Of course there were repercussions after last night. To start with Anna and Steffi have now seen me dressed as a girl and worse than that Steffi knows of Gaby. Oh and it gets worse. When I took Steffi home it was a bit of a rush so not only was I still wearing Anna's skirt and blouse but Fr Thesing saw me dressed that way. That's why I'm dressed like this this morning, check shirt, jeans and even proper shoes, I need to reinforce my masculinity.
"Guten Tag Drew" Anna greeted me as I parked my bike outside the bakery.
"Hi Anna, I've er got your stuff I borrowed, all washed."
"Thanks, Stefan should have our machine running later so I can rescue your stuff."
"Sounds interesting" Pia Mentioned parking her Kettler next to the other bikes.
"Hi, Drew had to borrow some stuff last night." Anna started to explain.
"Morning guys." Steffi greeted as she joined us at our usual table.
"We got caught in that storm last night?"
I just wanted the ground to open and swallow me.
"What did you borrow Drew?"
"Um" I started.
"The red blouse and the black print skirt, you know I wore it to Greta's birthday." Anna put in.
"And it really suited her." Steffi added.
"So why don't you where skirts and stuff to school?" Pia Enquired between mouthfuls of pastry.
"I um don't have any." I was turning redder by the second and that wasn't strictly true either.
"Our Drew is a bit of a Tom boy" Steffi smirked.
Then it dropped, the penny that is - they think I'm a girl!
"Hi girls!" Bridget called from the doorway.
"We need to go shopping Bridget, Drew here hasn't any decent clothes."
"Hey cool, we should make a day to Köln or Bonn." Bridget enthused.
"Great idea," Steffi agreed, "Pinkie have some great stuff right now."
"It'll be fun eh Drew?"
Fun? How do I sort this one out? They'll go ballistic if I tell them that I'm a boy after all I've been in Steffi and Anna's bedrooms and worn Anna's clothes. Mum - help!
Connie and Nena arrived together and joined the breakfast crew at Thesing's and it wasn't long before the 'Dernau' gang were deep into organizational mode. The guys back in Warsop could sometimes get a bit like this but I was much more heavily outnumbered here - and they all really thought I was a 'Mädchen'!
“Um guys?” I started.
“Oh right,” Connie broke off, “time to go kids.”
Bum, my confession of boydom will have to wait till later.
School is school pretty much wherever you are and although it's in a different language the lessons at Silverberg are pretty much the same as Warsop. Except for Frau Boxberg's extra German sessions.
"So Drew how are you getting along?"
"Okay I guess."
"Making friends? I've seen you with Steffi and her friends."
"Yeah we come to school together most days." I agreed.
"Boyfriends? Why would I have a boyfriend?"
"No you misunderstand Drew, other male students" She quickly inserted.
That's the problem with this language stuff; it's quite easy to misunderstand something.
"Well not really, I'm not into the same stuff I guess."
"Maybe" she noted. "Best get started then."
She watched as her newest student got his stuff ready, he's a nice lad, polite, and the girls seem to have taken him under their wing. Mind you it's a bit odd he hasn't become friends with any of the boys.
"So today we will look at past participle..."
Drew tugged his shoes on and was soon making haste back to Dernau. The girls left ages ago so for once he could make his own pace and tonight that was f.a.s.t. as Mum was due home.
"Your late." Dad mentioned.
"I was with Frau Boxberg."
"Oh your extra German. Look Mum won't be back till about seven so we'll eat out when she gets here, make sure your ready."
"Yes Dad." Just time to go for a quick ride.
Plenty of time to get ready, hmm I wonder if I've got any mail?
Old faithful was soon booted up and within a couple of minutes he was logging into Yaboo. Lets see, inbox - thirty-two new messages - I bet they are mostly spam, I wish Paul had set that filter thingy up before we moved.
Drew scanned the list and it was indeed mostly spam, get rich quick, have better sex - right! Oh that's Ally he grinned seeing her ‘Allythegerbil' I.D. in the list. He clicked on the message and impatiently waited for it to load.
Sounds like your busy so I'll let you off not mailing before! BTW the gang and everyone in class say hi.
A visit sounds good, the others would like to come too so if you can work out some dates for us.
Who is Steffi? She in your class?
It seems really weird without you here + of course no Rhod at school either. I think Mad and Helen are getting along a bit better - well there hasn't been a fight lately!
I re read the message a couple of times before my reverie was broken.
"DREW BOND, get your bum in gear, we're leaving in five minutes." dad's voice informed me. Where did the time go? Sugar, I didn't even shower let alone go for a ride. I scrabbled out of my school clothes, paused briefly at the sink then dressed with a bit less planning than I intended.
"I told you to dress in something decent" Dad fumed when I got downstairs.
"What's wrong with it?"
Well okay so I was wearing jeans, but they're clean and this is one of my favourite t-shirts. Truth be known it was the only one I could find that was clean!
"I'll live with the jeans but I'm not taking you into a restaurant wearing that t shirt. Go and put a proper shirt on."
"Yes Dad" I sighed.
I trooped back up to my nest and pulled the wardrobe open. So okay maybe a manga t-shirt with a big bosomed girl across the chest wasn't my best choice! I surveyed my options, some slightly tired old school shirts would've been okay if I had a magic iron, and my other lumberjack shirt is missing some buttons. Hmm what's this? Collar, ironed, looks like it has all the buttons - it's a wrap! Or as I discovered two minutes later, a blouse!
My options were all used up so with a resigned sigh I put it on. At least it was plain except for the two tiny breast pockets and, I reasoned, it could pass as a boy shirt unless you looked close.
Altenahr is a bit touristy but maybe because of that there are several half decent restaurants and it was to one of these we headed after parking the car at the Bahnhof. The fine weather encouraged a fair number of tourists ‘Promenieren' on the streets of the small town which we had to dodge to get to the ‘Goldene Brücke', a large establishment with a riverside terrace.
“In or out?” Dad enquired.
“Out I think Dave, looks a bit smoky inside.” Mum decided for us.
We trooped through to the terrace and swooped on a newly vacated table next to the fence that stops you falling into the river.
“Guten Abend, Speisekarte?” the young waiter enquired.
“Ja bitte, Haben Sie ein Tagesgericht?” Mum got to show off her skills in the language. He deftly passed out the menus.
“Tut mir Leid, heute ist Spezialitäten Nacht .”
“Okay, das ist gut.” Mum replied.
“Getränke ?” our waiter suggested. I know that one, it's drinks.
“Eine Flasche offener Wein, Drew?” Mum prompted.
“Er Cola bitter.” I stammered.
“Und das andere Mädchen ?”
“Cola Light danke” Jules finished by poking her tongue piercing at me.
“Juliette Bond, I told you to take that out.” Dad hissed across the table.
“Sorree.” She didn't exactly sound it.
“We'll talk later young lady.”
Dad glared back at Goth Girl.
“Zo Ihre Flasche Wein,” our waiter was back and placing the ‘rents drink on the table, “ Cola für Sie und Cola light hier.” He winked; I swear he did, at Jules.
“Danke” Mum mentioned.
Time to peruse the me-n-you.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm taking getting to like the food out here (not that I couldn't murder a battered sausage and chips with curry sauce!). However, pretty much everywhere you go there are the same things on the menu – Wiener Schnitzel, Gulasch Suppe, Bratwurst – you get the idea and whilst they are all quite good they get a bit samey. So my eyes were drawn to the ‘specials' page, wonder what that is ‘Gefüllte Kalbsbrust mit Bratkartoffeln, Erbsen, frischer Spargel mit einer spezial Käsesoße'. Some sort of meat with taters, peas and whatever spargel is – hmm, I'll try anything once!
“Ready?” Mum enquired.
The waiter was obviously waiting and watching for some sort of sign and was at Mums elbow with pen and pad at the ready before I put the menu down.
“Der gemischte Salat und Strammer Max.” Dad started.
“Tagessuppe und Huhn mit Reis.” Was Mum's choice.
Does he mean me?
“Drew.” Jules hinted.
“Oh right, um Bohnensalad and the erm Gefult Carbsbrost.” My pronunciation couldn't have been too bad; mind you he did take a quick glance at where my finger was pointed.
“Und Sie?” he asked my sister.
“Tagessuppe and then Schinken Salat mit pommies.”
“Danke.” And he was gone and I'm certain he winked at Jules again.
“So how is the teaching going?” Mum addressed my sibling.
In case you missed me mentioning it before Jules is doing some sort of teaching assistant thing at my school until the summer before starting her new school, college whatever in September.
“‘S okay I guess but they speak English with some weird American accent.”
“Yeah I noticed that.” I chimed in.
“Frau Boxberg did mention that they usually have some Canadian assistants in the language labs.” Mum noted.
“I guess it might be Canadian but it's like really weird to listen to.”
“They probably think you sound strange.”
“But I'm English!”
“Exactly.” Dad grinned.
“So how are you getting on with the German Drew?”
“Okay I guess.”
“The sessions with Frau Boxberg helping?”
“I guess but all this male / female stuff is a bit hard to get.”
“What about the other subjects?” Dad put in.
“They're okay I guess, I can follow most of it and the girls help if I get stuck.”
Our starters arrived at that point and everyone's attention turned to stuffing their faces! Hmm so that's what Bohnensalat is, a dish of salad with some red and white beans in it, at least its fresh unlike the limp stuff you get back home.
You don't really want a blow-by-blow description of dinner do you? All I'll say is it was good and I even managed to snaffle a half glass of the ‘rents wein! Our waiter was definitely flirting with Jules who in turn was returning some of his attention.
“Rechnung bitte.” Dad requested some two hours after we arrived.
Smiling boy brought the bill over and after a quick check Dad paid.
“Come on then, anyone fancy a walk up to the castle?”
Memories of the climb last year came flooding back.
“Think I'll pass.”
“As if” Jules rolled her eyes.
“I guess that's a no then.” Dad sighed.
“Anyone fancy ice cream?” Mum enquired.
We hadn't had a dessert and I am addicted to the stuff.
Dad's as bad as me.
“I um think I could manage one.”
I'm sure my sister thought no one saw but she definitely waved at waiter boy as we left the terrasse – hmm blackmail material, he he he.
We walked round to the ice cream shop – wish they had these at home, each of us suggesting a combination for our cones. My choice was clear- Pfirsich und Kokosnuss – peach and coconut, mmm! Mind you pistachio and cherry is good too. There are some things about living in Germany I'm really getting to like and the ice cream shops are close to the top.
The ice cream was consumed on the walk back to the car and all too soon we were back at Bond towers in Dernau.
“Don't be too late going to bed Drew.” Mum called after me as I headed to my eyrie.
It was a bit after ten; hmm I ought to reply to Ally's email. I hit the on button and by the time I was in my jarmas the computer was ready to go.
Yep its all go here…'
Maddy Bell 20.06.07 and 20.11.07© 2007
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