For the second time I noticed the same woman carrying a Next carrier bag. Now, only someone from the UK would have such a thing. I noticed her and her friend last week but couldn't quite hear what language they were speaking in because the train carriage we were sitting in was so noisy. This time I made sure I sat opposite them. And yes they are indeed English, probably from Manchester I'd guess. All this time, going about my daily life in Belgium, I hear people speak, catch snippets of their conversation, and occasionally understand half of what is said, other times very little. But, for the first time in 6 months I have been able to understand every bit of a stranger's banal nattering. Whenever I hear French spoken I am never really able to distinguish between the banal and the serious. But I guess people, no matter what language they are speaking, are always having the same kind of conversations: the weather, work, love life, celebrity gossip.
If I see them again next week I think I might have to ask what on earth they're doing here in Wallonia.
There's a great notice that you find on many of the trains:
"Tout le monde n'a pas envie d'entendre que vous appelez votre cheri "mon petit lapin." Soyez discret avec votre portable."
Which translates as: "People really don't want to hear you telling your love that they are your "little rabbit." Be discreet when using your mobile."