I still remember that pile of eggs in the small grocery store here in the small village of Saint Felix on Guadeloupe, where I live during the Covid-19 times. On that day, I bought only six. Six eggs seemed enough for a week for a single person living on their own. That was a few weeks ago.
I also still remember contemplating whether I shall buy 4 or 6 a week later. I took four. I mean, the tiny local grocery store where I saw that massive pile of eggs is anyhow just around the corner. If I need some more, I can go there. So, 4 will do. Or better, 4 would do, but only if it wouldn’t be just a few weeks before Easter.
When I went again to that petite local grocery market a week later, it was like two weeks before Eastern. I felt like having some eggs sunny-side-up for a Sunday Brunch. But to my surprise, there were no eggs available to buy. Despite that big pile, I saw just a few weeks before. “Ok, ok,” I thought myself, there are other grocery markets nearby as well. There is L’Eclerc (chain of French supermarkets) down the road, for example. Of course, there is, but with no eggs. “Hm, strange,” I thought. “I guess they will have them again in a few days.” A few days later… still no eggs.
Then I met a neighbour, a nice young French lady and I asked her if she knows where I could buy some eggs. She recommended a bio shop further down the road that sells local vegetables and fruits. “Ok, let’s go.” As they are open only until 12.30 these days during the lockdown, and as it gets too hot to pedal after 9.30 AM, here I am, jumping on my bike at 8.30 AM to go on a hunt for eggs. You know the outcome by now, right? No eggs indeed.
The alternatives…. I am being woken up by a rooster every morning at 6 AM after all
I spoke to my mom a few days later, explaining to her my Easter will be without eggs. And in Slovenia, we have this tradition of colouring eggs for Easter. While talking, she heard the rooster in the background, and she said: “I mean Maja, if you have all that chicken around you, for sure some neighbours must have eggs?”
“Right, a great idea. Why I haven’t thought about that? There is even a chicken family that comes and visits me every week at least twice.”
And indeed, when I was little, with my friends, we used to go and get eggs from a distant neighbour in the village. “Ok, let me ask around,” I say to myself. Which I did. I texted my host, I asked another neighbour, and they were all looking at me as if I was asking about something very unusual. The answer was always the same: “No, there are no eggs.” Seriously? How come? I just couldn’t resolve the puzzle. How can it be that there are all these roosters I hear and all these chickens I see, but I can’t get eggs anywhere?
In my next online class, I simply asked my French teacher that lives here, “What’s the point with all these chickens around, and yet no eggs to be found.” And she explained to me. They are all wild chickens that freely roam around. And don’t belong to anyone. So, the only way to get eggs from them is (where there are none in the grocery stores) to go into the bush, into the areas between various properties and search for them. Similar to how in many countries for Easter, kids go into the garden and search for eggs parents have hidden away 🙂 Well, no, thank you. I guess my Easter will be without eggs this year.
And the reason for no eggs in the supermarket? Well, I guess in various parts of the world, people have different needs. While most the world stocked on the toilet paper a few months ago, here on Guadeloupe, people made sure they stocked on eggs well before Eastern. Because during these times… who knows when they will be available again.
Loving the simplicity
I would have never imagined I would enjoy a village life so much. And yet, I do. I love it.
I love the peace and quiet that surrounds me. I love the sun waking me up around 6 AM in the morning (my family will never believe that, as I have never been an early bird 🙂 ). I love to walk into the garden every morning to see if any nice ripe fresh mangoes have fallen on the ground during the night. Sometimes I need to search well for the ones I can have for breakfast, as often majority of them have been half through eaten by birds and chicken.
I love the sounds on nature in my bedroom, as I can sleep with my window open. I love the sound of the rain drops, when it is raining once or twice more or less very day. I love when people I talk to notice the sound of roosters they hear while we talk on the phone. I love the simplicity.
During the day, I live a virtual life, like most us who work. And for many who used to work from home already before, this is nothing new. For me, a combination of French online classes, homework, online work meetings, and sessions with my clients held online. It fills up my days quickly.
And then around 17.30 every day I put on my running shoes, generate an online form, a kind of a ‘self-permit’ that we have to carry around every time we leave the house and go for a run or for a walk. For a maximum of one hour. That’s the time per day we are allowed to be out to do some sports. There are two trails where I go to. Not much variety, and yet, the mother nature is generous. Although the sights are the same, each evening brings something different. The clouds, the colours of the sky… they paint different images every evening. It is in that radius of 2 kilometres where I take all my evening photos (for those who follow me on social media).