‘It’s time to be a bit creative’
‘I see the upcoming holiday more as a time to be productive than to relax as usual. Because of the travel ban, I cannot go home. Even if I did, I’d have to go into quarantine in India for two weeks and then I’d have to go into quarantine for ten days once I’d get back. I don’t want to waste my time in quarantine. I don’t usually go home to India for Christmas anyway – I visit my family in the summer. I like spending Christmas in Europe, because I didn’t grow up in a Christian family. So European Christmas traditions are new for me. This year I actually put up my very first Christmas tree. During Christmas, I usually travel throughout Europe and visit Christmas markets. That is of course not possible, so it will be Christmas in Enschede for me. It’s quiet and relaxed here, but the social aspect is missing now. I’ve registered for the Buddy system that the UT is organizing and I’m waiting to be paired up with a buddy or two. I decided to do that because I’m here anyway, as are many other internationals, and so it’s nice to meet new people, make new friends and chat with someone.
'I will focus on productiveness and finding new hobbies'
On Christmas itself, I’m planning to cook a festive vegetarian dinner. I’m hoping to have dinner with some friends, who are also all staying here, or with the buddy from the program. In the holiday, I will focus on productiveness and finding new hobbies. It’s time to be a bit creative. The bad part is that Enschede is really small and I’ve seen it all, so there isn’t much to explore anymore these days. The lockdown is difficult socially, but I can still work and I have access to the lab, so it is alright. I stay connected with my friends and family virtually and it seems that, at least until 19 January, I will have a lot of time for online talks with them.’