I was sure I was going to die today.
Well, I still might… I woke up at 4:00 am to the sounds of the bomb droppings. At first it was just one explosion, so I thought it’s nothing that significant, but then the sound continued and started to get closer. I could hear the whistle of something and then explosion. Sirens got off. I was hearing the explosions closer and closer while the ambulance’s sirens kept ringing in my head.
I thought about calling the guy that I’m dating or my mom, but I felt like there is nothing I could tell them, they might not pick up and I don’t have enough time. I sat down on my bed and started praying. I don’t do that a lot. I do believe in a Higher Power, but not in a classic prayer. I was asking to be saved. An explosion nearby. Thinking whether maybe I should get up and go downstairs to be safer, but I stayed in my room. Sirens still loud everywhere. I started chanting a protective mantra I have learned at a Kundalini Joga class. I chanted it repeatedly. Next explosion sound came from the other side of the building. Omg. Maybe it’s passed. Maybe I’m safe. Maybe I survived.
Then my logic brain turned on. You need to call an embassy (I am staying in a hostel out of my homeland). They might get you to a safe space. Buy a plane ticket, but it’s going to be impossible. The war has started. Everyone wants to evacuate, so you will not be able to do that. Maybe a bus? But buses will be hard too. Good that you pack light, it might work, but embassy first.
I also noticed then that there was no rush at my hostel. No one was running around screaming, no one seemed to pay attention to what was going on. I heard the person next door leave their room, so I put on some clothes and left mine as well. They went to the bathroom. All the halls were empty. I walked slowly, cautiously making every step, towards the reception, still hearing seldom explosions but from further away. I survived. At least for now. Walking down the stairs I felt safer — a bomb might hit the top of the building, but maybe it will not collapse… I got to the lobby scared to find the receptionist sitting on the floor typing something on his phone. The street looked empty. I asked if he spoke English. He didn’t. I don’t speak Spanish. All I could ask him was if everything was ok. He replied something like “yes, it’s good, if you’re asking about explosions, it’s just fireworks for the festivities”. At 4:00 AM?! Si.
He was really calm which calmed me down a little and I slowly returned to my room. The explosions stopped. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I was happy to hear the silence for a moment, but at the same time was thinking about making the escape plan into reality anyway.
I sat down on my bed and the explosions started again. Further away, thank god, but still this grave sound of the the whistle before each explosion made me feel unsafe. I don’t want to be here. I want to be at home. I want to be with my close ones. What am I even doing traveling alone, far from home, all by myself?
I don’t know. Though, it’s nice to know that I don’t have any major regrets... I don’t want to die. I love life and believe I still have a lot of the things that I want to experience, but I wasn’t panicking. If I died, it’s ok. I would be sorry for leaving all the people I love and don’t even want to imagine the pain that they would go through (especially my mom). I don’t know. I hope I don’t die soon. Please, Higher Power, whatever are you, don’t let me die soon. Especially randomly, far from home.
The war must be a nightmare. I am lucky enough to have never experienced it, but I can’t imagine how hard it must be to be waking up to the sounds of explosions or gunshots only to find out they are real. Who ever is going through this and might be reading this — my heart is with you.