Return to Normality

Zur deutschen Fassung dieses Artikels.

We can go into town again. The barrier tapes have been removed from the parks, as if the crime scene has been cleaned up. The doors of the shops are wide open. Some of them have a sign, suggesting that only one customer should be inside at any time. The way banks do it, for fear of robberies with hostage situations. The Post Office is particularly strict, to prevent some crazy from going philatelistic.

The streets, the sidewalks, everything is as full as it hasn’t been in a long time. Fuller than I remember it ever having been, to be honest. Maybe because some people aren’t back at work yet (teachers, flight attendants, students), squeezing into the city instead. Some people wear the facemask, some have it dangling pointlessly from one ear, others stuff it into the back pocket as soon as they leave the supermarket, making sure to show their disdain.

Cars have been allowed outside, too. Every single parking space is occupied. The streets are filled with smoke and screeching and honking and fender benders. And dogs, worst of all.

It all comes upon me like an avalanche. The noise, the moving parts everywhere, people even want to talk to me. I have to be careful again to not get run over. What happened with the primacy of human life, forgotten so soon?

Frankly, it’s too much for me. I am sweating, and not only because of the facemask. My heart is beating faster. You have to keep your eyes everywhere, and everywhere at the same time. I just want to go back home as soon as possible. This is so much stress compared with the previous months. The town has become too busy and bustling for me.

The town is Horta, with a population of about 6000.

Horta Gesamtansicht

Horta von oben

I can’t even imagine how I am supposed to survive this once I’ll be back on the continent.

Most likely, I am going to shoulder my backpack very soon and hike off into the Central European forests.


  • More reports from the increasingly stressful Azores.

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Azores, Photography, Portugal, Travel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Return to Normality

  1. Pingback: Rückkehr zur Normalität | Der reisende Reporter

  2. I have found that since I’ve became disabled with Fibromyalgia and became a hermit, I can’t stand crowds or noise. It causes anxiety. The only exception is when I go to concerts. It doesn’t bother me then.🤔
    Thank you for teaching me a new word. Those stamp collectors and postal historians are a wild bunch.😂

    • I guess nobody from outside the US or under a certain age won’t understand the reference to “going postal” anyway. Another pun wasted on most readers.

      I am becoming ever more intolerant of crowds and noise myself. Which means less big cities and more nature for me. And no hostels.
      For me, the exception, weirdly enough, are political protests. When there is a protest or a revolution going on, I love to be in the middle of it! Excitement and curiosity are stronger, but of course that’s always temporary. And even at the night of the revolution, I would get angry at the loud guests at the hostel. :-)

  3. Miriam says:

    I understand what you’re saying. In this emerging world I feel like cocooning into myself a little more. We need to go slow. Take care 🙏

    • I feel like a great opportunity has been missed.
      Maybe the quarantine didn’t last long enough, or maybe most people really find it important to rush outside and consume and produce again. Very sad.
      I would have hoped that we all reflect and change our priorities a bit.

    • Miriam says:

      I’m not sure that things are, or will ever be, quite the same again. I do think things are changing and will continue to change, hopefully for the better.

  4. The pandemic made you even more of a hermit 🙂

  5. I recommend the vast tract of forest in southern Serbia south and east of the Danube. Home of the European jackal. I did not know Europe had jackals. No supermarkets there. No dogs either, the jackals would eat them.

  6. Here in Bolivia in many places they no longer want to be quarantined and some people come out just to protest and it is very stressful for those of us who respect security measures.The military and police come out to arrest these people for fear of contagion from the corona virus 😔

    • In Germany, there are these silly protests, too. :-( Because the quarantine worked and not that many people died, they now say: “Oh look, it’s not that dangerous. We want to sit outside and eat ice cream again.” It’s shocking to see among how many stupid people we live.

    • Many will really die from so much human stupidity 😔

  7. I sympathize. I feel the same.

  8. Carla Madruga Gomes says:

    On a more prosaic note: if that photo with the chestnuts is recent and you found them somewhere in Faial, please don’t eat them. I am serious, that species is not edible.

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