Alas! Looks like we’re going to have to keep ourselves busy for another two months folks. The second lockdown is here, and it’s here to stay. This doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun in the meantime though. Which is why Trot Op! came up with four original activities to keep yourself occupied till Christmas. Enjoy and keep it safe!
Well dear friends, looks like we’re back to square one. The last parties were broken up by the cops, everybody is stocked up on toilet paper and we all got to shop for one last classy outfit to wear on our open casket funeral next month. Great! This means there’s nothing left for us to do but to close the door behind our asses, grab a bucket of ice cream and hide under a blanket for two months again with some wine within reach. It’ll be a winter full of wild adventures. Are you as excited about it as I am? Hurray!
Four great ways to keep yourself occupied during the second lockdown
But what are we to do with all of this suddenly acquired leisure time? Theme parks are closed, the weather is too shitty for jogging (that’s my excuse) and if you’ve read my previous articles, you now know every square inch of nature in and around Antwerp by heart. No need to panic though: we’ll fix it. I put the old – and impressively packaged – grey matter to work and came up with four original ways to keep yourself occupied throughout Lockdown II: Judgement Day. In dark times like these, we need to support each other. Which is why potential “cuddle buddies” like our Minister of Health so eloquently called them, can always leave their credentials/cup size in the comments below. Cause I’m here for you, baby.
1. Put cardboard versions of yourself outside at night to mess with the cops
Set one foot outside after twelve and you’ll lose yourself a cold €250 when caught. Night shops and bars are closed anyway, so what’s the point? Smart planners will buy their beers/cigarettes beforehand. This curfew doesn’t state you can’t lighten up the streets with your likeness though. So make a couple of life-sized cardboard cut-outs of yourself, and put them out in random places in the city centre right before midnight. This way the police actually has something to do at night, and they might even get a little laugh out of it when they find out it wasn’t you they pepper-sprayed right in the face, but your cardboard clone. Fun times for the whole force and a nice handicraft moment for your family as well!
2. Build a pretty castle with your useless travel guide collection
Like yourself, there’s no need for your travel plans to come out of the closet just yet. But this doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with them in the meantime. Take all your Rough Guides and Lonely Planets from the shelve they’ve been gathering dust on for eight months, and build yourself a nice fortress out of all your postponed dream trips. The more of them you had to cancel, the higher your little towers will reach. Use the biggest books for stable cornerstones and then build higher and higher with small pocket guides on cities you won’t be visiting anytime soon and with forgotten booklets on the Ardennes. If you build the walls high enough, no one will be able to see your bitter tears. Sneaky sneaky!
3. Dress up like a girl and seduce a Belgian celeb
Let’s not beat around the bush folks: we’ve all got toilet paper and broadband internet to last us through the ages, but it’ll be a lonely goddamn winter still. Not in the least for the three unnamed – I’m not getting sued, look it up – Flemish celebs who got their semi-erect junk posted all over the internet after getting wooed by some drunk student pretending to be a chick. They’ll be sleeping on the couch for the next couple of years I reckon. It’ll be tough for actual singles as well. Not everyone has a cuddle buddy to turn to – don’t forget to leave that phone number ladies – and right now is not the time for a first date. So you better get creative and make the best of it. Dress up like a sexy babe, get on your favourite celeb’s Instagram feed and send him sleazy pictures until he shows you his trouser snake. The first one to score ten different dingdongs wins the womb broom bingo and gets an imaginary reward of choice!
4. Annoy a fortune teller
*For legal reasons, the phone numbers are hidden. Google is your friend though.
The covid-crisis and its consequences causes a lot of mental unrest. Sadly, this will always attract vultures trying to make a buck out of the misery of others. Last week for example, I got a leaflet in my mailbox, put there by the “Great Clairvoyant” Prof. Kaira. This is one of several snake-oil salesmen – names and numbers seem to vary, but are used in several countries – with an Antwerp postal round. Kaira and his witch brewing buddies offer solutions to all of life’s problems: from love sickness and flaccid willies to bad exams and getting rid of your enemies (no questions asked). In reality though, they’re only good at emptying the pockets of the most gullible of old folks. There are pills for erectile dysfunction Bob. You don’t have to have some magic mushroom picker sacrifice a chicken for it.
Wouldn’t it be swell should these guys get the most mundane phone calls all though the lockdown? “I can’t find my car keys Mr. Sekou!”, “Why doesn’t my mom love me, Dr. Kaira!?”, “I’ve accidentally pushed a cactus into my ass, Doctor Dumbledore: what do I do!?” These are just a couple of suggestions. The more prank calls they get, the less time they’ll have to take advantage of the actual vulnerable people among us. You don’t even have to feel bad about it. If they’re truly clairvoyant, they’ll see it coming from a mile away and won’t even pick up the phone.
Hanging on throughout the lockdown
I’m obviously making fun of it here, but the situation as a whole is quite dreary. Remember March, when we all thought we’d stay inside for two months, get some good boozin’ going and we’d be rid of this thing before we knew it? It was spring, it was sunny and every day it stayed light a little longer. At eight o’ clock we’d clap for the people in healthcare and the mood was generally good.
Little is left of that optimism today, but we should try and recapture it. It’s going to get tough before it gets better for a lot of us, especially with the holidays coming. We could really use each other’s support right now. So call your friends and family regularly. Take walks with those who need them. Offer a listening ear, and don’t be afraid to talk about your own feelings either. Ask people how they are feeling and whether or not they’re coping alright. Mr. Sekou is not going to have the time for it anymore.
In short: stay strong, stay united and let’s make sure there won’t be a fucking third wave okay? I’d like to start writing about actual trips again someday.
Looking for something else to do in quarantine? Click here. In need of a walk in a coronafree spot in or around Antwerp? You’ll find some here and here. Want to discover another part of the country? Read my pieces on Spa, Gaume, Viroinval, Charleroi, Bruges and (kinky) Koksijde.