Happy Easter! We celebrated Easter on Sunday by live-streaming a church service and FaceTiming with both of our families. Today is Easter Monday, Lundi de Pâques, a national holiday in France.
We originally planned to cook familiar foods that we would normally have at Easter to make it feel more like home. Jordan couldn’t find a ham at our local grocery store, so he decided that we would have to settle with chicken quesadillas instead! We ended up switching our planned meals around for the week to have something a little fancier than the quesadillas (we had those Saturday instead!), but we didn’t get our traditional Easter meal like we had hoped. I researched online and learned that instead of ham, the French traditionally roast a lamb to symbolize Christ resurrected. Next year, we will make a plan for lamb!
The lockdown in France started on March 17 and was originally extended through April 14. Tonight, president Macron announced that the lockdown will be extended until May 11, after the French Victory Day holiday weekend. At that point, they will announce a slow plan to start reopening things, but shops and restaurants will remain closed. They do not expect any travel or tourism to reopen until July. We have been in lockdown for four weeks, and this announcement has been tough for us to process.
The restrictions have increased in France, and we are only allowed to go out within a 1km radius of our house for no longer than an hour. The letter we are required to keep when we leave the house now has to include our address and a time stamp of when we left the house. In Paris, they have put additional restrictions in place where they limit people from exercising from 10:00am-7:00pm. We are hopeful that these restrictions do not make their way to Lyon.
We are currently living in a one-bedroom AirBnB that’s 600 square feet with no balcony or common outdoor area. It’s cozy, but there’s not many places to escape to. Sometimes I tell Jordan that I am going on a “vacation” from the couch to go lounge in our bedroom. I think my next post will be an AirBnB tour! We keep our windows open as much as possible to enjoy fresh air, but with open windows also comes the relentless flies that find their way in because of the lack of screens. We also now have many mosquito bites, but I will choose those over not having any fresh air!
Jordan’s company has been shut down for a few weeks and he is currently receiving unemployment from the French government. He is also having to supplement the time off with vacation days that we had originally planned to use to come back to the states for Christmas. I am thankful that I have work to focus on during the week, but unfortunately Jordan is stuck in the apartment with nothing to occupy his time. Once the lockdown is lifted in May, we aren’t sure how soon his office will take to open back up so he can get back to work. In the meantime, Jordan is boycotting trimming his beard until he returns to work, so I will make sure to take a photo at the end of this to document how unruly it is!
My dad recently sent me a link on “Things I Miss About Lyon” and asked what we missed about Lyon during the lockdown. It’s hard to believe that we were only in Lyon for only two full weeks before the lockdown began (and one of those weeks I was in the UK), so we didn’t have much of a chance to establish roots. The one thing we miss is being able to take a walk by the river. Unfortunately, the river is outside our 1km range.
We have so much to be thankful for, but being in France during a pandemic without any of our possessions really adds an extra layer of complexity to the situation.
In positive news, we are still continuing to clap every night at 8:00pm in support of our healthcare and front-line workers fighting the virus for the country. It’s really something special to experience. We are also enjoying some of the music that gets blasted periodically from neighbors apartments. We’ve heard hair band 80’s music, the Spice Girls, the Adams Family theme song on full blast, as well as the Minions theme song. It’s unpredictable but enjoyable!
To end with the best news, we started our official French lessons last week! I always try to look for the silver linings in any situation… maybe we can come out of this lockdown being semi-fluent in French.