Although it appears like coronavirus isn’t really going anywhere, we all dream of the days we can ditch the masks and socially distanced walks. With the recent news of the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown, it’s so easy to get lost in the daydreams of life without covid. While I was never a night-out kind of person, I did enjoy my days out in freedom. There are so many things I feel have been stripped from my life since this nearly year-long pandemic, so let’s go through my post-lockdown bucket list.
A trip to the cinema
As an avid cinema-goer, I fear I am a shell of my true self. The sheer desperation to go and see a movie in the cinema is something I yearn for almost every single day – and so it’s top on my bucket list. Despite the immense range of choice on streaming sites, nothing quite compares to seeing a new film on the big screen.
Some of my favourite university moments in general have taken place in the cinema, with my personal favourite being the campus screening of ‘JoJo Rabbit’. It was my first time seeing ‘JoJo Rabbit’ in cinema, I’d waited especially to see it with my friends on campus so when the day came it was glorious. The screening was packed, and people laughed and cried in unison.
I last went to the cinema in October to see ‘Tenet’ by Christopher Nolan. This was the movie supposed to revive cinemas and the entertainment industry, since it has been hit so hard by covid. My flatmates, despite not being cinema fanatics like I am, had a lovely evening out when going to watch the movie. We bought drinks and snacks, then sat in the theatre for the entirety of the movie – it was the first time in my life I had ever experienced an empty movie-screening. While I was excited to see the movie, something felt so wrong when considering the usual conditions of cinemas. It felt wrong not seeing hoards of teenagers standing around the cinema, a family buying 4 large popcorns and the synchronised expressions of a theatre audience.
Depending on the roster, one of the first things I will be doing once it’s safe again is visiting the cinema. I will be doing multiple midnight screenings and paying for large popcorns (even if on my own!). The joy of seeing movies in the cinema, where they belong, is something that will come back to us all eventually.
Exploring local restaurants
Eating out is definitely on my bucket list. One of the things I’ve missed during lockdown is the freedom to go to restaurants. Prior to the pandemic, I hadn’t realised how much of my social life actually relied on going out to eat. Coming from a family who loves their food, I take almost every single opportunity to turn a day out into a meal. Even if a friend came over to spend the day with me, it would somehow turn into either going out to eat or cooking a big meal.
The moment we’re allowed to roam around looking for restaurants, I will instantly do so. Prior to the introduction of the tier systems in November, I had prepared a list of local restaurants near my university house that I wanted to visit. Once Coventry was placed into tier 3, my restaurant plans were out the window – I probably went to only two out of the lengthy list. So the exact moment the restrictions are lifted, I will be on my way to eat out. Of course cooking at home is great, but we all deserve a break every once in a while.
If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught me, it’s how normal it is to spend time with just yourself. My first restaurant experience after covid will probably be alone, no matter how redundant it sounds. I’ve found that I actually enjoy the time I spend with myself, so it’s reasonable to transfer this to activities such as eating out.
Markets and picnics
Perhaps a niche bucket list idea, but I want to shop in markets and second-hand stores again. As lucky as I am to live in London, it’s very hard to shop sustainably for a reasonable price in the big city. When I moved to Coventry for university, I almost immediately visited Coventry market. It became a regular, weekly routine of mine to do my grocery shopping in Coventry market. The choice of fresh vegetables, fish and fruit was brilliant – not only for my bank balance but for local businesses too. While the Tesco 10 minutes away from my house does the job, I miss the feeling of shopping in a market, and interacting directly with sellers rather than a corporation. The moment it’s safe to do so, I will be returning to my market shopping.
As you can see, a lot of my post-lockdown fantasies link to food in some way. As the summer approaches, we’re heading towards the barbecue and picnic season. Pretty ironically, I bought a picnic basket last year, the week before we went into lockdown, so hopefully I’ll be able to utilise it this summer.
My sister and I had a small picnic in Richmond park, and while it was cute, it was also surrounded by covid-paranoia. The pandemic has unfortunately but expectedly worsened health anxiety for so many of us, making it dreadful to even go for a quick shop. Hopefully it will soon be safe enough to have comforting picnics in lush fields of grass with our loved ones.
This is possibly the most far-fetched of the bucket list but I’ll express my dreams anyway: I want to travel to India. It’s been nearly a decade since I last visited my home country, and it feels criminal to not have been for this long. Usually, my family comes to the UK during the summer as it’s unbearably hot in India. Whether it be my cousins, my parents or random family members, everyone gets to go to India but me.
I’ll keep dreaming… but I hope I’ll be able to visit India as soon as the lockdown lifts completely. There are so many things to do in summer in London but nothing quite compares to being in your home country. These recent months in lockdown have led me to reconnect with my culture, so to visit India as soon as possible is a covid fantasy of mine. I dream of going clothes shopping, eating at food stalls and visiting random family members (that I can barely remember!).
Besides, with millions of vaccines being rolled out all over the UK, hope is near. We will soon be free from this oddly long pandemic, to live our post-lockdown dreams in full.
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