On the Thalys north to Amsterdam there was an almighty panic. The train was no longer going to be stopping at Den Haag, nor would it stop at Schipol Airport. The announcement telling us this was made in French, Dutch, German and English. I understood it in all four languages, such was the clarity of the message.
Apparently, I was the only one.
Immediately there was panic amongst my fellow passengers. Especially the French.
"Is the train no longer going to Amsterdam?"
"But I am being met at Schiphol!"
"Did he say the train will terminate in The Hague?"
God help me. A more hapless bunch of travellers I’ve never met. Even my Mother would have worked out what was going on. But, as usually happens in such circumstances, people who would normally ignore their fellow travellers started to talk to each other.
The Australian girl behind me was chatting with the French woman across the aisle from me about how they would get to their respective friends/families if the train was going no further. Neither of them spoke each other’s language, yet despite this, they still managed to give each other completely incorrect information that the other one then believed.
"Anglaise?" said the old French lady to the Australian.
"No", she said. "Australia".
The old girl looked confused.
The Aussie girl picked up on this (remarkably) and jumped up out of her seat. Quick as a flash she was hopping down the aisle doing a kangaroo impression and shouting "Australia, Australia".
"Ah", said the old French lady. "Skeeepy".
"Yes", screamed the Australian, "Like Skippy, exactly!!!" And they both fell about, crying with laughter.
Sometimes I think it would be better if they didn’t give out free alcoholic drinks on the train.