It Could Be Worse

Dearest Rachel –

It was one of those many inside jokes we used to have between each other. Any time we were in a bad situation of one sort or another, we would often encourage each other with Eye-gor’s line.

Granted, if it was raining, the effect was lost, but still…

I’ve tried to maintain a certain amount of equanimity about my situation thus far. If nothing else, unlike last year, I was actually feeling unwell when I took off on Friday, despite having a reassurance (at the time) that whatever I might be suffering from, it wasn’t the dreaded coronavirus. I wouldn’t have been able to participate as much as I would have liked to had I stayed on the ship; to be removed before the Kara even left port removes the responsibility of keeping up from me. In a way, I will be able to get more relaxation from this stay than I could possibly have from trying to push myself through eight straight days of one shore excursion after another.

I received my daily call from Louise this afternoon that suggested the grapes further north are in fact as sour as I’d like to believe. She’s been trying to get my test results from the ship, only to be stymied by the fact that – since the Rhine at this point serves as the border between Germany and France – Internet provision is, let’s just say, spotty. When you’re back-and-forth between borders like they are, they can’t stay connected. For someone like me (indeed, someones like us) who practically live on the Internet, this is an awful situation. At least here, my connection is full, constant and robust – even if I do have to invoke Google Translate a bit, and even then, it’s kind of dicey.

Also, it turns out there’s been a new ruling here in Europe – or maybe it’s just Switzerland. Apparently, certain countries have just been (as in today) determined to be hotspots, and individuals from these countries are suddenly personae non grati. What I’m saying is, Viking has had to, based on this new ruling, escort its British guests off the ship. They would have had to do likewise for its Dutch guests, had there been any. Imagine being cleared for travel, testing positive, and being removed for your nationality being declared a Covid hotspot.

By comparison, my removal seems quite reasonable, despite leaving people scratching their heads as to how I even got here.

I don’t know what’s going to happen to these guests, and it’s not like I have any right to. That’s their story, and I’m not a part of it. But I’m going to come out and say that they got the worse end of the deal.

Louise tells me I should hear from the authorities, if not by the end of the business day here (which, now that I’m dictating this, is over), some time tomorrow. My confinement is based on – and starting with – the results of my Sunday test. Whatever results I got from Wednesday and Friday are irrelevant – and potentially problematic, as they would raise questions about my presence here that I don’t think anybody can answer at this point. She advises me to keep quiet about that. I respond by observing that the Swiss appear to understand the concept of ‘pleading the fifth’ despite being more than an ocean away from that provision, and she chuckles.

She continues to remind me that, if I do need anything, I should let her know. I agree to, and let her go. I know that I haven’t even begun to tap the resources that are available to me, but it isn’t as if the situation has gotten that dire yet. I need to hold a few cards in reserve…

You know, just in case it starts raining.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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