On April 21, the calendar year 2020 officially reached Mariana Trench depths when the Lord Mayor of Munich declared that Oktoberfest 2020 has been cancelled.
To be honest, it comes as no surprise, and in some ways the news brings relief that at least a decision is made this early in the year. Now we can turn our attention to other travel possibilities in 2020. I think the best we can hope for is the return to some normalcy with access to restaurants and bars in the cities. And come on, who wouldn’t rate that as some kind of success at this point? That is at least my hope and why I will hold onto my flight tickets to Munich for the first weekend of October. If I can still throw down a few Maß in a German beer hall in 2020, I would be thrilled.
If there is a bright side to all of this, it is the fact that I am sure I don’t fit into my lederhosen anymore. I either need to stop working out or stop drinking beer. Since I don’t plan on choosing either, it looks like an upgrade is necessary. Ok there are other bright sides, such as how the Earth and atmosphere seem to be thriving from the reduction in pollution. Belgium has suddenly become like the south of France for almost 2 months. If I ponder what changes to society will happen when the virus threat is over, one of them is hoping that the concept of hundreds of people shuffling off to work every day just to sit at desks or in meeting rooms within a single company becomes a thing of the past. Clearly this exercise we are going thru has taught us how wonderful and powerful technology is. But I have completely digressed.
So what is left to hope for in 2020 in Europe for the wanderlusters? German Christmas Markets? I wouldn’t bank on it actually. Frankly, all I need are all the borders between Belgium and Switzerland to be open. I can’t tell you how immensely ecstatic I would be to have that by the middle of July. Otherwise, this year will be about having a simple life, reminiscing and reflection, and preparing for the overflow of appreciation the next time a barmaid sees my hand signal and glides over to my table, pen and paper ready, like an angel from heaven.