The Golden Courgette

17 April 2020

I went to Noa’s today to do her shopping. She’s in France stuck with the virus and because of the virus and she’s coming back today.

With the virus, because she caught it during the rehearsals of an opera, in Strasbourg, along with half of the production. The premiere was supposed to be this past Saturday, but it was cancelled, of course, like everything else.

And, because of the virus, once she got sick, she had to stay in France in the Airbnb apartment she had rented to be there during the rehearsals. She had planned to fly back from Basel on Saturday, but that was also cancelled.

I saw her on video on Saturday when I went to water her plants. She looked emaciated, exhausted. You could tell by her face that she hadn’t been well. I didn’t know then when she was coming back. She told me that it had been difficult getting a doctor to see her. The first time she called, they told her she didn’t need to see a doctor, that she only needed to stay home and take paracetamol. The second time, after almost a week of fever, aches, pains and coughing, when they heard her say that no one had seen her yet, they were horrified and sent her a doctor.

The doctor came late at night, and she was surprised when he greeted her in Hebrew, Shalom, she is from Israel. He came with a mask, eye protection, gloves, totally covered up, and told her it was probably the virus, but that it hadn’t reached her lungs yet. He said that it takes 3 or 4 days for the virus to pass from the throat to the lungs. He prescribed salt gargles. And rest.

Two days ago, she wrote me in Whatsapp that she was coming back on Wednesday, today, that his agent had got her a ticket. And she asked if I could run her errands before she arrived to avoid contact. I have the key to her apartment. She thinks she’s no longer contagious because her fever has broken a few days ago. But she had a hard time.

This morning she told me that the direct flight was cancelled, that she was on the train to Paris, and that she had a flight from Paris, which she hoped would not be cancelled this time because otherwise she was fucked.

I went shopping at the EkoPlaza because she likes bio. With the list she gave me, I filled the cart, but there was no toilet paper. When I arrived at the checkout, I realized that I hadn’t weighed the vegetables, so I went to the scale and pressed the drawing of a courgette, or zucchini, and pressed the 1 for the amount. The price came back, 4 euros. I do it again, again, 4 euros. What? A courgette is 4 euros?

I went to the checkout and asked the guy, is it really 4 euros? He goes, weighs it, it’s the same: 4 euros. It comes from Italy …

I left it. Then I went to the other supermarket, the regular one, and found courgettes at 2 x 1, for 0.75 cents. I took two. I went to the toilet paper section, and I couldn’t find it. I asked a woman who was stuffing the shelves, and she said, over there, but there’s no more, she said. I went to the shelf, and I saw 1 big package and 2 small ones. I took the big one.

It’s true, it’s like Rutte says, the prime minister here: We have enough toilet paper to shit for the next ten years.

Ten years of shitting. And eating courgettes at 4 euros a piece.

So, it’s true, we’re in deep shit.