An Open Letter to Belgium

Dear Belgium,

Since we met in March 2011, you have changed me for the better in so many ways. I now actually enjoy fries, which makes a huge change from the 20 years of my life before you and I discovered each other, where all I did was pine after onion rings. I refuse to settle for inferior beer, and have become accustomed to excellent dark chocolate. Also waffles. I will never see an Eggo the same way again…I even, and I never thought I would say this, enjoy Brussels sprouts.

And yet, lately, you have been troubling me. Oddly, I’ve grown used to your strange linguistic and political divisions and subdivisons. I have accepted the fact that I speak Flemish in the city where I live and then go off to work in another city where I must speak French, and then enter an office where Spanish AND French are the order of the day, and then return home. I am even, God help me, learning that your train engineers have absolutely no idea what a schedule is, let alone how to stick to one, and am in the process of accepting the fact that I may never, ever, ever ever be exactly on time in the morning.

What I cannot accept, dear Belgium, is the far more troubling, and deeply disturbing, aspects of your nature that I have lately seen. And it’s not just your nature, it’s your Nature. I think you know exactly what I’m talking about. I think you see it in my eyes when I wake up with you in the morning, just as you see the hope in my eyes, when I go to sleep with you at night, the hope that maybe, just maybe, tomorrow will be different…

I think you see my pain and refuse to acknowledge it. Every tear ripped from my eyes, every sniffle and aneeze that convulses my nose, the strain on my face from the pain in my sinuses.

Man up, Belgium. Admit that what you did to me yesterday was wrong.

Admit that it was wrong to wake me up with lovely sunny smiles, then dump rain on my head when I was getting off the bus to work, then sleet, then snow, then get sunny until JUST BEFORE it was time for my lunch break, then sleet on me when I went out at lunch, then snow in front of my eyes in the afternoon. Repeatedly.

Shall I stop, or would you like to hear more about how you let all the snow melt because you’re not even man enough to stick to something?

Admit that you were wrong, and maybe we can find some way to fix this. If not, my sinuses and I will have to reevaluate our relationship with you.



P.S. Also, your crocodile sunshine right now isn’t fooling anyone. By the time I post this entry, you’ll be raining again.


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Filed under Belgium 2012-2013

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