Nena Book 6 *Remind Me Again* - Part 3

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Nena: Book 6
Remind Me Again

by Maddy Bell
Copyright © 2015 Maddy Bell
All Rights Reserved.

Remind me again cover.jpg
Part 3

The passengers had a meal waiting for them so that left shifting cases to Den and myself – only as far as reception, we are not their personal slaves. The bad news or good, depending how you look at it, was that the coach parking wasn’t at the apartment complex but up in the town.

“I’ll take the bags up,” I offered.
“Guess I get a leg stretch then,” he mumped, “what are we doing for food?”
“We get breakfast but otherwise we find our own.”
“Great, I’ll see if I can pick something up in the town, there’s bound to be some sort of takeaway.”
“See you in a bit then.”
At least there was a lift; we’re up on the sixth floor. Of course in a place this big in high season our load weren’t the only group staying, yes we’re the only BET group but according to the meal schedule there are another six coach loads, two Dutch, three French, a Danish and German. I dragged our bags to the vertical conveyance, having to wait whilst someone played musical floors.
Of course our ‘employers’ had us booked to share a room, it’s a good job it’s me and Den, it so could’ve been an issue with a real mixed crew. Apartment makes it sound quite grand, in reality it’s a twin room with a tiny kitchenette pushed in a corner. I claimed a bed barely pausing to remove my shoes before collapsing onto it.
Bump, bump, bump
“Come on, food’s getting cold.”

Eh? I blinked eyes open, where am, oh right.
“Er coming.”
I shuffled over to the door and let my colleague in.
“Soz, I fell asleep.”
“I’ve been knocking for five minutes,” Den supplied as he slid a couple of pizza boxes and a carrier bag onto the kitchen worktop.

The smell of fresh, hot pepperoni pizza did an excellent job of waking me up; I found some plates whilst Den lost his coats and shoes.

“At least it’s warm in here, it was showing minus three at the weather station in the town.”
I realised that I was stood without shoes and didn’t have cold feet despite only wearing tights.
“Under floor heating,” I noted.
“Well we won’t freeze at least, there a bottle opener there?”

We don’t have any driving tomorrow which is just as well, Den had collected a six pack of Perroni and we cleared a couple each, to wash the pizza down you understand. Julie had tried to foist some silly frilly nightdress on me; I did veto that arguing that pyjamas would be more practical. After taking turns in the bathroom, the lights went out a little after ten and despite a background of squealing and shouting I was quickly out like a lamp.
“Urgh, coffee?” I moaned filling the kettle.
“Time is it?” Den enquired from under a mound of bedding.
“Nearly half nine.”
“Gonna miss brekkie then.”
We might not be driving today but we still have stuff to do, ergo cleaning our transport and refuelling. After that, time’s our own, oh goody. Coffee drunk, showered and dressed we set off into a sunny but sharp morning – no I wasn’t in a skirt, just as embarrassing though was the pink and white ski suit Jules had supplied along with matching boots.

“We’ll go up through the town, it’s a lot shorter.”
“We can get breakfast on the way then, I’m starving now.”

There might be plenty of snow but the main roads and footpaths were clear and dry, at least where the morning sun touched. The place might be quite small but there were plenty of people about, locals and would be skiers. We found a bakery still serving breakfast at nearly ten thirty; okay it’s not a full English, but they did manage scrambled egg and mini wurst – it might be technically Italy but there is a strong Germanic influence.
Fuel is cheap here, we’ll need to refill before we set off home and if we do it here Bill will save something like fifty quid on the tank. That done we returned to the parking area to complete the morning’s duties.

“I’ll do the outside,” Den stated.
Great. Well I’m not being cold; the engine was soon ticking over with the heaters at full blast which meant I could lose the restrictive ski suit while I worked. This is the bit of working on the coaches they don’t tell you about, keeping the bus clean and smart for the punters. Four dozen kids, a full day travelling and the result is lots of litter, I filled two black sacks and had to empty the seat hoover three times before I even got to doing the floor.

Den was finished well before me which got me out of toilet cleaning and making a brew. The earlier blue skies were clouding over and it was well after one before we were done.
“What’s the programme then, I didn’t get beyond the drive down.”
“There’s only one excursion, St Moritz and Bernina,” I rummaged for the timing sheet,” let’s see, yup, tomorrow they’re skiing again so Thursday we leave at nine to put them on a train at ten thirty to some place called Poschiavo, pick them up on the other side and go to the Cresta Run in St Moritz, bit of time in the town then back here for dinner.”
“I’ve not seen any sign of a railway here,“ Den observed.
I checked the paperwork, “No they get on at Poschiavo, which is why we pick them up at nine, says here it’s an hour’s drive.”
“I’ll check that later, BET seem to be a bit light on their timings according to Mick.”
“Paper pushers not drivers,” I mused.
“At least we can have a drink tonight,” Den sighed.

Any further musing on the programme was put to one side when someone rapped on the door. The chap grinned as he waited for Den to open the door.

“Hallo, you are staying with the kinder at the Federia?”
“Er yes,” I allowed.
“Gut, the other fahrer, we go together for dinner, trinkt this night, you join with us?”
I looked at Den, Den looked at me – it’s not like there’s a great deal else to do is it?
“Er sure,” I agreed.
“Gut, Rudi by the way,”
“Nena and this is Den, you have good English Rudi.”
“Danke, in the summer I am always in England, Schottland in the grosser yellow bus!” he motioned across the parking area to the only yellow bus, a monster double deck thing emblazoned with ‘Graf Reisen’.
“Where do we meet?” Den enquired.
“We have said reception at nineteen, if you miss us we go to the Ristorante Rusticana.”
“I’m sure we’ll find it.”
“We’ll see you later then Nena, Den, tschussie.”
Rudi left with a smile and a wave.
“Get wood in’t hole!” I complained, Den was already on the case.
“We getting some lunch?” Den enquired as I rinsed our mugs out.
“I don’t want too much if we’re eating out tonight.”
“I saw a bakery type place on the way up here, sure they’ll do soup and stuff,” Den suggested.
“Could do with a supermarket too; get a few supplies in for the rest of the week.” I mentioned.
“Come on then, shake a leg.”
“I’ll be five minutes at least, I need to put my suit on before we go anywhere,” no way am I going out there without the full thermal kit!
The main street was surprisingly quiet given the time; I guess most visitors are making the most of the daylight out on the slopes. We passed a couple of drag lifts that start right in the town but even they were currently sparsely used. The bakery, well it was more of a patisserie cum restaurant, did do a lunch menu so we headed inside.
Pasticceria Svizzera was almost like a traditional tea shop just with an extended menu, not only that but it felt like we’d walked into a sauna. Of course Den just doffed his hat and took off his jacket, not for the first time today I cursed the pink suit that Jules had gifted me. My compromise was to slip out of the top before using a very unladylike knot in the sleeves to keep from exposing more than I wanted.

“That’s it, I’m buying some different stuff, this flippin’ suit is doing my head in!”
“And I thought you looked so cute,” Den chuckled.
“It’s pink, it’s awkward to wear, it’s not very practical and it’s pink!”
“Keep your hair on, girl, we’ll go shopping, what are you eating?”
I decided to go with a bowl of soup, we’re in Italy so minestrone seemed appropriate, what I wasn’t expecting was the huge bowl of vegetables and pasta that was delivered fifteen minutes later. I might’ve been better off with the Risotto Livigno that Dennis picked; at least that was a smaller portion. I manfully or should that be girlfully started on my food – it was certainly tasty enough but there was no way I’d be emptying the tureen on my own.

Particularly as I’d spotted a particularly fine gateaux I fancied a slice of, I gave up on the minestrone after fifteen minutes much to Den’s amusement. Of course gut bucket couldn’t let it go to waste, oh no he made short work of the remaining soup. It didn’t put my colleague off joining me for the cake either.

By the time we left the Svizzera the light was already starting to go, another hour and the valley will be plunged into darkness.
It’s a ski destination so there was no shortage of stores selling the kit, the good news was that the prices were lower than I’d expected, the bad was that in reality I didn’t have a clue what I needed. Den followed along with a grin on his face, smug sod.

“Come on, this one’ll do,” he suggested.
“I guess,” I agreed pushing the door open into the alien world of a ski shop.
“Buon giorno!” the twenty something guy offered from the counter area.
I’m crap at Italian, no really, German is what I do – well and English, “er,”
“Ah deutsche, guten abend”, go with the flow girl.
“Are you looking for anything in particular?”
“I erm borrowed this suit which is not very convenient, it’s all or nothing.”
“For skiing it is good but not off the piste eh? Come we have some reduced lines that might suit you.”
You have to try stuff on right? So that means, if you are wearing a one piece ski suit that you have to take the whole thing off. I’m not a prude, well you must know that by now but standing in the middle of a shop in just a big jumper and thermals, it’s a bit embarrassing right? As Chris I wouldn’t’ve been too bothered but as Nena I felt somewhat exposed.
The stuff might have been on sale but it still made my wallet cry, two hundred for the jacket and one twenty for the salopettes. I managed to avoid a repeat of pink but the mauve and white wasn’t a great deal better, if I wanted stuff in more practical colours I’d have to fork out significantly more. Having spent out I decided to wear the stuff straight away, much more comfortable!

“Thank you for shopping at Mottini, enjoy your stay!”
“I will now, danke.”
It was almost dark when we left the store, returning skiers already clogging the streets as they headed for cars, buses or accommodation.
“Bum, we’ve not got any supplies.”
“The supermarket is back towards the bus,” Den supplied.
“I guess it’ll wait until tomorrow if we’re eating out tonight.”
“Talking of which, you brought anything to wear?”
“What do you mean; I’ve just paid out on this stuff.”
“You can hardly sit in a restaurant in salopettes.”

He has a point I guess, I could simply cry off but that would hardly be fair on Den, I guess I can always wear some jeans?

©Maddy Bell 05.04.15

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