What does the city look like in times of corona? Photographer Annelien Nijland captures daily life in Utrecht. Part 1: Lombok.
Van Beek horse butcher in Kanaalstraat is a family business that has been around for 83 years. It’s very popular among Utrecht locals. There’s always a certain amount of pushing and shoving when the hot horsemeat sausage is lifted out of the cauldron. But things are very different now: the shop is closed and looks deserted, a blackboard in the window apologises and wishes loyal customers all the best.
A lot of the shops in the Lombok area, normally a hive of activity, are closed. The Moroccan hairdresser, the Surinamese travel agent, the Turkish jeweller, the Afghan delicatessen. The doors to the mosque are firmly closed, although followers are still called to prayer several times a day. Queues form outside the Halal To Go and Bidoe Chicken lunchrooms, and the Iranian supermarket is providing vast supplies of disposable gloves. Lombok Fish has stacked its terrace furniture in a corner and roped it off to discourage people from congregating there. You can order fish, but you must eat it elsewhere. Stencils and posters asking customers to keep their distance and not stay too long hang on shop doors up and down the street.
Emir works in Bendi, a Turkish supermarket in Damstraat. His boss has instructed him to change his latex gloves every two hours. Disinfecting the trolleys is an important task – it’s his job to spray the handles with disinfectant and wipe them clean between customers. Shoppers are very appreciative. He’ll even spray their hands with disinfectant if they want.