Every Monday morning I have breakfast with my very good friend Ileen from Holland. The waiter knows us, we don’t even have to ask for anything, he just confirms we want our usual and we’re good to chat.
We both love these moments as during the week-end our family life takes over and we don’t have much opportunities to see each other. We keep in touch but it’s not the same as our Monday catch-up sessions.
One morning, during the holidays, I’m sat alone enjoying the first sun of the year when the waiter starts small talk. He asks where my friend is and of course we do this in French as we are both native speakers. He then continues and says
– “You’re not originally from France, are you?”
– “No, I’m from Belgium” and then comes the line I wasn’t expecting!!
– “The quality of your French is really good.”
– “Well thank you but it is my mother tongue!”
This just confirms something I have come to experience a few times since living in France, Belgium may be the country next door but for many French people, Belgians are these unknown tribe members form the other side of the world!