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Open Features: MTS Nacella - Part Two

Alfred Mielacher continues his tale of a young lad whp, having left home in search of adventure, finds himself in Holland, looking for a blond girl he once met.

Dearest Mom, dear Dad!

How are you both? I trust everything is fine!

I am very well indeed. My adventurous journey on an oil tanker is suiting me well!

Mom, I promised dad to write a diary about my travels when we departed over 3 months ago. He had asked me to send it to you as a personal Christmas present. Herewith my account of what happened since my departure. Every word is true with no exaggerations whatsoever. Enjoy reading it... Merry Christmas and have a great new year’s party! Don’t overdo it, okay? My trip will come to an end after mid January sometimes.
Until then...
Your son Jona

At the high way entrance I didn’t have to wait too long. Holding an A4 size piece of cardboard with the character D painted on it, a truck had stopped. The bearded middle aged driver, who reminded me of an older version of my physics teacher at high school, said bluntly, “If you are heading for Amsterdam, I am your chauffeur!”

“Well, yes, Holland sounds perfect!” I replied climbing up into his cabin.

Words to describe my feeling, as we drove along leaving the area I grew up in, are virtually impossible; ecstasy probably comes closest!

After the initial question and answer game (his name by the way had the lyrical sound of Johannes Kepler (no relation though)), we chatted about all sorts of things. Nothing too deep or intricate but we certainly kept each other entertained. At the border post entering Germany I was frowned upon by the officials - due to my appearance. Remember it was approaching late autumn then and I was dressed accordingly: fur lined brown leather boots; dad’s fur lined, knee-long army coat; and long blond hair, with my possessions stuffed into a duffel-bag. I looked like Bjorn Borg’s younger brother, the Swedish tennis star!

And on we motored! Somewhere along the way we stopped at a highway rest station for food and a cold beer. By mid afternoon we entered Holland and having a correspondence girlfriend in a town called Arnhem, Johannes dropped me off at the nearest town en-route to his destination. Another short hitch-hike trip and before sunset I rang Marjiolene’s front door bell.

I had told her of a possible visit in a letter some weeks back but she was not expecting me that soon. It took her a few seconds before she recognised me from a picture I had sent her a few months earlier. Then she welcomed me with overwhelming enthusiasm! All in all I must have spent four or five nights in her older brother’s home, sleeping on the lounge floor in my sleeping bag. During day time hours while she was at work, I explored the town on foot and the nearby country side by bicycle. Evenings we engaged in long conversations and before going to sleep, we snuck into her room to make compassionate love!

During one of those country side excursions on a bicycle, I rode through a village the name of which I recognised and associated with it a lovely girl by the name of Anya. I had met that gorgeous blond very briefly during a short cable car ride in Taormina, Sicily, during our after-exam trip – about a year earlier. What an amazing coincidence! At the local post office I asked where a certain Anya resides and lucky me! There was a young girl living around here, fitting her description. The post official wasn’t too sure about giving me Anya’s home address and insisted on calling her parents first.

“That isn’t necessary! She knows that I am coming for a brief visit!” I declared. “We met in Sicily a year ago and I know her parents too!”

“But then why shouldn’t I call first?” the grey haired grandmother-type wanted to know, her facial expression simulating a big question mark.

“I am a few days early and I wish to surprise her! I mean them!”

Perhaps she was a member of the world-wide Bjorn Borg Fan Club, who I undoubtedly reminded her of, because she gave me Anya’s home address without phoning ahead. She even explained in detail the shortest way there!

The family home was situated a short distance away from the village on top of a gentle hill overlooking the flatness of the country side. I struggled considerably on that old one-gear bicycle, nevertheless I managed. Panting heavily, like an outdated steam engine, I stopped to catch my breath in sight of the century old farm house – and what a beautiful building it was too. Thatch roofed atop a wooden exterior! I finally regained my regular breathing rhythm and felt confident enough to make a good and physically fit impression upon whoever would open the front door – hoping that someone would be home on a midweek work day at about noon. Again I saddled up!

Having leant the cycle against a stone fountain in the centre of the circular gravel driveway, right between the outbuilding and the main building front door, I was able to have a close look at the content of the outbuilding with its massive cast iron gates wide open. It was used as covered parking area for various ancient looking vehicles: a tractor one usually only would find in a motor museum; a Ford car built decades prior to the war; one of the very first models of a VW Beetle and in stark contrast a brand new BMW alongside other farming equipment!

The main entrance to the house was a heavy, wooden, beautifully carved double door with huge brass knobs for door handles. I searched for an electric door bell of some kind, however an intertwined brass ring attached to a brass chain drew my attention. I pulled on it and heard a loud ringing inside the house announcing a guest!

Nothing could be heard. No footsteps, no calling out who is it? no wildly barking dogs, no key turning in the lock. I decided to give it another try and pulled harder which made the invisible bell sound like Big-Ben in London. Again nothing!

Then I became aware of a bicycle approaching on the gravel driveway. I carried a vague image of the blond girl from a year ago in my upstairs memory bank, but was honestly surprised at the beauty of the girl - Anya! Unless, of course, it was Anya’s elder sister.

She looked at me with a quizzical expression as she steered passed me into the outbuilding.

I walked to meet her halfway and as she recognised me she said, “It’s you, isn’t it? What in heaven’s name are you doing here?”

“Hi Anya!” I said smiling. “I was in the neighbourhood and thought to come by and say hello!”

“I have forgotten your...”

“Jona” I interrupted quickly.

We first greeted with a hand shake and then by invitation we melted together in a beautiful hug; instigated by me of course!

“And what is going here?” I heard an angry sounding female voice behind me.

Releasing Anya instantaneously, I turned and faced an elderly heavy-set woman standing with arms on her hips at the entrance.

“Good day, mother of Anya!” I said friendly and politely.

“Flattery will get you nowhere, stranger! Dare you putting your arms around my granddaughter like that!”

“It’s Okay, Granny!” interjected Anya “Jona is a friend. I met him last year when we were in Sicily, remember?”

“No, I don’t!” the old lady said harshly.

“It is the truth. We met briefly last year in Taormina!” I said reassuringly.

“That does not give you the right to get as close to my grandchild as you just did, you hear?”

“Ah, Granny! Give it a rest, will you?” Anya proclaimed.

“What is all the fuss out there about?” another female voice came from behind the old lady.

“There is a total stranger here hugging my grandchild!” Granny replied.

“Mom! Do you remember Jona from last year in Sicily?” Anya said to the woman as she stepped into the open.

“Ah, yes, Jona, I do remember! What brings you here? Do you know that my daughter was talking about you for days afterwards?”

“Oh. Mom! You are embarrassing me again!”

“Good day, mother of Anya!”

“Anneke to you! Welcome! Now tell me, what brings you into these hills?”

What a lovely woman – Anya can be proud of her mom. We settled down in the lounge and I told them what had brought me to Holland, punctuated with interrogating questions by the old lady with watchful eyes whenever she found a gap. A few times Anya, as well as Anneke, reprimanded the old lady to let it be, or give it a rest, or c’mon Granny, but...

Then lunch was served – various cheeses, cold meats, salad and homemade bread – delicious! About two hours after my arrival I said thank you and good-bye. I gave Anya a hug and kiss on the cheek approved by Anneke but not from Granny and pedalled away with happiness in my heart!

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