Hostess With The Mostest
Part 8

"Ingrid" I hissed around the doorjamb a few minutes later.

She glanced up from the computer screen.

"Oh hi Nena, what's up?"

"Tonight is what's up!"

"How so?"

"Erm, it's the farewell dinner yes? Everyone gets dressed up; I usually even wear a tie! I've got no idea what's appropriate."

"The red dress?" she suggested

"I suppose but it's a bit short isn't it?"

"I've got an idea, come on"

"Where are we going?"


She grabbed my hand and just about dragged me out of the office.

Seefeld was still buzzing with activity

Seefeld was still pretty busy, a lot of the shops are open until six thirty or even seven o'clock and I spotted one or two of my passengers taking the opportunity for a last shop as I was dragged into the shopping precinct. I must say, Ingrid can shop like lightning! Into the Drogerie, a quick raid of the makeup counter then into the boutique next door, you get the idea. Well we were back at the hotel by six thirty all done!

"Into the shower, quickly" Ingrid urged, "and don't get your hair wet!"

When I emerged clad in just a towel five minutes later, Ingrid had everything ready and waiting. When she'd finished I looked, how can I put it, hot! I didn't recognise myself, that is I didn't look much like the Nena I've been all week. My hair was up in what I refer to as bretzels, much like yesterday at the castle but Ingrid had plaited some red silk flowers into my hair at the same time.

Of course I was wearing the red dress and the shoes but I was also wearing opaque tights in red with a black geometric pattern which reduced my feeling of exposure somewhat. Anja's breast enhancers were making another appearance that gave me the appearance of a decent figure. Deep red nail varnish, matching lipstick and strong treatment of my eye makeup just about wrapped it up.

"Here, wear these" Ingrid gave me a couple of rings to wear while she fixed a red velvet choker around my neck.


"Thanks I think"

"What are girl friends for? One thing's for sure, if anyone had any doubts, they won't have after tonight."

"I'd best go down I suppose"

"Don't forget this" she handed me the new clutch bag we bought less than an hour ago.

This 'Farewell' dinner is a Global tradition on the last night in resort. Instead of the usual three course meal, they get a generous buffet, a complimentary glass of wine, some entertainment, finishing with a bit of a dance. It's not compulsory but most people dress up a bit and the hired help are expected to 'put out' so to speak! Personally I could easily live without it but rules is rules and I'm effectively 'hostess' to Den's 'host'.

"Okay Den?"

"Nena? You look better than the missus ever did!"

I blushed something chronic at the compliment.

"All Ingrid's doing, I feel pretty exposed in this"

"Well you look terrific, shall we go in?"

All things considered the evening went really well, at least until the dancing started about nine o'clock! Of course it was inevitable, but I found myself having to dance with most of the male passengers, I could hardly refuse, I'm no dancer but some of this lot! The last time I escaped, Den was grinning like a loon but I had my revenge, Mrs Stubbings needed a partner and he was it! The official 'do' ended just after ten and with a fairly early start in the morning, most of the passengers retired soon thereafter.

"That wasn't so bad was it?" Den asked me as we sat in the Stube afterwards

"Well my feet are killing me, I'm hot and I'm knackered, no it wasn't too bad"

"Are you two coming for a drink?" Ingrid asked

"I'd better not, I'm driving in the morning remember" Den mentioned

"Coffee?" she offered

"Oh go on then"

The three of us walked up into the now quiet town centre and ended up sat outside one of the small bars opposite the station. Even this time of night it was quite warm although it would be cold in another hour.

"So Chris, how did you enjoy your week?" Ingrid enquired

"I'm not sure 'enjoy' is the right word"

"Oh come on Chris," Den put in, "the last two days at least, no make it three, since Wednesday in fact you've 'been' Nena"

"What do you mean? I've been Nena since Sunday" I stated

"I think what he's trying to say is that you've been er, more relaxed." Ingrid explained

"Confident" Den added

"Yes" Ingrid agreed

"I suppose" I allowed

"Monday's Nena certainly wouldn't have dickered over a dress in Vipiteno today" Den mentioned

"What's this?" Ingrid asked

"Didn't she tell you?" Den started

"I didn't get a chance!"

"So? What did you get?"

"A dress and some shoes" I admitted

"Chris Hornby, I think you like being a girl!" Ingrid exclaimed

"Well it's not as bad as I thought it was going to be, I was sure that some one would spot me for a bloke"

"People see what they want to see Chris, if it quacks and swims it's a duck right?" Den offered.

"I guess so"

"And you do make a pretty good looking girl" Ingrid chirped

"Looks like you're gonna lose the bet Chris" Den mentioned

"When do you become Chris again?" Ingrid asked

"Sugar!" I exclaimed, "I've no idea. I hope the girls have got a plan"

"I suppose we'd better get back" Den suggested

"We'll follow in a minute" Ingrid told him

"Okay, I'll see you in the morning, g'night"

"Night Den"


"You okay?"

"I suppose so, now I've thought about it I'm a bit concerned about tomorrow though"

"I guess I would be too" she allowed

"I can't think of a way out though, I can hardly do another disappearing act, and that would defeat the object as well"

"Well you'd best look as much girl as possible, you'd best use those enhancers again tomorrow. Now then, tell your auntie Ingrid all about this new dress!"

Boy do I feel uncomfortable this morning. Ingrid dragged me out of bed just after six and set to with a vengeance! So here I am Chris Hornby aka Nena, waiting for the passengers to emerge from the hotel to start the first leg of the trip back to the UK. Gone are the casual clothes, no today Ingrid insisted that I should look smart so here I am, my hair is in a French braid, I'm wearing subtle makeup, the leather minidress, pale hose and the off white three inch heels that go with the dress. I must admit that I do look rather good - as blokes dressing up as women go!

Den was grumbling to himself, I usually give him a hand loading the cases, there was no way that was gonna happen this morning with me dressed like this!

"You ready Nena?" Ingrid asked plonking a cup of coffee in my hand, "coffee Den"

"Cheers" he came over and joined us.

"As ready as I ever will be. I still feel ridiculous dressed like this"

"Well you look fab" she mentioned, Den rolled his eyes!

"I just hope the girls have worked out how I'm supposed to get back across the Channel tomorrow"

"Hang on, I've got an idea" Ingrid said darting back inside.

My attention was distracted by the first of the passengers emerging to board the bus. So I stationed myself by the coach door to do the morning greet bit.

"You look nice Nena" Mrs Stubbings mentioned as I helped her up the step


"You travelling all the way back with us?" she asked

"I'm not certain, at least to Calais though"

Most of the passengers were on board before Ingrid came rushing back out.

"Nena, can I have a word?" she whispered to me

"Sure, here okay?"

"No, just over here" she motioned away from the bus and I followed her over.

"What's with all the cloak and dagger?"

"Sorry?" that didn't translate very well.

"Forget it, what's up?" I tried again

"Here take this" she handed me an envelope

"What is it?"

"Have a look," I extracted the contents, a passport and what looked like a photo id card.

"Whose are these? And why give them to me?"

"Mine silly, you can use them to get home, you look enough like me to get away with it"

"But that's not legal, what if I get caught?"

"You won't get caught, on the other hand, looking like you do if you try to use your own you almost certainly will get stopped"

"Er, I guess you're right" I agreed sliding 'my' paperwork back into the envelope.

She grabbed me and did the cheek kiss thing.

"Take care Chris, post the stuff back when you get home"

"I will, thanks for everything, especially this" I waved the envelope.

"Let me know how it goes"

"I will" I gave her a final hug and returned to the bus.

"Come on girl, all the passengers are on, what was that all about?"

"I left my passport in my room, Ingrid fetched it for me" I told Den loud enough that the first couple of rows could hear.

"You've got everything now?"


"Okay lets go!" he shut the door, tooted the horn and pulled away.

Ingrid and her staff waved as we departed the See Hotel for the last time this week.

"Good morning everyone"

Various greetings returned down the bus.

"We hope that you have enjoy your time in Seefeld. We have a long drive today to Nancy in France for our overnight stop. We will be stopping regularly for the toilette and we will halt for lunch in Switzerland. I will be offering beverages later and if you have any questions I will be along shortly. Settle down and enjoy the journey, thank you."

As usual I made my way up the coach as Den headed us towards Mösern, Telfs and the westbound autobahn. After ensuring everyone was happy I made myself comfortable on the courier seat, and finding my book, picked up reading about Ayla and Co. we made good time along the Inntal and in a little over the hour we were at the Arlberg Tunnel. Entering the 16km tunnel was my cue to start a drink's round, the first of potentially many today!

You don't really want a blow by blow, kilometre by kilometre account so I'll give you the highlights! When we emerged from the tunnel into the Voralberg the weather was cooler, much better for travelling and we descended to Feldkirch where we left the autobahn and headed into the town, taking the road south into Liechtenstein. The border crossing into the principality was the first time I needed to show a passport for over a week and nervously I offered Ingrid's documents to the guard. Seeing the Austrian eagle on the cover, he just smiled and waved it away, the other passengers' passports underwent a more thorough check.

"How come he didn't look at yours?" Den asked as we pulled away up the hill.

"Tell you later, where are we stopping?"

"Vaduz, we can park near the post office"

A mere ten minutes later our charges were wandering off around the little principality's capital leaving Den and I alone with the bus for half an hour.


"Well what?"


"Oh right, I've got Ingrid's Austrian one"

"Well that explains the border but what the hell are you doing with it?"

"Ingrid thought it would be safer than trying to use my own given how I'm dressed and what have you"

"Hmm I s'pose so. You making a drink?"

We resumed our journey, picking up the Swiss motorway as soon as we were in Switzerland proper. This southern route to Zürich is pretty scenic and for that matter direct and we were driving past Zürich See by twelve o'clock. A traffic-infested traverse of Zürich city centre had us onto the A1 motorway and our lunch stop at Wurenlos Nord services. Having to use motorway services on a regular basis, you learn to appreciate the better ones. Wurenlos is nothing spectacular but the fact that you can eat, and eat pretty well without breaking the bank makes it a good stop for the punters.

An hour and a plate of röstii later, we resumed our journey. Just after Baden we turned onto the Basel motorway and we were soon looking over the Rhein to the Black Forest, shrouded in a fast developing haze. Into the maze of motorways and back streets that take you through to the French border, we dived crossing the mighty Rhein twice in the process before being waved straight through the border control.

The terrain changes immediately from the hills of northern Switzerland to the almost flat Rhein flood plain that runs up to Strasbourg and beyond. Time for another walk up the bus and with the day warming up somewhat, the demand for cold cans was almost universal! After a time the hills of Alsace emerged from the mist to our left and soon we reached Colmar where we turned off of the motorways for a while. Three thirty was fast approaching when we turned off the main road into Kayserberg for our afternoon break.

"One hour please, the town is over the bridge and is very pretty. If you want to see the storchs, they have a, er nest? Yes nest, on the top of the tower at the corner. So four thirty please"

Our charges trooped off of the bus for our last stop of the day.

"You having a walk?" I asked Den

"Naw, I think I'll catch a few zeds. You could bring an ice cream back if you're going in"

My turn to roll my eyes.

"Okay, I'll see you in a bit"

With the sultry heat I was by now feeling less than comfortable dressed in my leather and nylon finery. In fact as I joined the crowds in the main street I felt decidedly over dressed and I was getting more than my share of attention from the mostly casually dressed grockles. I headed towards the little museum, my destination the biscuit factory. Hmm, the aroma of freshly cooked biscuits wafted down the street to greet me.

Kayserberg in all its glory!

Whenever I stop here, this is where you'll find me! I stood outside for a minute just savouring the gorgeous smells then slipping my sunnies onto the top of my head, plunged into the temporary gloom of the confectioners.

"Mademoiselle?" the young man serving enquired.

I slipped into my less than perfect French.

"500 grams of the almond and 500 grams of cherry please" my mouth was watering something chronic, "no make that a kilo of the cherry"


I seemed to be attracting a bit of attention from the bakery staff and my heart sank, I'm uncovered.

"Five Euro eighty please"

I passed a ten note over and realised that it was looks of lust that I was receiving from the staff when the lad's hand contacted mine for far too long.

"Twenty and four and your biscuits" he slipped the coins into my hand and I took the bag with my other.

"Thank you"

"My pleasure" he replied.

Well it wasn't mine! I spun on my heel and exited stage right.

I took my time walking back through the town, had a quick look at the stork's nest before returning to the bus.

"I thought you were getting some ice cream?" Den greeted me

"Bum, I knew I'd forgotten something. There's a van in the car park, what do you want?"

"Cornettoor whatever they've got, you okay? You look a bit flushed." He mentioned /I> "Just a bit warm, won't be a minute"

In truth I was still feeling a bit uncomfortable about the looks I received in the confectioners and the more I dwelt on it the more I realised that I was getting a lot of attention in the street too. Why couldn't I wear something casual today? Damn you Ingrid!

"You sure you're okay?" Den asked when I returned with our ice cream.

"Yeah. Well sort of."

"What do you mean? Sort of"

"Well it was the looks I got up at the biscuit factory and in the high street for that matter. They just sort of creeped me out"

He nodded in understanding, I think!

"Well you creep me out too, no guy has any right looking as foxy as you do today"

"Er thanks I think."

We were just finishing up when the first passengers returned, I say first; they nearly all arrived at once!

The last leg of today's journey took us over the Col du Bonhomme, past St Die and Lunéville and over the Moselle into Nancy centre. The Novotel Nancy Gare provided our last night's accommodation and we pulled in about quarter to six.

I sorted out everyone's keys with reception and rejoined Den as he finished unloading bags.

"We eating here or in the town?" I asked

"Not fussed" Den offered

"Here then, I won't need to change"

"Fair enough, lets dump the bags and go straight in, they take forever and I want to eat before midnight!"

"Urgh" I glanced at the clock, seven fifteen. Seven fifteen! Damn, I shot out of bed and straight into the bathroom. I shouldn't have finished that bottle of wine off! A quick shower later and I contemplated my wardrobe. The girls would be wearing their Global uniforms, as I would be normally, today however I have no uniform suitable for 'Nena'! After some debate I decided to go for yesterdays outfit again, fresh underwear of course and my attempts at coiffeur ran only as far as scraping my white locks into a ponytail. Well at least I look semi presentable.

Apparently more than semi.

"You okay this morning?" Den asked when I arrived at the bus with my case.

"Just about, remind me not to finish the bottle again!"

Den chuckled

"You had breakfast?" he enquired

"No, have I got time?"

"Fifteen minutes"

I scurried back inside to the breakfast room.

"You look nice again Nena" Mrs Stubbings mentioned

"Thank you, have you had a good trip?" I asked while filling a plate with croissants

"Ooh yes dear, we've had a wonderful trip thank you"

"Good, I'm glad you enjoyed"

"We're just going to have a quick walk"

"See you at the bus then"

I lit into the pastries and coffee with a vengeance, glancing at my watch I realised it was time I wasn't here. With a chocolate croissant in hand, I checked with reception that everyone had returned their keys and joined Den outside once again.

"Everyone here?" I asked

"Just the Stubbings missing"

"They were going for a short walk"

"Ah here they are now" Den got on board and had the engine started by the time the old couple reached us.

"Sorry Nena, we couldn't get back across the road" Mrs Stubbings apologised

"Don't know where they all came from" Mr Stubbings mentioned

"No trouble" I told them as I climbed on behind them.

A quick head count later and we were off.

The passengers were pretty subdued this morning as we headed for St Dizier, a common enough phenomenon at the end of a trip. At least we were only a couple of hours away from meeting up with Steve, Rob, Mandy and Julia at Reims services. Compared with the rest of the week, my walk up the bus was pretty quick and by the time we reached Toul I was reading Jean Auel again. As we headed north, it became cooler although still bright but the grey clouds ahead held a promise of rain.

We joined the 'Autoroute de L'est' shortly after Chalon; just a few minutes later we pulled into the services. We were the first Global in, however we barely had the handbrake on before Rob and Julia arrived.

"My god Chris, I thought you looked good last week, you look stunning" Julia exclaimed

"Thanks I think"

"If I didn't know, I'd swear you were the real thing Chris" Rob agreed

"Better call me Nena, the passengers" I mentioned

"She's been brilliant all week" Den put in

"Come on let's get some coffee, the others are about fifteen minutes behind us" Rob advised.

I was answering the call of nature when Steve and Mandy arrived. I just caught the end of Mandy's question

" So where is 'she'?"

"Not sure, the shop I think" Julia suggested, "hey Den is that Nena over there?"

"Nena!" Den called out, "yeah"

"Who's Nena?" Mandy asked as I arrived

"Just someone we know," Julia explained, "hi Nena" she winked at me

"Hello Julia, and Den" I made a big show of air kissing both of them; I could see Rob trying to contain his laughter. "Haben sie eine gut fahrt?"

"Great thanks Nena, you?"

"Fine thank you."

"Oh sorry, this is Steve and Mandy, they work for Global as well, guys meet Nena"

Well Rob couldn't contain it any longer and burst out laughing

"Rob!" Julia admonished

"Sorry, I couldn't help it"

"What's so funny mate?" Steve asked

"Nena is! Eh Chris?"

"Shssh!" I hissed

"Chris?" Mandy asked

"S'me" I admitted

"Oh my god!" she goldfished

"No!" Steve mentioned

"Later guys, we've got a ferry to catch" Den mentioned

We were soon back onto the Autoroute; we haven't got any more stops before Calais, a couple of hours away. The weather deepened further and finally broke just after St Quentin, the rain bouncing off the tarmac, then as quick as it started it stopped. For the first time in days, my beverage round consisted of more hot drinks than cold! We crossed into the Pays de Calais, soon after we turned more north westerly around Arras and onto the coastal plain. Of course we still have to fit in the booze stop, for some punters the highlight of the holiday, go figure!

We dropped the passengers off at Booze City before popping around to the filling station to fill the tanks with cheap French diesel. With practised timing we arrived back at the drinks shed ten minutes before we were due to leave; just time to pop in ourselves! We were now getting close to the first hurdle in getting me back home, the French gendarmerie at the port.

All three coaches ran the last couple of miles to the ferry terminal in convoy and we were soon checked in for the three thirty sailing. We pulled through to immigration but my fears were ill founded, we were waved straight through onto the dock.

Den took up the microphone, "hello everyone, I will be leaving you in Dover, a feeder driver will take you back north. When we land in Dover please make sure you have your passports ready, immigration are being quite thorough at the moment. It's been a pleasure this week, both Nena and myself hope you've had a good trip and we look forward to welcoming you back some time soon." Den's standard end of tour speech!

"So Chris how'd it go?" Mandy asked once we were in the driver's lounge.

"Okay I guess"

"Oh come on Chris," Julia mentioned, "tell 'em"

"Okay, I'll give you the short version"

We were heading into Dover by the time I finished the abridged tale of my week as Nena.

"I can't believe this Gräfin person offered you a job"

"If you'd seen him, you'd know why" Den put in


"Well" he mentioned

Back in good ol' blighty! We negotiated the racetrack off the dock around to customs, (waved straight through) and onto the final hurdle, immigration. We queued for a few minutes then we were into the shed.

"Passports please" the I.O. requested climbing on board the bus. She worked her way back up the bus comparing faces to photos, I'm sunk! Returning to the front she ignored Den and my proffered documents, "don't worry" she whispered, then turning to the bus, "thank you folks, have a good trip home."

We pulled through the barriers and swung in next to the Global SUV that had brought the feeder drivers down and would take the tour drivers north.

"See you at the depot" Den mentioned as he gathered his stuff.

"Er Den?"


"Can you just square it with the feeder, they don't know remember?"

"I'd forgotten all about that, sure"

He called 'bye' to the passengers and hopped off with me in tow.

"You taking mine up Fred?"

"Yeah, good trip?" Fred asked

"Pretty good, just so you know, Chris was taken ill so Nena here has been filling in, she'll go up to Trowell with you."

"Hi Nena"

"Hello Fred"

"Poor Chris eh? He okay?"

"I think so, from the last time I spoke to him" Den supplied

"I suppose we'd better get off, eh Nena?"

"Sure" I agreed

Back on board I advised the punters of the arrangements as Fred started us off on the final leg.

"Has everyone changed their watches back, yes?" a lot of murmuring suggested the answer was no. "Fred here will be our driver and I will be with you as far as Nottingham. We will stop at Toddlyton,"

"Toddington" Fred corrected

"Sorry Toddington services, but I will be around for drinks before then"

Some hours later I stood waiting with the girls for a lift back to the depot, conscious of the brevity of my dress in the cool evening air.

"So?" Julia asked

"What?" I replied

"Did it make a difference?" Mandy put in

"Well I certainly got more tips, there's at least eighty quid here" I tapped my bag, "and I did a lot of refreshments, maybe another sixty. And they were a lot more talkative too," I admitted, "brrrr it's turning chilly" I added slumping down onto my upturned case.

"I guess that proves our theory" Julia suggested

"slip this on" Julia gave me her uniform jacket.

"Maybe" I allowed, "but most of the drinks were because it was hot all week."

"You just don't want to admit it do you?" Mandy stated


"Okay! You win! What I want to know is what do I do about this?" I grabbed a shank of blonde hair.

"Come over to mine in the morning and we'll sort it out" Julia told me

"I'm just glad it's over."

"You don't mean that" Julia suggested

"I do, I can't wait to get back into trousers and get rid of these" I indicated my 'breasts'

"Come on Chris, you must have enjoyed it, at least a bit from what you've told us" Mandy said

"Hmm, maybe a bit but you've seen the last of me in a dress!" I stated as our transport arrived.

Maddy Bell 15.02.04
Photo's © Maddy Bell 2002
© 2004

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