Travel me a story: „Understanding the positive effect of quarantine made me a bit relaxed” – Ekrem Kizilgul, Albania
Ekrem Kizilgul, Albania

Travel me a story: „Understanding the positive effect of quarantine made me a bit relaxed” – Ekrem Kizilgul, Albania

Ne-am dorit sa luam o pauza, sa oprim macar putin timpul si sa coboram din caruselul rapid in care ne aflam. Am vrut sa tragem adanc aer in piept. Si cred ca am primit chiar mai mult decat ne doream! 

Am citit recent ca „eram fericiti si nu stiam”, dar eu cred ca este momentul perfect sa reflectam asupra oamenilor care ne fac fericiti si sa actionam pentru a-i avea in viata noastra! 

Este momentul perfect sa ridici telefonul si sa iti suni prietenul acela cu care ai pierdut legatura pentru ca tot ziceai „Sunt prea obosit astazi, voi face asta maine”. Facebook, Instagram si alte retele sociale te aduc la un click distanta de a te conecta cu oricine iti doresti. Practic, nu prea mai ai scuze!

Daca iti este teama ca a trecut prea mult timp si lucrurile nu mai sunt la fel intre voi, doar intreaba cum se simte. Si totul va parea mai usor dupa! 

Trebuie sa faci un pas. Primul. Pentru ca pasii tai lasa urme si pas cu pas vei fi mai aproape de oamenii dragi. 

Nu putem calatori pentru a-i vedea, a le da cea mai mare si calduroasa imbratisare, dar putem sa ii ascultam si sa ne dam voie sa cream noi povesti impreuna. 

Travel me a story este un proiect pe care l-am inceput pentru a arata ca „impreuna” nu este numai un cuvant care a fost folosit prea des in ultima vreme. Luptam impreuna impotriva acestui virus, dar avem de spus propriile povesti. Ne-am explorat pasiunile, am inceput cursuri online, am practicat tot felul de activitati fizice sau pur si simplu am lenevit in pat. Si este perfect in regula! Pentru ca suntem diferiti si avem propriul mod de a ramane calmi si de a „supravietui” acestei perioade. 

Este un proiect prin care am incercat sa ma reconectez cu oamenii cu care am pierdut legatura, din diferite tari, si sa arat cum se simt ei si cum este privit virusul acolo. 

📌 Prima oprire pe harta povestilor o vom face in Albania. Aici vom face cunostinta cu Ekrem, un kurd super simpatic, pe care l-am intalnit in 2013, cand a venit in Bucuresti prin Serviciul European de Voluntariat (EVS). 

Ekrem invata Limba Romana si facea practica la C.A.D.D.R.U. (Centrul de Asistenta pentru Dezvoltarea Durabila a Resurselor Umane), ONG-ul unde faceam si eu voluntariat. 

International Award for Young People

„Locuiesc in Albania din iulie, 2019. Lucrez ca freelancer si, de aceea, perioada aceasta nu a fost foarte diferita pentru mine.

La inceput, am fost putin socat din cauza ca izolarea a inceput foarte brusc. Acum suntem in carantina de mai bine de 2 luni.

Am fost stresat si suparat, pentru ca imi facusem multe planuri si s-au anulat. Oricum, faptul ca am inteles efectele pozitive ale carantinei m-a ajutat sa ma relaxez. Odata ce mi-am dat seama ca nu exista „cale de scapare” si ca trebuie sa ne obisnuim cu asta, am inceput „sa imi planific carantina” si sa incerc sa fac lucrurile pentru care nu am avut timp pana acum.

Spre exemplu, am inceput sa mananc vegan. Gandul acesta era deja in mintea mea, iar carantina a fost o oportunitate pentru a experimenta. Planuiesc sa raman vegan pentru tot restul vietii.

Nu cred ca voi mai manca in oras la fel de des ca pana acum! 

Apoi, am inceput sa fac design grafic pentru prietenii mei si pentru ONG-urile pe care le cunosc. Asta m-a ajutat sa raman calm. 

Intotdeauna mi-a placut sa gatesc, dar nu stiam ca pot fi bun la asta. Pentru ca atunci cand ai mult timp la dispozitie, te bucuri mai tare de experienta gatitului. 

Fac cursuri online pentru programele de design pe care mi-am dorit, dar nu am avut timp sa le invat. Am inceput si un curs in domeniul turismului, pentru ca am lucrat in acesta aproximativ 5 ani, dar nu aveam pregatirea teoretica.

Am incercat si sa fac sport acasa, pentru ca ideea de a manca mult si de a nu face miscare ma facea sa imi fie teama ca voi fi deveni gras (rade). Dar nu a durat mult timp, pentru ca obisnuiesc de multi ani sa practic sport la sala si sa fac acasa era aproape imposibil, din cauza ca nu aveam spatiu sau obiectele necesare. 

Voiam chiar sa imi fac un cont de TikTok si sa fac clipuri amuzante, dar mi-am dat seama ca nu ar fi fost ceva inedit, ci doar stupid. 

M-am gandit sa reiau legatura cu prietenii cu care nu am mai vorbit de ani, dar nu am facut nici asta, din pacate.” 

International Award for Young People

Cum arata o zi obisnuita din viata ta?

„Ziua mea incepe cand simt ca ma pot da jos din pat! (Nu, nu il urasc, de ce ai crede asta?!) Apoi lucrez, vad un film, beau un pahar cu vin si dorm din nou, cand ma plictisesc. 🍷

Un lucru este sigur, dupa terminarea carantinei, voi calatori cat de mult pot! Inca nu m-am hotarat care va fi prima destinatie. 

Cum stau lucrurile in Albania?

„N-am idee cand se va termina carantina, Guvernul se razgandeste zilnic. 

La inceput, regulile erau foarte stricte. Acum, putem iesi cate doua ore pe zi, in intervalul 05:30 – 17:30, cu o permisiune online. 

Niciunul dintre prietenii sau membrii familiei mele nu a avut Covid-19. Dar mi-am facut multe griji pentru fratele meu, pentru ca este steward si a lucrat pana luna trecuta. A fost si in operatiuni de recuperare a cetatenilor turci din tarile straine.” 

Imi lipsesc fratele si sora mea, trebuiau sa ma viziteze, dar apoi a inceput carantina, iar acum ne vedem doar pe FaceTime.

L-am intrebat si daca se tunde, avand in vedere ca saloanele sunt inchise si acolo, dar cred ca teama sa a fost mai mare: „Nu mi-am tuns parul, pentru ca nu am vrut sa imi asum riscul sa iasa urat, dar am inceput sa folosesc clame de par.”

Daca te uiti la fotografiile vechi, spune-le „Buna!” oamenilor alaturi de care imparti acele amintiri. Si intreaba-i cum se simt! Este momentul perfect sa le pui un zambet pe fata, iar tu sa fii fericit!

Daca erau nesuferiti, uita ce am z̶i̶s̶ scris mai sus! 

English translation below

Not so long ago, we felt overwhelmed, we wanted to take a break, to stop for a little bit the time, to get down from that fast carousel that we were sitting in. We wanted to take a deep breath! And we got even more than we asked for! 

I recently read an unattributed quote that said „we were happy and we didn’t know it”, but I think that now is the perfect time to reflect on the people that make us happy.

This is the right moment to pick up your phone and call that friend you lost contact with because you said „I am too tired today, I will do this tomorrow”. Or come on, Facebook, Instagram or other social networks are just a click away from connecting you with everyone you want to.  

If you’re afraid that a lot of time has passed, just ask how he/she feels. And everything will be easier after that! 

All we have to do is just one step. The first one! Because our steps will leave footprints and step by step we will be closer to the people we care about! 

We can’t travel to see them, to give them the warmest hug, but we can listen to their story and allow us to create new stories together. 

Travel me a story is a project that I started to show that „together” is not just a word that has been used a lot in these times. We are fighting together with this virus and we have different stories to tell about this. Some of us have explored their passions, have started online courses, practicing sports or laid in bed. But is perfectly alright! Because we are so different and we have our personal ways of remaining calm and „survive” this. 

Is a project that helps me reconnect with people I lost contact with, from different countries, and to show how they feel and what’s the face of the virus where they live. 

📌 Our first point on the map is in Albania. I’ll introduce you to Ekrem, a super nice kurd guy that I’ve met in 2013, when he came to Bucharest, in an European Voluntary Service program. 

He was practising and learning romanian at the NGO I was volunteering, CADDRU – The Assistance Centre for Sustainable Development of Human Resources.

I live in Albania since July 2019. Since I work freelance, it didn’t make any difference for me. At first, it was a bit shocking because the locked down started all of the sudden. We are in quarantine for almost 2 months now. 

At first, I was a bit angry and stressed out, because I had lots of plans. However, understanding the positive effect of quarantine made me a bit relaxed. Once I started to think that there is no escape and I have to get used to it, I started to plan my quarantine and try to do things that I never had time to do. 

For example, I started eating vegan, this was always on my mind and the quarantine was a good opportunity to experience it. I’m planning to remain vegan for the rest of my life.

I don't think I will eat outside as before

Then I started to do graphic designs for my friends and NGO’s that I know. So these things and cooking were keeping me calm in this situation. I always enjoyed cooking but I didn’t know that I would be this good at it. Because when you have plenty of time to cook it gives the opportunity to enjoy cooking. 

I started to do online courses for design programs that I never had time to learn. Also, I started taking courses for Tourism industry, because I have worked for that industry for almost 5 years, but never had a course about what we are actually doing.

I tried to do sports at home because of the idea of eating a lot and not moving at all made me feel scared of getting fat (he laughs)! But it didn’t last long because I’ve been doing sports at the Gym for many years and got used to that. Doing it at home was kinda impossible because I didn’t have that much of space and tools.

Once I thought of opening a TikTok account and making funny videos, then I realized that it wouldn’t be crazy, that would just be stupid. 

I thought about start talking with some of my friends that we broke our friendship years ago but didn’t do that either

What does your daily routine looks like? 

My daily routine starts when I feel like I can get out of the bed! (No, I don’t hate him, why would you think that?!) Then get on pc, wait for the evening, play a nice movie, drink some wine and go back to sleep when I am bored. 🍷

One thing for sure is that after this lockdown I will travel as much as I can, but haven't decided where to start. 

What about Albania? How’s everything there? 

No idea when it will finish, the government changes it minds everyday.  At first, the rules were really strict. Now we can go out for 2 hours between 05:30 – 17:30, with an online permission. 

None of my friends or family or anyone I know got Covid-19. But I have really cared about my brother, because he is a flight attendant and he had operations till last month. He also had been in rescue operations to bring stucked Turkish citizens from abroad.

I miss my brother and sister, they were actually supposed to visit me but then the lockdown started, now we only facetime.

I also asked him if he cut his hair, taking into account that the hair salons are closed there, but I guess that his fear of doing this was too big: „ I didn’t cut my hair because I didn’t take the risk of looking ugly, but I started to use hair clips”. 😊

If you are looking at some old pictures, tell „Hi” to the people that were next to you in those memories. And ask how they feel! It is the perfect time to put a smile on their faces. And for you to be happy.

If they were jerks, nevermind! Forget what I’ve s̶a̶i̶d̶ write before! 

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