We are living an unprecedented situation
More than ever it’s time to thank all the people that put all effort to alleviate this difficult moment. The Continental Palacete: on call hotel in Barcelona, as we host guests that live all year at the hotel, it was established, with the Barcelona Hotel Guild agreement that the Hotel Continental Palacete would remain open for those who were forced to stay in the city during confinement caused by the Covid19.
The crew ship group arriving from Malaga
A few days after the declaration of the state of alarm in Spain (14th March, 2020), we had the request of a group that was forced to spend a few nights in Barcelona in order to fly as soon as possible to India, their home country.
As a result of the closure of the airports in India, this group of 23 gentlemen is staying at our hotel resigned and patient, waiting for the Indian government to allow them to return to their country.
Thank you very much for your responsibility, patience and good manners
For almost a month now, in an exemplary way, this group from India has been respecting the protection and safety standards with patience, education and knowing how to be in a commendable manner. For this reason, we want to dedicate this post to honouring and thanking them for their attitude, which is undoubtedly essential to reduce any risk or undesirable situation.
We thought it was a nice idea to know how they are experiencing this situation in Barcelona, ??to give them a voice so that their feelings, emotions, desires, concerns reach our reading public and we can give them better support and understanding in these difficult times.
So we have asked them some questions that the group freely and kindly may answer to participate in this post.
Sharing experiences, feelings and hopes from our dear guests from India during confinement
1. How did you get to the Continental Palacete Hotel? What happened so you could not get to India?
Well it started on 21st March 2020, we are seafarers working on cruise line Pullmantur Cruises Spanish based Cruise Company.
On 20th March 2020, we were told that we will be disembarked next day and fly to India. On receiving the information we contacted the Human Resources on board saying that India has banned International flights in and out of India, to which they didn’t bother to take any action of help.
The next day we, 23 Indians, disembarked in port of Malaga early morning and were sent by bus from Malaga to Barcelona airport which is we guess 978kms approx. (10-11 hours’ drive). All the way there were no shops were opened because of Spain being in lockdown and we checked our tickets online in the port of Malaga which showed cancelled flights.
We contacted the HR department again but they convinced us that nothing was cancelled and to continue the journey to Barcelona and verify the flights at Barcelona airport helpdesk.
To this we stated that we will not get down from the bus and will contact Indian embassy as we don’t want to be stranded in the Airport, and then the company arranged us the Hotel in Barcelona: Continental Palacete.
The international ban imposed on international flights by India did not allow us to fly but the main reason is because our company didn’t follow the Indian government guidelines regarding flights being banned. Also the Indian embassy made sure of our stay here in the hotel.
2. How do you live this experience of confinement from the Continental Palacete?
The confinement in the hotel is appreciable, the hotel staff and reception has been really helpful, they are providing us food and basic amenities like sanitizers and gloves in the buffet area. The stay is mentally and physically very challenging and frustrating as we are scared and tired now. The stay has broken us physically too as we are undergoing traumatic stress and every second feels risky as there is no medical help in case one of us get sick.
3. What mechanisms are you using to overcome confinement from your room?
The methods to overcome the effects of this stay are mainly utilization of our mobile phones using the WIFI to be connected to home, Yoga, Little walk in the corridors. It is a very difficult and a very challenging situation for us as we are not home.
4. How does your family live the fact that you are far away?
Our family broke down into tears when they knew about our situation of being stuck in a Covid 19 pandemic situation like this in Spain as the country itself is under so much loss, pressure and deaths. Some of our family members are heart patients, have medical conditions and even a pregnant lady waiting home for her husband and she is alone by herself in the house back in India. Some of us haven’t told their family too about our situation here so as to not to create panic for them as they too are struggling the Covid 19 pandemic scare in India.
5. Where is your place of origin? How is the situation there at this moment?
We are from Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi and a few more states in India. In total we are 23 Indian seaman. The situation in our place is that they are in lockdown and are opened from 7am to 1 pm only to buy essentials like food, medicines etc. India is also struggling with the current pandemic of Covid 19 and the cases are rising every day in numbers.
6. What message/s would you like to convey to the world to better overcome this stage?
The most important message at this hour to the world can be to stay home quarantined to keep other safe, also when this gets over human beings should act more responsible towards nature and also to each other. There needs to be more unity regardless of nationality, origin and we should help each other.
When something like this pandemic comes on human kind it doesn’t differentiate the rich or poor, male or female. Rather than spreading hate we should spread smile and warmth to people in need as it doesn’t cost a penny. Also we as seaman want to thank all the medical practitioners and law and order keepers like police, military and all those who are keeping the world safe in order in such a dreadful condition.
The message from us is that please follow the guidelines of the government and stay home for our own future and also for the future generations.
7. Share here what you want; we, from this post in our blog, would like to homage and thank you for your behaviour, your responsibility and your patience.
All we want through you to request government of Spain and government of India to expedite repatriation to our country in the safest manner. Also to bring our message to the different communities in Barcelona including Indian communities to reach out to us for help with some basic Indian groceries.
Last but not the least we want to thank the Indian embassy in Madrid, Indian ambassador Mr. Sanjay Verma and Second Secretary Mr. Manoj Kapur for all the help they have provided for our safety and also to the Hotel management. We want to reach home safely and for this all the help given to us will be appreciated.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH Pankaj Gairola, Rakesh Kumar, Ashish Ghalke, Srinu Nirujogi, Saeil Raut, Shaikh Sohail Ahmed Sabir, Nilesh Katkar, Jogi Suryateja, Ketak Naik, Kola Titus, Santosh Tukaram Chavan, Robin Anthony Pereira, Shankar Kumar Lama, Haarti Bhagwan Sandeep, Ankit Thapa, Santosh Kumar Gundu, Vikrant Pandurang Naik, Shyama Shyam Kumar, Surender Singh, Bhaskara Rao Barre, Narender Kumar, Vipul Vaze, FOR SHARING WITH US AND OUR READERS.
We are looking forward to your soon return to India and to overcome this crisis in India, in Spain, in the World … and that soon we can embrace our families and beloved ones.
With Love, Hope, Faith and Trust.