by Robert Waltz
Not for the faint of art.
PROMPT January 21st
What’s one thing you wanted to do in 2020 that you couldn’t do or didn’t get to do? Will you make it happen in 2021?
Well, I've covered this ad nauseam in here already, so regular readers can probably skip this entry.
The answer is "visit Belgium." I mean, there were a lot of things I didn't get to do this year that I wanted to: Nerd Camp, road trips, gambling in Vegas, meeting various WDCers in their hometowns, brewery visits, going to the gym (after February), my usual December trip to California... but the Belgium thing was something I haven't done before and was really looking forward to, and the prompt is like "one thing." So that's the one thing.
Every silver lining has a cloud... wait. Strike that. Reverse it. The one good thing about postponing my trip is that I've been able to learn more French, so by the time I do get to go -- hopefully this year -- I'll at least be able to read some of that language and maybe understand a couple of spoken sentences here and there.
Belgium, however, is a bilingual country, and I'm finding Dutch to be a much more difficult language to learn. "But it's a lot like English!" Yes, it is; it's just enough like English to be goddamn hard for me.
So it's unlikely I'll be able to pick up that language significantly before my trip. I know a lot of Belgians speak English, but I don't want to be one of those Americans who doesn't even try.
Hopefully I'll also get a chance to visit neighboring France and Netherlands while I'm there.
Will I make it happen in 2021? It's possible. What's keeping me from doing it is stuff that's totally not in my control, and you know exactly what I'm talking about. The only thing I can maybe control is getting the vaccine when it's available to me. Which I will do, but I have no idea when that will be. My traveling companion will have to get it too, of course, and then I think there's a wait while immunity builds up. And that doesn't guarantee that they'll let idiot Americans into the EU for leisure travel.
As a dyed-in-the-wool pessimist, though, I can only assume that by the time we get the shots, a mutant strain will pop up that's resistant to it and we'll get delayed again.
And even though I fully expect this to happen, if it does, I shall be quite cross.