Note conversation in blue is in German + *English in German conversation*
After so many years of going to school in uniform it seemed a bit weird that there wasn't any here. It was kinda cool in one aspect; I mean you can wear pretty much what you want although there was a loose dress code. But it still seemed a bit odd seeing kids going to school in jeans and trainers.
"Time to go son" Dave encouraged his reluctant offspring.
"It'll be okay Drew, the first day is always the worst, I remember when I went up to Uni, the first few days almost had me heading home but I soon made friends and had a whale of a time. Yes it was scary at first but in a couple of weeks you'll be wondering what all the fuss was about. Now get out there and enjoy your self."
"Yes Dad" Drew sighed.
"And don't forget that we're eating at the Pinger's tonight so you're going home with Kat."
"I know!" he pretty much snapped at his father.
Dave was tuned in enough to let it go this morning - it must be quite stressful for the lad after all.
"See ya later then squib."
Drew was already out of the car.
Dave sat and watched as his youngest child crossed the road and made his way to the school reception. 'I really do hope he can cope with this, the last few months have been quite a roller coaster for the lad with one thing or another.' with a sigh he slipped the car into gear and continued his journey to the squad headquarters along in Bad Neunahr. Tonight's dinner with the Pinger's was to celebrate Jens return to the team - even if it was only to ride the shorter events. No Tour Feminin this year, it was too soon but the road worlds in September - there was a good chance that she'd be defending her title in Osaka!
"Good morning Drew, nice and early I see."
"Good morning Fr. Pfeffer "
"Sit for a moment, I've just a quick phone call to make and then we'll go and introduce you to Fr Durst."
Drew was too nervous to risk sitting so he busied himself with trying to decipher some of the notices again. There was a lot more activity this morning than when he was here last week; one or two students but mostly what he guessed were Lehrin, the staff. One or two gave him appraising looks, a couple more offered a 'Güten Tag', he was starting to get a bit nervous, how long does it take to make one phone call?
“Zu welchem Lehrer möchten Sie? Wie ist Ihr Name?” The inquisition, rattled off at machine gun pace, was issued by a stern looking individual with a beard and glasses who towered over Drew. It was too quick for Drew to grasp and he stood there bewildered.
"I er um."
"Nu los Mädel! Wie ist dein Name?”
"Herr Viessner, the head is looking for you, I'll look after this." the smiling voice of Claudia came to Drew's rescue.
"Okay Fr. Pfeffer, the girl doesn't seem to know her own name!" and with that he pushed his glasses up his face and went through the door marked 'teachers only'.
"He can be a bit gruff sometimes but he's quite nice really, I think he will be teaching you English if I remember."
Just what I need!
“Lets get you to your class Drew.”
“Um yeah.” I half-heartedly agreed.
Claudia led the way to what was effectively going to be my form room, at least for the next eight weeks. I was too flippin' scared to take too much note of the other students and I stood mutely by when we did get to Fr. Dürst's room.
“So, your new student Fr. Dürst, Drew?”
“Güten Morgen Fr. Dürst.”
“Good morning to you Drew.”
“I'll leave you with Fr. Dürst Drew, if you have any problems you know where to find me.”
“Danke Fr. Pfeffer.” I allowed, and she was gone.
“Well I have to say I'm impressed with your German Drew.”
“Well the rest of the form will be here shortly for first period so lets get you sorted out. Looking at your schedule there are several students who have the same timetable, let's see,” she consulted her list, “yes I think Steffi would be best. Hmm, find yourself a seat, I'll introduce you when everyone is here.”
I was very tempted to slink off to the back of the room but instead I took a desk near the front, off to the window side of the room. I sat nervously twisting a few strands of hair, my classmates started to arrive and other than a few curious looks I was pretty much ignored. I didn't see Fr. Dürst approaching so I jumped when she spoke.
“Drew, this is Steffi, she'll show you the ropes.”
The girl assigned as my minder was brown haired, a bit gangly with a slightly angular face and glasses.
“People!” Fr. Dürst clapped her hands for attention and the general buzz died down. “We have a new student starting today,” she motioned for me to stand which I reluctantly did, “Drew has moved here from England so I hope you will all help when you can and make Drew welcome here at Silverberg.”
To say the morning was a little bewildering would be putting it mildly. My first lesson in Germany was maths, which is at least pretty much the same in any language. As luck would have it, it was stuff that we did back home just after Easter so I was actually able to help Steffi a bit with that.
The next session was still in our base room but my luck ran out - it was German! There was actually little I could do except to try to follow the text in the book as the rest of the class read and discussed several passages. In fact it really started to get me worried, I could recognise a few words, even understand what some meant but a lot was just totally double Dutch or should that be double German?
"So Drew, you have brought your lunch?" Steffi enquired as we stowed our books after German.
"You want to eat with us?"
I wasn't quite sure who us was but it would be good to try to make some friends. No one else had really said anything to me and I was trying to decide where I could hide for an hour.
"Thanks, I'd like that."
"Come on then, you can leave your bag here, we've got English straight after." she chirped.
I retrieved my lunch, some rather mangy cheese and pickle sandwiches I threw together this morning, a couple of bits of fruit and a bottle of energy drink. I followed Steffi outside into the hubbub of school lunch time where we headed for a quiet area away from the buildings but in the shade of some trees.
"Heya Stef!" a girl called out as we approached.
"Hi guys, this is Drew, she started today."
The rest of the group gave me the quick once over.
"Hi Drew, welcome to Drearyville!" another of the girls smirked.
"Drew ist von England." Steffi mentioned.
I don't think I mentioned that the group we were joining were all girls did I?
"So Drew, the one in the black is Annie, then we have Connie, Nena, Pia and Bridget." she pointed to each in turn.
Okay so it looks like I'm eating with a bunch of girls but its not like I was inundated by offers from the guys is it? And lets face it; it's not exactly the first time is it? I didn't recognise any of them from our class but Connie seemed to be familiar from somewhere.
“How come you've ended up here?” Bridget enquired.
“My parents both have jobs here and it's a hell of a commute from England!”
I think my little joke missed their funny bones by the lack of reaction from all of them except Annie who seemed to have a quiet chortle.
“Where do they work?” Nena asked.
“My dad works for them as a driver, which department are they in?” Connie interrupted.
“They are both on the Rennrad team, Dad's a manager and Mum rides.”
“My sisters friend, her mother is on the team.” Pia stated.
“That'll be Kat and Maria?”
“For sure, you know them?”
“Yeah, we are having dinner there tonight.”
“My sister, she says Kat is always talking about their champion rider, on and on, Jenny something.”
“You know this rider too?”
“She's my Mum.”
“Oh kewl, just wait till I tell Ingrid tonight!”
“Pia let her get her food.” Annie mentioned.
“Sit here.” Nena patted the ground next to her.
The early arrivals already had their alfresco lunch laid out so I delved into my makeshift lunch bag (a Sainsbury's carrier bag!) and extracted my slightly squidged sandwiches.
"What's that?" Steffi queried.
"Cheese and Branston."
"What is 'brown stone'?" Pia enquired.
"Um, its a sort of um *tangy spread*, pickle?" how do you describe it? I peeled the bread back to show them my brown and yellow lunch. "It's all that was in the fridge this morning."
"You make your own lunch?" Bridget exclaimed.
"That would explain why you have toast bread not brotchen." Connie stated.
"Don't you make your own?" I asked the group.
"Of course not! We get it at the Bäckerei like everyone else." Brid stated.
"Mama would be annoyed if you didn't!" Connie exclaimed.
That's where I knew her from, the bakery.
"I thought I recognised you, you live in Dernau, at the bakery?"
It was a two-way recognition.
"Yes, and you have the new house at the edge of town no?"
"Eat already, lunch will be over." Annie pointed out.
I eyed up their sandwiches enviously, cheese, ham, salad, salami, egg, fresh rolls and I'm sure I saw Stef with a Danish just now.
"How will you come to school?" Nena enquired.
"You have a bike?" Bridget added.
"Of course she has, her mother is a Weltmeisterin!" Connie answered for me.
"You should meet us in the morning Drew and ride with us, then you can get lunch as well." Steffi advised.
Hang on a minute, what did Connie just say? Was it Sie or sie? I really can't get these subtle tense things.
"So you all live in Dernau?" I asked no one in particular.
“Neh,” Annie replied, “Steffi and Bridget live in Mayschoß, Nena is living in Rech, I am in Esch and Pia comes from Holzweiler.”
I recognised some of the names, I guessed the others were nearby too.
“We have known each other since kindergarten.” Pia mentioned.
Bit like the gang back home I guess.
“Shitezen! Lunch is nearly over, we better hurry Drew, Herr Viessner is a stickler for punctuality!”
Oh great, that was the Lehrin from this morning so that means its English.
“See you tomorrow Drew, later Steffi.” Bridget called as we quickly binned our refuse and set off back to class.
Herr Viessner was indeed already at the blackboard chalking away when we arrived back at class, we were thankfully far from last! There was the usual murmur of conversation as we waited for the lesson to begin, then the scratching stopped and the room quickly quieted.
“Good afternoon everybody”
“Gut afternoon Herr Viessner” my classmates replied to my surprise, in English.
“We have a new student today?”
He must mean me I guess.
“Here sir.” I managed raising my arm.
“Ah yes, Drew Bond from England,” he intoned looking me over clearly without recognition of this mornings encounter, “don't think this class will be easy for you, I will be calling on you.
That sounded ominous.
Maddy Bell 26.04.07 © 2007
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