Belgium: Ghent to Liège to Landen to Hasselt

After two nights in Ghent, today I took the train to what I thought was Hasselt, but instead I ended up in Liège. All three of these cities are in Belgium.

When I purchased my ticket in Ghent, I asked if I needed to transfer trains. I was told, No, it's direct. After two hours on the train with no sign of Hasselt, I asked another passenger and then the conductor, both of whom told me, You needed to transfer in Landen.

I thought this train was direct to Hasselt, I said.

It is, but you have to change trains first.

(That's not direct.)

So I got off the train at Liège. My brief stay in Liège (less than one hour) was enough to differentiate it as a French-speaking region of Belgium as opposed to Flemish (i.e. Dutch).

I arrived in Hasselt a couple hours later than expected, but I'm here, staying with my friend Daan and his girlfriend Loes (pronounced like the first three letters of Lucy, or loose). It was Daan whose band played the Ghent Festival, and tonight his girlfriend and I will go watch his band play again, at a former gelatin factory that is now home to music, beer and miscellanea.