The 9th of September 2009, now 2 years ago. That was the day, or rather the night, that we were crossing the atlantic, the day our holiday destination changed into home country and vice versa. How could we leave the, in every way (except for the weather, of course) perfect country, to go and live in a chaotic, badly organised, third world country at the other side of the world? I know, some people still wonder.
The answer to this we find in our bathroom, one morning in the winter of 2008-2009.
As the weather in Belgium is bad for about 360 days a year (at least, that’s how I experienced it), we escaped to, weather wise, better places as much as we could. We were globetrotters, never going to the same place twice, we wanted to see the world. That was until we first came to Argentina in 2003. Driving to Ezeiza after a 2 weeks holiday, feeling down and blue, we wondered if we could come back the next year. That is where our addiction to Argentina started, which came to a climax in 2008, when we came 5 times in one year. We then realised we had lost our minds.
That morning in the bathroom, just like every other morning, I was listening to the news on radio 1, a ‘serious’ radio, at least that is what I thought back then. Now, as an expat, I think differently. Or they completely ignore serious situations (Belgium being without a government for almost a year and a half now is absolutely no problem), or they are over-reacting on many other situations. Beware, the end is near!!
Around that time the end was really near. The financial crisis, that had devastating effects on the Americans and their economy, and that had made many Europeans smile and say ‘haven’t we always said they are doing everything wrong?’, had now reached untouchable Europe. And more over, had caused the almost bankruptcy of the most important Belgian bank. This could not be ignored. Soon we would be back in post war situations, eating haring and beans every day, 7 days a week. And I don’t like haring nor beans.
Fortunately we did not have an account in that bank, nor did we have any shares on the then collapsing stock market, but we realised that we might have to change our way of living, and especially, cut down our number of trips to Argentina. So listening to the news on this particular day, made me think and say to my husband : “If I would have to chose between living in Belgium and going to Argentina only once a year, or living in Argentina and visit Belgium once a year, it would be an easy choice.”.
And that is when my husband, who has always been dreaming of exploring new horizons, looked at me, his stay-at-home wife, lifting an eyebrow, asking “are you serious?”. That is the moment that we started planning that particular trip over the Atlantic, to our new home.