Photographer's Note

Ok, I know this is not a classic Easter photo but I'm posting it, among all, to wish all my TE friends and their families a Happy and HEALTHY Easter. And those who don't celebrate, just a happy and healthy day. I hope you are all staying safe.

I've been a bit quiet recently, because, while many people have lost their jobs, bars and cafes are shut and the opening hours of few remaining shops are reduced, where I work it's business as usual, in fact more busy than that. Lucky me, but not much time for TE.

This image was taken four weeks ago, on the penultimate day of my trip to the Philippines. Manila lockdown had been announced and panic started to set in. I was in Banaue when the transport companies started cancelling routes. I hopped on the first available bus to the capital. I spent the last afternoon before the lockdown wandering, a walking distance from the airport, around Pasay City - a suburban part of Metro Manila. This photo shows a detail of a market stall. Signum temporis, emblematic of the state the world has been since March (in some countries longer than that).

Overall, my trip to the Philippines went almost uninterrupted. Almost. One destination was closed on the morning when I was heading there and I was asked to step off the bus before the departure. Also, I didn't get to see central Manila as I worried that I may get cut off from the airport. All in all, small price to pay. The biggest delay halfway through the trip, at the beginning of March, the cancellation of a domestic flight from the Batanes archipelago back to the main island of Luzon, happened due to bad weather. When I thought about it later, it felt rather ironic.

I'm also lucky, that the lockdown started towards the end of my "travel season" which runs from September to March. So far, I've had to cancel three weekend trips to other European countries. Unfortunately, one of those was to Poland. My biggest problem at the moment is that I can't visit my parents – my severely ill father and my slowly giving up mum. I mean, I can, but with the Polish quarantine rules and all commercial flights and international trains cancelled, it's too complicated and potentially futile.

I know these are all the First World problems. Inability to travel or to see one’s loved ones... I know a Bangladeshi man who spent 10 best years of his life working in Qatar, rarely able to visit his wife and children. Another one, in Tanzania, who can’t find work in Dar es Salaam, where his spouse and kids live; he works in Zanzibar and goes back home once a month or even less often in spite of the fact that Zanzibar is a short ferry ride from Dar. At the moment, Nepal is receiving another hit to its tourism industry, only 5 years after the devastating earthquake. When travel is banned in the First World, people spend their holidays at home. In Nepal, if travel gets banned, people don’t eat. And so on and so forth.

So ours are the First World problems... but they are still a problem.

Two more photos in WS

holmertz, pajaran, PaulVDV, tyro, jemaflor, jhm, COSTANTINO, PiotrF, Royaldevon, macjake has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Kasia Nowak (kasianowak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1692 W: 9 N: 3499] (17676)
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