In what many describe as the most important event since President Bush patted the Queen's bottom at Buckingham Palace, the governments of Belgium, North Korea, and South Korea have reached a tentative agreement to swap countries in 2020. Said Geert Vandermeert, spokesman for the Belgian delegation, "We're very proud of this historic moment of Eurasian harmony". Barely able to contain his excitement, he continued, "Think of all those defenses, mine fields, barbed wire, canons, and guard posts between the two Koreas: perfect for keeping those bloody Walloons out of our half of the country".
For his part South Korean leader Kim Dae Woo was equally bullish, "Moving South Korea to Belgium will really open up markets for our products in Europe. Instead of shipping them half way across the world, our goods will be available to all, we could make Belgium one big electronics store!" North Korean party member Joon Sung Wok was no less ebullient "We understand Belgium has nuclear reactors already producing enough uranium for our mil-, eh, civilian programs. Our dear leader is very excited."
Jean-Marie Lorgnion, a Walloon, was more cautious. "Well, I've always wanted to travel" he admitted, "and I hear it's warmer there than in rainy Belgium. Plus I quite like the food." Fleming Rob DeVertegenaar smiled confidently as he asserted "I've checked it out on Google Earth, that No Man's Land will be perfect for our needs. I can't wait!"
Despite the enthusiasm, significant challenges remain. Opinions are divided on how to handle languages, shop, and street signs. Unsurprisingly, the Belgians are adamant that they need to take all three to their new home. "What's the point of moving half way around the world only to end up speaking the same language? If I refuse to speak French I'm certainly not learning Korean!", exclaimed DeVertegenaar as he carefully packed his street sign away for shipping.
Koreans for their part want to integrate in Europe. "What's the point of going over there and bringing our street signs with us?" Kim Dae Woo countered "No one will be able to understand Korean". "Exactly right" agreed the North's Sung Wok, "Plus we have so few streets shops in the fatherland, not to mentions signs. We could really use the Belgians'".
Another concern is logistics. Swapping four populations is easier said than done. Light on details, the delegations spoke of commandeering ferry boats, planes, and a fleet of custom-built RVs for the exodus. "I hope they avoid rush hour," said Lorgnion, "or there'll be one hell of a traffic jam".
Perhaps the greatest unifying force behind the country swap is the World Cup. Amidst giants such as England, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Slovenia, little Belgium rarely makes it to the competition. "Once we've swapped with Korea, all that will change" stated Vandermeert confidently, "Flanders and even Wallonia will dominate the region. We'll finally be giants!"
My native country, Belgium, is sadly slowly tearing itself apart along linguistic lines. The northern, Dutch-speaking Flemings no longer want a union with their southern, French-speaking cousins the Walloons. This long running enmity grows deeper with each passing election as more and more control is given to separatists who would split the country in two.
This satirical piece was written as homage to The Onion and a commentary on the stupidity of focusing on who speaks what language instead of actually fixing real problems facing our country.