My Own Bed
Der Mühle is a typical German restaurant cum pub, something which I no longer think about but clearly the majority of my companions were a bit uneasy about.
“Not been here for a while ”I observed as I headed inside.
“Drew!” Claire hissed, “It's a pub.”
“We're under age?”
“Only if you've come to drink, hmm wonder what we're eating?”
“Ah die Radrennen! Please this way.” Our host greeted us as we entered the main room.
We followed him to where several tables had been pushed together and decorated with ‘Reserviert' cards.
“Danke,” I responded .
“Sprechen sie Deutsche?”
“Ja, Ich von Dernau kommt, meine freund haben keine Deutsche.”
“Ah, du kannst interpretieren bitte?”
“Super, danke fraulein.” He grinned before departing.
Whilst I'd been chatting to mine host everyone else had found a seat.
“Here man.” Josh mentioned pointing to the vacant seat beside him.
“Drew's dad has arranged for us to have a light meal here before we move to our accommodation,” Chris advised. ”I'm informed the food will be along shortly so whilst we're all together, I'll bring everyone up to speed. We weren't certain until we got here but Mr Bond will be joining us in Italy, apparently between us and the German Federation all his riders have been stolen so he's at a loose end.”
I gave out a girly squeal of delight.
“He'll be helping out with the driving and bikes as well as providing a bit of a translation service for us. I hope you'll welcome him on board and not give him too much grief.”
I could see a couple of waitresses er waiting to get our drinks orders which reminded me how thirsty I was. Then I recognised one of them, not only was she in my class, Christina's parents own Der Mühle ! Oh sugar, she's coming to my end of the table too.
“For to drink please?”
Yeah, she's not exactly the top of the class in Herr Viessner's English class. The others got the drift though and gave Christina their orders.
“Gabs?” bum, she's recognised me.
“Er hi Chris.”
She replied in German, which was lucky really, “I thought you were away for the summer?”
“I was, am – we're on our way to Italy.”
“Your Radrennen team?” she motioned to the rest of the party.
“You missed a great party at Mart's last week.”
“I heard, Anna texted.”
“When are you home? Pia said you were starting cheerleading classes.”
Don't remind me. “I'll be away until school starts.”
“Pity, we've a swim party next week, everyone pretty much is going including your Max.”
I shrugged; any denial or encouragement would only fan the flames of rumour.
“I better get this order in,” she decided; “catch you later.”
“What was that all about?” Geth enquired after Chris departed.
“She's in my class at the Gymnasium.” I told them.
“So how comes she works here?” Sal asked.
“Her parents own this place.”
“It's a bit rough making your kids work though,” Claire suggested.
Is it? I hadn't really given it much thought; it's the norm around here after all.
“Lots of kids work here, Max works at his Dad's restaurant, Pia at the her family's vineyard and Connie's parents have a bakery, I help out there sometimes.”
“I thought it was only in places like India where they have child labour,” Laura noted.
“It's hardly the same,” I suggested.
Chris came back with the first load of drinks but there was no further chance of continuing our conversation – luckily.
“What's that?” Mand demanded as I took a long pull on my Radler.
“Radler, bit like shandy I guess.”
“You coulda said,” Jamie moaned, “I wouldna minded a jar o' that.”
“Soz, never thought, it's just what I usually have when we go out to eat.”
“It really is a different life here,“ Claire observed, “I never really thought past the language thing; I sort of thought it would be the same as back home.”
“It's not that different,” I claimed.
“Oh come on Drew, it's a lot different,” Josh argued .
Okay, I suppose some stuff is, but not everything.
To keep things simple our meal was one option or lump it – a slab of ‘rost beef' with boiled taters, erbsen und karotten. Not exactly your Sunday roast but I've gotten used to getting everything in some sort of sauce rather than with gravy, some of my team mates were clearly not so sure about what was on the plate.
“I thought you had sausages all the time over here.” Darren offered, poking his meat dubiously.
“Only for snacks really, thought we might get schnitzel though.”
“Glad it's not,” Josh commented, “I'm not a fan of breadcrumbs.”
Given I've seen him eat two plate size schnitzel in one sitting I didn't believe that for a second.
After the food most of us had coffee before it was time to head towards our accommodation. I managed to miss Christina somehow, but that was probably a blessing.
Most of our busload was to be billeted at the Ibis as I'd guessed; Dad led the way through the back streets of Bad Neuenahr and spun the Merc around.
“Okay everyone fetch your bags,” Chris instructed, “Amanda, you'll be staying with the Bond's tonight, sorry, bit of a booking issue, so we'll see you in the morning.”
Odd, however she wasn't the only one not staying at the Ibis, Jemma and Caro joined Mand at our new car.
“Chuck your bags in the boot girls.” Dad invited .
“Thanks for sorting this Dave,” Caro replied.
“No problem, none of the girls are in town so it's empty anyhow.”
With a toot we left the Ibis car park and headed back into town. It really wasn't far to the Apollinaris flat that Caro and Jemma were using for the night, Dad took them up when we got there leaving Mand and me in the car.
“Yeah, Dad just got it, our old car was nicked when we went to see the Tour.”
“Bit weird that the hotel hadn't got enough rooms,” she observed .
“You didn't tell us everything that Christina girl said at the restaurant did you?”
“Course, why'd you say that?”
“She called you Gabs, I might not know any German but I recognise names, they all know you as Gaby here don't they?”
“I thought so, I knew you hadn't told me everything.”
I sighed, “Guilty as charged, I never wanted it this way, I started at school as Drew but somehow some of the other kids found out about Gaby and within days even the teachers were referring to me as Gaby and treating me as if I was a girl. The whole Weinkönigin thing sorta put the kybosh on getting it sorted out quickly, you sort of know the rest.”
Further conversation was cut short by the return of Bond senior.
“Okay kids? Let's get you to your beds.”
It's not far from Ahrweiler up to Dernau, ten minutes in a car at this time of night even with the bends up to Marienthal. Dad took the short way through the town past Thesing's – I found myself looking to see if Con was about, bit daft at gone eleven at night, then the short distance out to Schloss Bond where the Mercedes was stopped on the drive.
“Come on you two. Amanda, the guest room is a bit of a mess so I've put you in Juliette's room, she's staying with a friend while I'm away.”
“She knows Dad.” I explained cutting him off.
“Your Gran hinted. Everything?”
“I won't tell anyone Mr Bond,” Mand promised .
“If Gabs trusts you, I'll take her lead.”
“Drew remember Dad, at least until we get back from Switzerland.”
“Okay kiddo, you can show Amanda where everything is, we're meeting up with the bus about eight thirty so up at seven?”
“A lie in!”
“Just don't get used to it, “Dad chuckled, “night girls.”
“Goodnight Mr Bond.”
I led the way up the main staircase.
“Come on Mand, don't get freaked by the dark ones bedroom.” I warned.
I clomped up to the first floor, “Yeah she's an only slightly reformed Goth.”
“Here you go, “I swung the door open and hit the light switch, “ bed's made, toilets the door next to the stairs, bathroom next to it.”
“No biggy, see you in the morning, nite.”
Once up in my eyrie I kicked off my ‘borrowed' footwear and fell onto my bed, yeah for the first time in weeks I get to sleep in my own bed.
to be continued....
© Maddy Bell 08.06.13