A life lockdown: part 2

We’re in a hard lockdown again – it looked to my hopeful eye two weeks ago that the numbers in The Netherlands were under control, but over the last few days they’ve risen, hence the lockdown. Everything is closed, aside from the “essentials” such as supermarkets, chemists and takeaway restaurants (cannabis lovers can still get their fix). The oliebollen stands are still going, which should comfort me while we have a toddler at home for the next five weeks (at least) while we work fullday. We can still walk around, and parks are still open, so at least there’s that.

We got wind of the Monday-night announcement during the day, and we all tried to hustle before the lockdown at 12pm. We had to get some teachers’ gifts, and I managed to squeeze in a wax appointment and a brow “do”. Salons had also extended their opening hours to try and accommodate as many people as possible, and to also get some much-needed business before their closure.

I’m a bit anxious and it will take me a few more days to recalibrate. I’m reminded of our South African lockdown in March, and how unnerved I was not being able to access things like goods and services, not to mention some space to roam (we weren’t able to exit our homes unless for essential shopping and services). That first lockdown propelled me into so much unknown and uncertainty, followed by the grief of losing my mom, and then trying to emigrate amidst it all.

Things feel better this time – perhaps it’s more of a known quantity this time. In addition to this, I feel safer, and for the next few weeks, I’m not dreading cosying up and trying to indulge in things that make me happy – reading, baking, running and watching series. I trust this country and what they’re doing, and hopefully the vaccine rollout will be in January.

This year we have all lost something – people, experiences, work, things and the good normal things. I’ve had a lot of gains too, and even in a lockdown and the Covid storm, I’m always grateful for those gains, and taking stocking of them each day.

Last week I took a day off work to just wonder around the city. The night before, I was going to postpone it as I felt that I had a bit too much work on the go, even though it was all under control. I ended up taking my day, and I’m obviously so happy I did. I started my day at the Van Gogh Museum, and walked and walked and walked. I popped into some bookshops, and took in the beautiful day (shock – there was sunshine too!). I will do more of these days, and take what I call a “human holiday” (ie a holiday from humans).

That said, it was great to get off my bike, rush into the warmth of our apartment, and start Chanukah that night with a bag of fresh oliebollen from the stand at Leidseplein.

Here are some snaps from my human holiday:


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  • David Reinhardt

    16 December 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Human holiday - lovely idea. I am always astounded at how pretty a city Amsterdam is.

  • Joke Buwalda-Wolters

    16 December 2020 at 11:38 am

    Beautiful pics Tanya! Keep up the good sprit and stay safe. Merry X-mas!

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