“You ski like a Belgian” is a cheerily raffish Swiss insult to those, unlike themselves who had the misfortune to be born somewhere else and for whom sliding down precipitous slopes comes as naturally as breathing.
Surprisingly, a lifetime and a half ago, I used to teach people to ski. Before the days of parabolic skis which allow even an ill-balanced troglodye to turn, we learned on sleek, long, wood-core skis, legs glued together and carved compression parallels were achieved only after much effort and practice. Modern skis have taken a leaf from the skateboarders book, have a spectacular parabolic curve and turn on a sixpence with legs hip-width apart. All of which meant that with legs glued together and determined pressure, I found myself over-rotating hopelessly with shoulders facing the wrong way, amid gales of laughter. In my defence, the borrowed skis were a bit short, but I nonetheless felt briefly Belgian.