Model For A Day
"So what exactly are we doing?" I pretty much huffed as we stood on a windswept platform in Dusseldorf Hauptbahnhof.
"Shopping, I did tell you—you didn't have to come."
True enough and now I 'm feeling a bit of a twit .
"Okay, I'm sorry, alright ? So just why are we going to this Hilden place ? We could 'shop' in Dussel."
"If I tell you it won't be a surprise." An almost mollified Ron observed.
This all started after that race at Olpe the other week, Ron expressed a desire to do something together before I head over to Blighty for most of the summer. At the time I couldn't see how we'd fit it in but then Dad needed to do something with the Grönberg's in person and hey presto, here we are at ten on a comparatively cool Saturday morning stood in Dusseldorf.
"Which train is it?"
"I told you, the S1, it'll be here in about two minutes."
"Some of the girls at college are wearing the shorts and hose, I never had you as a trend setter , let alone in girl's fashion."
Clearly there was no real answer to that.
"I only put the strumpf on 'cause it was a bit nippy this morning."
"I wasn't criticising, I'm not exactly a leader of fashion, more tail end Charlie."
I'm not being cruel or nasty when I say this but she does tend to look like Angela has bought her clothes.
"So what are we shopping for?" I find it's best to get these things straight.
"You'll see, here's the train."
The train barely seemed to be slowing as it reached us but did eventually stop with us next to a set of doors.
"How'd you know it would stop right here? I always end up running along the platform."
We stepped on board before Roni replied, " It's not a black art you know, anyone can learn."
"If you say so."
By now we had found a couple of seats and were waiting for the train to set off.
"Well duh, blondie, just look at the platform, there are markings for the blind, the train always stops next to them."
So okay, I never even realised that's what they were, let alone use the info myself.
"I 'll have to try it out when I get home."
It wasn't a long ride, maybe five stops, I wasn't counting : then I was being dragged from the train onto the platform at Nowhereville.
"Are you sure this is the right place? It's like drearyville"
"It's not that bad, honestly, Gab, have some patience."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, so come on lightning, which way?"
Ron led off up an unlikely looking road opposite the Hbf, not even the one signposted 'centrum'. it was only five minute's walk up to a much more travelled street, Ron didn't hesitate in turning left.
"We haven't come to look in a bike shop have we?" I asked spying a sizeable emporium bicyclette across the road.
"Nope, you'll see."
I sighed to myself, she's been saying the same since we left Schloss Gronberg an hour ago. We crossed the road, walked a little, crossed another road then shortly after I just about knocked Ron over when she stopped in front of me.
"Flippin heck, Ron, a bit of warning."
"Hut hum!" she rolled her eyes weirdly.
"Next to you dumbo," she motioned with her head this time.
"It's a shop, so what?"
"Look in the window."
It was only then that I spotted exactly what was in the window, "Oh kewl-ies, can we go in?"
"Of course dumkopf, why do you think we've come here?"
I didn't need a second invite to enter 'Modellbahnladen Kramm', Ron led on inside where I found scale modelling nirvana! Cabinets of railway locomotives of the expensive kind took up a chunk of space but over to the right hand side shelves were stacked with building kits from all the big brands as well as some I 've never come across before. I was almost drooling - not a good look for a girl of course.
"Okay girls?" an assistant enquired.
"I think so, once Gabs collects her tongue from your floor."
"Well let me know if you need any help."
"Thanks, we will, eh, Gab?"
"Eh? Oh yeah right."
Whilst the places I go to regularly, in Bonn and Koblenz, have pretty good stock, this place has tons! Ron wandered off and left me to explore for a bit. I must have been engrossed for at least twenty minutes before I spotted that she'd disappeared .
"You looking for your friend?" the cashier enquired.
"She went down to the autos."
"Down the slope at the back," he pointed.
"No problem fraulein," he smiled.
I headed where he had indicated and nearly died a second time, the room beyond, whilst not as big, was packed with model cars of all descriptions.
"Ron, where are you?"
I followed the voice to where my friend was eyeing up some big scale Ferraris.
"This place is something else eh?"
"You're not kidding." I agreed.
"They've got some of those little things you collect over by the counter." S he pointed to the opposite end of the room.
"I 'd best take a look."
"I 'll find you in a bit."
There weren't just 'some' of 'those little things', no sirree, there were hundreds, nay thousands. There is just no way I can leave this place without buying something, make that plural! I worked my way along the shelves, new stuff, old stuff, brands I 've never seen, models I never thought to see for sale - just amazing.
I made a mental list of what I 'd like, well you have to don't you ? Then I calculated my budget - hmm I guess I don't have to buy it all today, do I ?
"You found some?" Ron enquired having snuck up on me.
"Just a few, how'd you know about this place?"
"I saw it the other week when we came for a dress fitting."
"Dress fitting? You? "
"Yeah, my cousin is getting married so I 'm to be a bridesmaid."
" o't tell me, the dress is a pink meringue."
"Puce to be exact."
"So you buying anything or what?"
"I shouldn't really spend too much, what with going to England and stuff, I was just trying to work out exactly which to get."
"Well put this in the pot girl, kind of a leaving present eh?" she pressed a twenty in my hand.
"Don't be daft Ron." I tried to give it back.
"Take it, I can afford it after the last few races."
"But that's your money."
"Exactly. If I want to spend some of it on my best mate I can and will."
"But I'll be back in a few weeks."
"Humour me eh? Now either spend it on something you want here or I 'll spend it on some girly smellies which you probably don't," she raised both brows.
Fifteen minutes later I reluctantly left the shop having spent Ron's twenty plus a further forty of my own : sixty euros on plastic cars!
"So what now, back to yours?"
"You really do give blondes a bad name , Miss Bond."
"It was only a question." I pouted.
"Now it's your turn to help me."
"You've seen the contents of my wardrobe, it's hardly based on the Paris catwalks; you can help me get some slightly more fashionable togs."
"You really did mean shopping."
"What did you think I meant?"
"Me an' the girls usually just like cruise the shops, we hardly ever buy anything."
"Yeah well call me weird but I never did get that stuff; so you up for spending some of my dosh?"
"Lead on McDuff." I grinned.
"Duff, it's Shakespeare."
"What's it mean?"
"Lead the way?"
It's times like this that I realise that there's a considerable cultural divide between me and my German friends. I guess when I go back to the ole U of K there will be a similar culture vacuum, at least they should get Shakespeare!
We soon made our way to the shopping streets, it's not a big town but all the regular players are present, P&C, C&A, H&M as well as a few unpaired initials!
"So like what are we looking for? Complete makeover or just some bits?"
"Call me a coward but I think I'm safest with just bits."
"Any particular style? Rock chick, girly girly?"
"Nothing too out there, I'd just like to fit in at college a bit better."
I'm no expert at this stuff but I have learnt a thing or two 'running' with a pack of girls for a year or so. There is some nice gear in Ron's collection but you can see her Mum's influence in there, maybe a bit 'young' but at the same time out of fashion by quite a while.
"Walk this way, Modom, thank you for using the Bond personal shopping service."
As shopping expeditions go I 'd rate it maybe an eight, although they are the same shops; some of them in Hilden don't have quite the range that they do in the big cities. Still it was a good start on 'new' Roni', for comparatively few Euros we managed to kit her out with some essentials. We found some shorts similar to mine, I'm not sure that particular fashion will last but she does have good legs!
It was different shopping with just the two of us, more relaxed than the blitzkreig of the Ahr Angels hitting the stores!
"For today I think," Ron admitted with a grin that set us both off giggling.
"Let's find the bahnhof then."
"I don't think we need to, isn't that your car over there?"
I looked where she was pointing, it certainly looked like our Saab parked across the road. My handy was out in a flash, speed dial Dad, he picked up on the second ring.
"Uh huh, where are you? We're stood over the road from the car."
"So I guess you want a lift then?"
"I'm in the bakery behind you, coffee?"
"So how'd you know we be here?"
"Angela told me and by default you'd almost certainly have to pass here to get to the station. Is this the new school uniform then?"
"He means the shorts blondie." Ron observed.
"Ron wanted some new stuff; hey did you know there's a really cool model railway shop here?"
to be continued....
© Maddy Bell 6.12.2011 Gruiten