The Journey Home

_This concludes my trilogy covering my trip to the #inspect 2013, the first RubyMotion conference. If you haven’t, you should start by reading about the trip to Brussels, then read the coverage of the conference. And now we can bring this journey to an end.</p>

We woke late the next day. It felt like we had removed our masks. The carriage had turned back into a pumpkin. Ashley felt sick. I wanted breakfast.

We walked through the crowded square to the cafe where I had that great omelet. I craved the exact same thing. It really hit the spot. Then I realized that this whole time I had not tried a waffle. And so for dessert I had the Brussels Waffle. It had vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup like hot fudge. I feel like a better person for trying the Brussels Waffle!

Ashley didn’t feel like doing anything, so went back to the room and I sat alone in the hotel bar. I really wanted to do something, so felt sad to find myself here. I figured I’d make the best of it so put the audio of my talk online. I drank two Leffe Blonds, and they brought me peanuts. I really wanted to spend time with some of the people at the conference, so posted a tweet with the #inspect hash tag inviting people to come by.

As I began to really feel discouraged I heard a voice calling my name. Marin said hi. He gave the talk about Bubblewrap. He hadn’t even seen my tweet. A few of them would go out for dinner. Of course I’d like to join them!

We almost went back to Spago, but decided on a cheaper Asian place. I had sweet and sour tofu. I made a new friend. We bored everyone by talking finance. I hope he writes in because we didn’t get each other’s info. How do those VIX options look now? After dinner we all went to a nice quiet local bar, where I had a local beer and a very enjoyable time. I came back to the hotel feeling better. It all worked out in the end.

In conversation someone happened to mention that Belgium would have their time change that night. I hate the time change so much! I always rant about it every time it happens! I wish we would just stay in daylight saving time. We don’t need to readjust our stupid clocks twice a year. So stupid.

I had already endured it here in America, and now I would have to endure it yet again. I left with a five hour difference and would return with six. I knew it would mess with my head even more. Stupid time change! And sure enough it happened. That did it, I meditated and went to bed.

I awoke on Easter sunday at 04:30 in the afternoon. I felt a little sick with a sore throat and runny nose. For some reason my mail server crashed, and my mail filtering had stopped. The wireless network drove me more insane each day, and now it had hit a peak. I really wanted to go home.

Several locals had warned us that everything closes down on sundays. And when they say everything, they mean everything! We could not find an open restaurant. Even the hotel’s restaurant had closed. We could only order from the bar menu. We decided to just go with it.

I actually had a real Belgian vegetarian dish of a salted waffle and seasonal vegetables. I enjoyed it. We also had red wine, figuring it would help our colds, plus the Easter symbolism, even though neither of us consider ourselves Christians. Still it does have a universal meaning we can all find some good in. For dessert I had an amazing fruit tart and a cocktail called a Mojito. I had never had one before, but enjoyed it. It packed quite a punch. We lounged on the sofas where we had eaten feeling very relaxed. Eventually we went back to the room to pack. It had finally come time to return home. I meditated for the final time there with my portable zafu and went to sleep.

Four hours later we woke up. I felt sick. We had breakfast and got assistance with our luggage. I really wanted one of the wonderful goblets from which they serve their wonderful beer. I asked the girl at the front desk if they’d sell me one. She said no, but she’d ask the bar to bring me one. She asked my favorite one I had there, and I said Leffe Blond. She placed a call, said something in French, and retrieved it. She even put it in a bag and wrapped it. I had a little piece of Belgium to take back with me.

The cab ride back stood in stark contrast to our ride there. The guy dropped us off in a road by the airport. We had no idea where to go. We found our way to the airport, and eventually to assistance. We got the last two seats on the plane. We had just made it.

I said good bye to Brussels. Good bye to amazing beer, chocolate, and waffles. Good bye to the endless cobblestone streets with every other shop a chocolate shop. Good bye to the statue of a urinating boy and of a smurf sitting atop a mushroom with a bite taken out of it. Farewell to spotty internet and no cellular communication. And so long to all the wonderful people.

The flight home went fine. I went with my mom to Hawthorne’s, the local cafe. It felt very surreal to drink a Leffe Blond there. After that I slept for twelve hours, then began settling in. My cat didn’t stopped purring for a week. She missed me so much. Well, I’m back.

By the way, RubyMotion first started accepting purchases for licenses a year ago. Since then it has grown to the point of having an international conference with 150 attendees. Not bad. Here’s to an even better year! RubyMotion will change the world.</em>