A world away from Bremen, they say ‘moin, moin’ to each other, meaning ‘well, well’.
Clara and Fenna, my cousins who will whoop with delight when seeing their names on the internet, leave their Spanish homework for long enough to polish off a meal and three scoops of ice-cream each.
They don’t seem to know about that pain in the temple area when scoffing ice-cream rapidly; they devour dollops – and wafers – in record time. Can you eat ice-cream quickly with no ill-effects?
The Italian cafe owner regards me, as a driver for AC/DC, as a celebrity. “Black Ice” was, after all, among the top-selling albums of 2008 globally.
Hopping back into the car, we encounter an obstacle – Heike’s road is closed. Between 7pm and 7am the frogs here, utterly devoid of road sense, are protected. So, inching forward and mindful of small animals, she drops off the teenagers, calling out: ‘the key is in the cat-clap’, and under a full moon drives me back to Bremen.
Talking of keys, Namibian has my spare “house” key, and has left fruit, chocolate and a sandwich on the driver’s seat. My heart melts. Despite all the teasing, and painting him as an object of derision, Namibian is a brick.
That’s all I’m saying or you’ll be weeping – I’m sure you have a soft spot, too, after all these weeks. He calls in with my flask after the show, dancing over the tram tracks like a disabled hare.
Woudn’t it be nice if AC/DC considered doing matinees; we could be away late afternoon instead of early hours of the morning. Actually, there is no mad rush to reach Rotterdam, so there is time for a nap. In fact, Namibian and I use our travel day wisely – yet barely deviate from the most direct route.
We park at an unused concert venue in Arnhem, Netherlands, and wander over to the famous war bridge. It marks the site of Operation Market Garden on 17th September, 1944, one of the largest airborne landings ever.
The weather is foul, eliciting a not unreasonable request for Namibian to perform a Zulu sun-dance on the bridge. ‘I can’t get my legs high enough any more,’ he wheezes regrettably. Cor, I’ll tell you what: If we were meant to be out in temperatures like this, we’d have been born with fur.
It’s raining cats and dogs again today, and I’m coming over all unnecessary with a mild bout of diphtheria. Or it might just be a sore throat. Either way, carrying two umbrellas is definitely overkill..