FAQ items aan het laden...

(note from elmine: this is a piece of fiction, quickly written, hardly edited and written in my second language; please be kind :-) )

Finally here

I’m here. The land I’ve dreamed of visiting for twenty years. The land hardly anyone is allowed into. I’m in!

Well, sort of.

There wasn’t a cloud in the sky when we approached Porta Coron. The hills immediately invited me for a hike with their spring green colour. The beaches seduced me for a sunbath with their immaculate white sand. Of course I’m not allowed to do anything of this as I had to follow the protocol. While the crew started unloading supplies citizens of Pangheya ordered, I had to put on the airtight suit, put on gloves, and wear the full face mask. I’ve seen videos of others wearing this, but those videos can’t make you feel for real. I wasn’t prepared how stuffy it felt. Within minutes I started sweating big time. Especially when I walked of the ship into the hall for new arrivals.

Everyone entering Pangheya has to visit this hall first. I call it a hall, but it’s not that big. It’s the size of a decent home, but without rooms and a second floor. A high ceiling and windows on the front and back side make it feel more spacious than it is.

As soon as I entered the arrivals hall a person greeted me, hands pressed together and a small nod. This person was dressed just like me, so we only had our eyes revealed to each other. I felt completely out of place. An invader who shouldn’t be here. Then the person started talking. I heard a woman’s voice. She sounded warm, calm. She welcomed me and explained she was going to do some tests. She measured my body temperature, took some blood and took the blood to a machine on her desk. She said it could take up to an hour before the machine processed everything. I should wait in the seating area. As I’m not allowed to touch anything yet, she couldn’t offer me anything to drink. At first I sat silently. Watching the lady work on her computer. She was typing a lot, despite the gloves she wore. I guessed it had nothing to with me, but that she had some other stuff she worked on. Or she was typing a report on me already. Perhaps they track your character as well and she is now typing up a report on whether I behaved nervously or calmly.

After about ten minutes speculating in my head I dared ask her a question. I wanted to know how many other visitors came to Pangheya. Just one in the past few months, she said. There are five foreigners in total at this time, excluding me. They’re all researchers such as me. I was a bit surprised to hear there are five. I know the names of four researchers who have been stationed here by their institutes. I tried asking for the name of the fifth person. She responded it would be hard to miss number five once I was allowed in. She apparently trusted my to blood to come out clean.

After about half an hour of her typing and me silently speculating about researcher number five, my blood indeed turned out to be clean. I was allowed to proceed. The ship was unloaded and the crew waved one last time, before sailing of. They didn’t have to take me back home.

Still in my air tight suit the lady directed me into the car that was waiting on the land side of the hall. The driver, all suited up as well, took me to quarantine hotel.

That’s where I am right now. For the next two weeks I will need to stay in the hotel. I guess I have plenty of time to catch up on the sleep I lost on the ship.

Door |2020-04-16T15:29:17+02:0010 april 2020|Stories from Pangheya|0 Reacties

Not much sleep

Ugh. I feel awful. My first night on a ship and instead of catching up on sleep I spent the night dangling above the toilet. We sailed through heavy storm for hours and it felt like we could capsize any minute. At about five this morning the rocking back and forth became bearable again. It coincided with my stomach being completely empty so I got two hours of sleep before waking up again. Breakfast was served. When I started explaining how bad my night was, the crew started laughing. It was only a mild storm. I guess I’m not cut out to ever work on a ship permanently.

Now that I’m awake (sort of) and fed, I can start to catch up on some of the latest literature published on Pangheya. Back home they have this expression calm before the storm. This moment is more like calm after the storm. The clouds are all gone now, so I’ll see if I can find a spot on the deck to make myself comfortable. And perhaps doze of for a bit.

Door |2020-04-07T17:21:11+02:007 april 2020|Stories from Pangheya|0 Reacties

And so the adventure begins

I feel like I’m eighteen again. I’m sitting on a ship that will take me to the place that will be my home for the coming year. I have butterflies in my stomach and tears in my eyes. This is how I felt when I hugged my mother a last time before boarding the train when I went to uni many years ago. Excited, scared, alone. My mother is long gone, but this morning my daughter gave me a final hug before I walked the gangway onto the ship that brings me to my new adventure. As I hugged her I sniffed her neck like I did when she was a toddler. We had to get up really early this morning, therefore she hadn’t showered yet. She smelled more like herself than ever. I really liked that.

The ship left the harbour a few hours ago. I settled into my cabin, unpacked some essentials and now have some time to myself before lunch will be served. The coming days I will have plenty of time to prepare my research, for now I just wanted to start writing in my journal. Get rid of that daunting first blank page of a notebook. Now that the first lines are written, I can move on to the more interesting bits.

But not right now. The bell for lunch just rang. Got to go.

Door |2020-04-07T16:07:42+02:006 april 2020|Stories from Pangheya|0 Reacties
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