around to see the car skidding sideways. It missed us by a couple of feet and came to a stop. The driver was a young woman. She seemed fine – except she was making hurling-type sounds.

Uh-oh. It’s one thing almost being hit by a car. It’s another to watch a total stranger puke just after dawn. Shona straight away encouraged the woman to get out of the car. Good old Shona. The woman got out of her car which was facing the wrong direction, looked at the three of us and started moaning again.

She also had half a small bottle of Smirnoff – in the cup holder next to the steering wheel. Drink-driving is painfully common in the Caribbean. A few weeks ago, Patrice woke up to a large bang out on the road. It was 1:30 in the morning. He went out to check on his rental car. He found another car laying out on its side having smashed into one of lampposts outside the marina. He saw the police arrive, and the driver being loaded into an ambulance. The police were going through the car, removing opened bottles of alcohol.

We were luckier than that accident. After a few moments, the woman driver calmed down enough to get back into her car. We encouraged her to slow down. She drove off down the road the speed of a snail. Literally, she couldn’t go slower.

Life is definitely confusing at the moment. But we’re still here. Oh, and English class is over. That’ll mean one thing. See you tomorrow morning.

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