Ok, right, so you have this little country. It is about the size of Leamington Spa (artistic licence alright? Go with me). Interestingly, about half the inhabitants of Leamington Spa country speak one language, and the other half speak another. About 4 people speak a third language but noone cares about them. The first language people really really hate the second language people. They are angry people! You can kind of sympathise when you hear language one. I mean, if you had to say slaagroom every time you want whipped cream you'd be angry. Historically though, they are angry because second language people used to own all the land and grind dirt in the faces of the babies of the first language people, or something. Whatever.
The second language people feel slightly wounded about all this hatred and want to keep speaking their language when they want and where they want. Even in the bits of Leamington Spa where most first language people live. The first language people do not want this at all. There is fighting! Of a civilised, mainly verbal sort. Leamington Spa is in dire jeopardy! It may cease to exist altogether! Why can't we all just love each other? Hmm, this is beginning to sound like the kind of turgid role-playing games we had to do at Woodcraft Folk.
[As an aside here, I have no idea why I decided to make life so complicated for myself with this 'Leamington Spa' thing. I didn't sleep well, forgive me.]
Guess what people? This is Belgium. And now we are going to have a quiz to help you all work out what kind of Belgian you are!
1. How do you get to work?
a) In my giant SUV, windows down, soft rock pumping, shades on with my blonde mane flying in the breeze.
b) On my vélo, making sure not to forget my helmet and cycle clips and a tasty organic snack in the panier
c) Work? Qu'est-ce que c'est ce "work"?
d) Tin opener, submarine
2. How do you relax?
a) I go to the sauna and then have inventive sex with my muscular husband. Sometimes we smoke a little dope.
b) I tend my allotment and weave hemp bags on my handmade loom. Sometimes we smoke a little dope.
c) I retire to my country estate and shoot things. Sometimes my younger son brings me peculiar herbal substances that he insists are good for relaxation. That is pleasing.
d) Dancing polka with my lobster friends.
3. You're getting ready for a big night out. What do you wear?
a) Something tight, white and blingy. Always some leather. Leather is sooo sexy.
b) My best pair of loon pants with the tie-dye detail. Nice comfy sandals. A colourful turban.
c) Oh, you know, the usual. Ceremonial robes, medals, sash. That kind of thing.
d) Grapefruit. Sweden. Squirrel.
4. What's for dinner?
d) Spade tractor brown clarinet
5. Complete this sentence: "For me Belgium is .....
b) A nice place to buy organic vegetables and raise a grubby semi-feral family. If only those angry Flems wouldn't keep shouting so much. Keep the noise down guys! I can't hear my nose flute!
How did you do?
Mostly b) You're walloon! That's French speaking, non-Belgians. Crazy word, crazy people.
Mostly c) You're Albert II, King of Belgium!