I’m in France in lockdown and so jealous of Australia

By | April 21, 2020

, I’m in France in lockdown and so jealous of Australia

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OpinionI was in Spain for the beginning of the lockdown but managed to find a lone taxi driver to escort me from the ghost town just before the airport closed. I arrived in Bordeaux, France, to an unknown city, and a new life under strict lockdown with my fiancee. We’re here for work, and I can’t help but feel incredibly fortunate to have a job in this climate.

We spent the five months prior to this unemployed so the opportunity to be here to manage the finish on a yacht build couldn’t have come at a better time. But there’s a price to pay for security, and that’s being alone and far from home. Just at a time when we’re feeling the need for connection the most.

Shayna Lamb out of the water.

I work as a chef on superyachts, so while I am used to isolation (it takes a while to sail across the Atlantic) I am not used to lack of nature.

Watching Aussies nip down to the beach while “in iso” via social media is hard. Isolation here is a cold, dark apartment in an unknown city. An apartment where my only view is into the small courtyard, to other walls and other apartments.

A life where I’m scared to go on my fortnightly grocery shop, because the many police patrolling the streets will fine me. After a week inside these walls I tried to go to the pharmacy, and despite having the necessary documentation stating it was necessary I was bailed up by a car full of angry undercover cops 100 metres from my house. As a woman, when three men in an unmarked car drive up and block your path and get out of the car speaking aggressively in a foreign language, it’s hard not to feel scared and alone.


You know what I’m jealous of? Light. Homes with balconies, large windows, or even gardens. What heaven! The loss of wild nature and the feel of fresh breeze on my skin leaves me numb. Longing for the wildness again. The empty vastness of sailing across the oceans guided by the stars or standing on a long empty beach watching the messy, windswept waves tumble.

These are the thoughts that keep me going. I notice one neighbour likes a beer by the window with some casual afternoon techno. Other than the mosquitos, occasional singing or the regular sounds of sirens he is the only sign of life. I find myself with dangling feet after climbing onto a chair to stick my head out our skylight. Always searching for the light. Even here I still believe I can find it.

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, http://www.smh.com.au/national/im-in-france-in-lockdown-and-so-jealous-of-australia-20200422-p54dlp.html, The Sydney Morning Herald

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