I’m at an arts center in Brussels, waiting to see a movie and trying to look Belgian. Or at least not American. Or at least not like an American who’s here without purpose, floating through this city for a few days because, for the first time in many years, she happens to be in Europe. Because I know almost nothing about actually beingBelgian, though, my strategy is basically just to look bored. As if, like the other theatergoers, I’m here simply to support the arts festival that’s taking place, not cataloguing the hip crowd of people chattering around me in French and Dutch, nor analyzing their sensibly edgy way of dressing, nor contemplating the drizzling rain outside the wall of windows that covers the tourist pubs and designer clothing boutiques with a faint gray haze. As if everything is vaguely pleasing but ordinary. There’s something childlike both in my desire to hide and the belief that it is necessary and possible to do so, and I find myself wondering if the skittishness that comes over me when I travel is a version of what everyone feels when she is alone and in a foreign place, or if this feeling speaks to some larger weakness specific to me.