A mother-daughter duo in Belgium captured widespread attention after building a makeshift cardboard car to be able to get a McDonald's drive-thru meal despite the coronavirus lockdown.
On Labour Day, Nathalie Moermans and her 16-year-old daughter from the Walloon city of La Louvière were spotted inside a cardboard car queuing up alongside other vehicles at the local McDonald's drive-thru.
Not owning a car, the pair opted to build their own out of cardboard boxes in an attempt to get a meal from the fast-food chain, located some 500 metres from their home and where Moermans said they ate at once a month.
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"My daughter wanted to go but I told her we couldn't since we don't have a car and we couldn't go with somebody else either, because of the lockdown," she said in a phone interview.
To get around this limitation, Moermans proposed building their own car out of cardboard boxes, an idea her daughter initially rejected before jumping enthusiastically on board.
"At the beginning, my daughter thought it was a stupid idea — she was embarrassed. So I started building the car on my own and then she started helping me," she said, adding: "I told her it would give her some nice memories to tell her children about their grandmother's crazy ideas."
Once their vehicle was done, complete with a 'Covid-19' licence plate and markings reading: "Sorry, I want a McDonald's but don't have a car" they took to the road, sparking the interest of drivers and passers-by.
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"We had a bit of trouble taking it out of the house because it was too big for our front door, but once on the road, other cars honked at us, gave us thumbs-up from their windows and people stopped to take pictures...." she said.
Their creation also drew attention from a police patrol, who approached them to ask them what they were doing in the drive-thru.
"I told the policewoman that I didn't have a car but that we wanted to get a meal, and I think only then she realised that we were inside a cardboard car and burst out laughing," Moermans said.
Moermans said she and her daughter did not expect to receive so much attention from their Labour Day activity.
Photos she posted on her Facebook have so far been shared thousands of times and received hundreds of comments, most of which she said were positive.
"Even a paper in the south of France wrote about us, we were not expecting this... But it's nice if we have done something to make people laugh, especially in a situation like this," she said. "It's a nice feeling and I think we need that sometimes."
Ultimately, the trip was a success, with the duo successfully getting their meal once their time came to order.
The Brussels Times