Sunday, October 03, 2010

How Likely Is That?

When we were in Brussels a couple of weekends ago we stayed in a B&B where one other guest was a young Russian, who was there for some conference, and then there were two Belgian women.

At breakfast on Saturday we chatted like one does, and the topic of the state of the Belgian motorways was introduced (by me). I explained with my standard joke “How do you know you are travelling through Belgium? It goes bumpety bumpety bumpety.”

Belgium_motorway_location_map.svg from Wikimedia Commons

One of the ladies said to the other “You have to tell your boss that!” It turned out that one of them worked for the Minister of Transport. Ooops!

Another unlikely meeting took place in one of Brussels’ many excellent restaurants. Since Brussels is a city of two official languages, French and Flemish (Dutch), you are not quite sure how to start a conversation. Mrs S spoke French, since neither of us speak Flemish, and the waitress replied in fluent French, of course. But it turned out that she actually was French.

Mrs S continued to tell the waitress that we had a holiday home in Normandy, and she wondered where. Before Mrs S had finished her geographic explanation the young French waitress said with a broad smile that she came from a town not far away from there, and that as a young girl she had often been with her mother to the swimming pool in our nearest little town, the very same pool Mrs S regularly frequents on our holidays. How about that for a coincidence?



oreneta said...

I have a friend who maintains there are 400 people on earth and the rest are paper cut outs. Obviously untrue, but there are days that make you wonder.

swenglishexpat said...

Oreneta - Wonderfully funny!

Limningedge said...

I have learnt that the further you go the more people you meet who live 'next door'

swenglishexpat said...

Limningedge - Interesting theory. Is it perhaps because we are more observant and spot them more easily? Or that we don't expect to see them, so therefore...? Must be some academic somewhere who has tried to explain it! ;-)