Belgium, a tiny country of 11 million people, has long had an identity crisis. It lives in the shadow of its larger and more powerful cousin, France. Brussels, the capital, doubles as the capital of the European Union and headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, giving it global heft but also subsuming its already fragile and fragmented persona to plodding bureaucratic institutions.
Two friends heard about the airport bombing as they entered the Brussels subway. They feared a second attack on the subway. It happened on their train. This is their story of survival.