We kept an eye on our rescheduled flight to Belgium, (our original flight was canceled and rescheduled through Brazil), it wasn’t canceled, yet, but the situation was getting dire, especially in Europe, where not only Italy and Spain, but also Belgium and France had gone into lock down. The Schengen borders were closed and so was the French-Belgian border. We could but wait and see what happened.

Meanwhile I was keeping busy. Shooting the stars and the Milky Way, shooting the clouds. And again some clouds. How many clouds can one shoot? But the scenery is always the same. If I had brought my big tele I would probably have started shooting birds. Imagine!

And we waited. We kept in touch with our friends here over the phone, as we all practiced social distancing. And with friends and family back home. We regularly received an email of the Belgian embassy.

Until the day that Air France let us know they were canceling all flights after the 23th, including ours… again. We immediately rebooked it for the first available date, the 22nd, but this time to Paris instead of Brussels, as there are no longer TGV trains riding between both cities. Our son would have to pick us up in Paris by car.

But wait? Is that even possible? The borders are closed between Belgium and France, ánd it is forbidden to be with more than 2 in one car. Will he be able cross the Belgian/French border, and can he take us both together or does he have to ride twice?

It’s an interesting question, because however much the press writes about what can and what cannot, nobody seems to have a clue on how nationals can (or can’t) go home.

(Eventually a friendly lady at the diplomatie.belgie Call center gave us the green light so we can start packing!)

So it’s time for a final grocery run to town. But guess what? We are told we can not enter the town to where the shops are. Only people who actually live there (and prove it) can go in. A good thing we are leaving! I make a turn before they stop me. I don’t want them to freak out when they see my passport. They will be worried to death that they’ll die of Corona now that they held my passport. I want to spare them. My shopping isn’t that urgent.

So I go back. To pack.

But in this world, this world where we are at war against a virus, nothing, absolutely nothing is certain.