Sunday, May 10 – Phase 2 Exciting Perks

By Alessia Martino TURIN, ITALY

Exercising outside isn’t illegal anymore, as well as drinking cafè-made coffee and doing takeaway from restaurants. Phase 2 in Italy has started, and people can now go to see their parents, fiances, girlfriends, and boyfriends. People seem happy to be out, and dogs can take a break. I personally haven’t taken full advantage of the new perks just yet.

I have gone up and down to throw away garbage, as I see too many people going to the river. It has been a full party of cars, bikes, and families. The dog doesn’t stop barking. I had to stop at the gate to let two unmasked boys pass with their bikes to go safely to the trash cans. I held the door open with one hand and threw trash in with the other. That hand wasn’t to touch anything else until the wash down, before doing anything else. A neighbor did her garbage run at the same time as me. She gave me the right space to move, patiently waiting for me before moving in to dispose of her own trash. That made me believe in the rest of humanity.

I keep drinking coffee at home, with my Chinese-made Staresso portable coffee maker when going solo or sharing a Moka with the family. Cafès can now open, but Phase 2 dictates that anything, even a simple espresso, needs to be pre-booked through a text to allow different pick-up times for different people. Texts are also proof of correct ordering for police checking purposes. Do I miss cafè-made coffee? Yes. Am I willing to go through all this trouble? I think not. Especially because drinking coffee outside the house is usually a socially-shared experience. Sitting down and talking in front of a cup of coffee and staying as much as the conversation goes, be it ten minutes or four hours, is a distant memory.

I haven’t seen my mom yet. Last I saw her was a week before the lockdown, and I am not sure when that will happen. I am used to going longer without seeing her, as I am used to living abroad. The funny thing is that we are a car ride away and I don’t own a car. I would need one of my siblings to give me a ride, and I would have to sit in the back seat with a mask on, whether we share the living space or not. No more than two people are allowed per car, except if there is a minor involved. On top of that, I didn’t stay away from my mom for two months to just go there and hug her because the law says I can. I love hugging my mom, but now I know that when I see her, we will be socially distanced with masks on.

One perk I have taken advantage of was ordering sushi; we all have missed it so much. It took me longer than expected to choose what to order, as for the same amount of money you get less compared with the pre-pandemic all you can eat. I got beef yaki udon, to satisfy my noodle craving and a sushi mix. The order was over one hour later than expected. It was a long wait, but worth it. When it finally arrived, I was happy, and fireworks went off in my tastebuds with each bite.