A modern Canterbury Tale –

LK English 12 / Bo in Canterbury from 3rd July till 9th July 2011

Every Monday there was the regular meeting of eight merry men in the well-known saloon of 'Birkenweiher'. The men would eat together, talk about women – oh yes, they very often and not seldom unpolitely did so – and sometimes one of them would tell the others a story or rather a tale.

On that Monday evening, Billy – one of the oldest of them – swung his beer mug and prattled at the top of his voice: "Boys… I want to tell you a story… A story about… hicks… about a group of students from Solingen that travelled to Canterbury a long time ago… It's very exciting as you will hear, and it's a true tale, too. So listen carefully…hicks". The seven others knit their brows and were curious about what their friend was going to tell them.

Comfortable flats"Well, my friends… hicks… This group of about 20 young persons went from Solingen to Canterbury… Among them a wise man and his aid.

They had a hard and long journey because they went by coach and crossed the sea on board a huuuuge ship which during their crossing was hit by a tremendous thunderstorm.

When they arrived on the island on a Sunday evening they were divided into groups of four or five to live together in small comfortable flats. Hicks… After some time to inspect the dwellings the whole group went to the city centre of Canterbury… There they had a greeeeat evening meal and determined the day drinking a pitcher of beer in an old, dark pub.

Cathedral of CanterburyBack at the flats one said goodnight to go to sleep and everybody thought that all of them would get ready for bed now – exhausted as they were due to the hard and long day- … But three of them set off once again … Can you imagine what they left for?"

"Beeeeer", screamed Henry, one of the VERY intelligent among them.

"Oh no, Henry… Hicks… They left to conquer the hearts of some Wolfsburg women living close to them… Oh yes, they were some very charming guys… And always interested in women, just as we are.." "Go ahead!" "Yes… keep calm, Joe… Well… They stayed off for a veeery long time and until today nobody exactly knows what happened that night…

On the next day the young people visited the wonderful, massive Cathedral of Canterbury… Each of them was impressed and they could not believe their eyes when they saw the extent of the church and all its refinement… Of course they also visited the other parts of the city with some fascinating queer sights, too. Some went shopping and one of them even got herself tattooed – I do not remember Queer Sightswhat she had that man with the needle print into her skin and where.… I think it was a tiger or a panther or something like that… Yeees… in the evening they drank some beer together – like we do today – and later there were only some people left… Of course the three conquerers again were not there at that time…

A man from Wolfsburg came to the group and said he was looking for the three… One of them was said to have broken a girl's heart… The others told him that the three were not there and so the man left again, swaying perceptively…

You cannot believe what happened next…

Later that night there were noises outside… As the company came out, they could not see anybody. But there was a weird liquid all over the tables and chairs which they had put in a circle outside that night… One said that the strange liquid looked like a bunch of wobbling noodles and smelled awful… Yeah, you can imagine what kind of liquid it was, can't you? That was the revenge of the 'Wolf-burgers'… To cut a long story short... the situation was clarified the following day and everything was fine again… Hicks…

On the next day our young friends went to London…They saw every important sight of the city, every little corner…They went to the LondonEye… to Buckingham Palace…to Downing Street…to the British Museum,to St. Paul's Cathedral… to Important Sights of Londonthe Tower of London and so on and so on…Their wise leader knew everything about London and thus he could tell them everything about every sight and its history which was very interesting. For example he talked about the so-called 'Beefeaters' in the Tower – who do not have anything to do with people who eat meat. In the Tower they also got to know about lots of historical facts about lots of historical heroes.

On Wednesday the group left for London again… But on that day there were more obstacles to overcome… As the group visited Camden Market where they could spend some hours alone in groups of 4 or 5, two of the girls got lost… The wise man was very considerate and tried to stay in contact with them because the rest of the company had to move on … But in the end the girls struggled through the jungle of the city and its breathtaking traffic and met the group at the Royal Albert Hall on the edge of Hyde Park. Hicks…

Dominik turned twenty.That day was also the birthday of one of the boys I think Dominik was his name – he turned twenty. He was veeeeery delighted spending this day in London – … Yes … the whole group had bought him a biiiiig fancy cake which they ate together when they came back to their homes in the evening. It was a very nice evening that day.. They all celebrated and danced (in some households even on the chairs), some played hide-and-seek in the cupboards of other group members and they all were merry and laughed a lot…

The day after that, the group started out for a daaaangerous and adventurous hiking trip along the coast from Dover to Deal.

It was a life-threatening experience because the group walked directly along the cliffs… They got to know the shcking fact that only a few weeks earlier a girl had tumbled down into the roaring sea floods and drowned…

From Dover to DealAfter looooooooong hours.. hicks.. they eventually reached Deal – happy but exhausted; their faces contorted with pain – with thousands of blisters all over their feet and even the wise guy's assistant was affected. But not he himself.

In the evening they sat together for a last time. They exchanged drinks and jokes and mysteries and an assembly of animals developed in front of their inner eyes. Those who wanted could meet a hedgehog, a bunny, a monkey, a fox, a frog, a cat, a lion, a mouse, a polar bear, an ice bear and even a chinchilla. They tackled very weird topics like 'territories' or 'strawberry cheese'… But today nobody really knows what was meant by all that…

On Friday our friends had to leave England… The three heartbreakers grieved for their women and also the rest of the group was sad because they had spent such a wonderful time in Canterbury …

Four girls of the group who had shared a house and who had planned everything absolutely perfectly before, turned out to be the last to be ready to get on the coach because they had understood the departing arrangement absolutely wrongly... They dusted, polished and cleaned the house like hard-working bees and in the end even they, too, were ready to leave.

The German group shared their coach with two other groups but that did not really matter… They left Canterbury… England… Last talks, last vocals and last attempts to catch up with awakeness after a fairly long time of lack of sleep.

Happy but exhaustedAs the other two groups had got off the coach and also the leader of the Solingen group had left it, some madmen began dancing on the upper floor of the coach not knowing that the driver could observe them through a camera… I do not want to know what they did there… and how they danced… But I heard that they made noises and grimaces which the driver will never forget and which will chase him in his dreams…

Yeah… Finally the group arrived safely here in Solingen and they said goodbye to each other, everybody mournful…

And today there are the uplifting memories of a great tour with many exciting ups and and almost no annoying downs."

And that is the end of my tale. See you all again tomorrow.

Authors: Jana Otto and friends