Belgium is a country divided by languages, namely French and Flemish (nobody seems too worried about the German speakers).
Belgian Friend: L is a Leo (lion in French).
Me: Ah, like the symbol of Belgium.
BF: No, that’s the symbol of Flanders.
Me: I think it’s also the symbol of Belgium.
BF (darkly): I wouldn’t put it past them.
The Belgian army is divided along linguistic lines.Â Batches of troops (companies, battalions, divisions, who knows?) are put in the same linguistic groups.Â So, when they meet doing NATO manoeuvres, they speak to each other in English until they have established the language regime applying to the other troop.
Finally, Belgians are given a licence plate at the start of their driving careers and they keep those numbers forever.Â Given developments in licence plate numbering, you can tell the really old drivers by their plates.Â I find that strangely satisfying which makes me wonder whether I have been married to my husband for too long.