20 June 2020

El amor en los tiempos del corona: Sightseeing During a Pandemic

Sunday, June 7: Perhaps I was having a bout of itchy feet, yet I had a spontaneous idea to leave town. I wanted to ride an ICE train and go somewhere slightly far for a day trip, so I checked the map to see whether there's somewhere interesting I could visit, which hopefully is a place I haven't been to before. I found one and spent the day outside of Berlin.

I must say that it was an interesting experience. It was a Sunday, and I got there early, so perhaps people were still asleep, but the Old Town looked deserted. Slowly things came to life, though. However, everywhere I go, people would want to know my contact details. When I entered a museum, I received a paper form that asked me to give them my full name, address, birth date, and telephone number. When I entered a cafe to get a coffee and a snack, I was told to scan a QR code so that I could give the same information through a website. And when I entered a restaurant, the same routine was there, a paper form asking me all these details.

I wonder whether in the next two weeks I would get a phone call, telling me that I have been in contact with someone who was infected. Hopefully not. But in any case, this seems to be the new normal nowadays. People would want to know who you are and where you are from, just to get a cup of coffee.

This was the first time I have ventured out of the Berlin and Brandenburg area. It's definitely still a tricky time to go sight-seeing. Although I must say that the businesses were happy to see me. The restaurant I went to for example gave me my drink on the house, since they're encouraging people to come back. Hopefully, things slowly improve from this point.

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