First Overseas Business Trip

Info trailmate
01 Oct. '18

The lights in the big Boeing 767 had just come on and Aaron woke up from a quite unsatisfactory ‘night’s sleep’. Not being a big shot in the company, he had been sentenced to fly cattle class (economy), okay for domestic hops but a lot less than okay for the 8 hour slog over the Atlantic. And to add insult to injury, he didn’t get to fly a European airline where alcoholic drinks are free - even to economy passengers. No, Aaron was on AA64 outbound from JFK and now a half hour out from Zurich.

It was Aaron Fleischer’s first overseas business trip for his new employer, Kohlhof AG, a maker of construction chemicals. Indeed, aside from Canada, this would be his first visit ever to a foreign country.

Having joined Kohlhof six months ago and having completed the probation period, he was being sent to the company’s headquarters in Switzerland for a one-week training course.

The job with Kohlhof, although a far cry from Aaron’s original hopes and dreams of becoming a famous architect, was like a breath of fresh air after his first two short lived jobs. After high school, he had had the good fortune to be admitted to Cornell University’s famous College of Architecture. After graduating with honors and a B.S. in architecture, he had enthusiastically signed on with a big A&E company in New York City, but had quit after just 6 months - the hours just plain sucked and he’d done nothing but detail utility rooms. Then he had gotten a job in the planning department of Westchester County and quit that even sooner – boring as hell and he couldn’t even begin to see what he was accomplishing.

Full of desperation, he had been ready to start driving a taxi or apply for a job at Home Depot when his Uncle Donald showed him a headhunter’s help wanted ad - for field engineers. Although Aaron was an architect, the ad said that a degree in architecture or civil engineering was the education requirement. He applied and surprise! They hired him in spite of having quit two jobs inside of slightly over a year.

When Uncle Donald found out that the company behind the headhunter ad was named ‘Kohlhof’, he had tried vehemently to get Aaron to back out. “Don’t go to work for no goddamn Kraut company!” It was no use trying to tell Uncle Donald that Kohlhof was a Swiss company. To Donald, if German was the language, then they were Krauts and that was that.

Now close to landing in Zurich, his mind wandered back to the family dinner on Friday night. His married sister, Rachel, had invited him, his parents and his Uncle Donald and Aunt Ruth. The dinner party was meant as a celebration of completing the job probation, but it ended up being a going away party where everyone had some travel tips to offer. However, most of the tips came from Uncle Donald who couldn’t emphasize enough how hard it would be to avoid eating pork: “They put it in everything and don’t give you no warning. It’s how they get Jews to convert, first pork and then suddenly you’re going to mass. Watch out! They’re worse than the goys here in the City.”

And on and on it had gone. His mom and dad had said nothing. His dad, a quiet and serious industrious man, was just the opposite of his brother-in-law Donald. Finally Aunt Ruth had managed to get her husband to shut up. Aaron actually liked Uncle Donald and got lots of laughs from his jokes, but there were times when he really could be a pain in the ass.

Anyone listening to Uncle Donald for the first few times would think he was a man of the world and a business genius. Only when people really got to know him did they begin to realize what a complete and total fuckup he actually was. When he had met Aunt Ruth, he had let on that years ago, he’d emigrated to Israel and did some serious stuff as a member of the IDF. In fact, so serious that the Mossad had tried to recruit him. Of course Aaron couldn’t help but brag to his grade school friends about his really boss uncle who’d come close to joining the Mossad.

Then when Aaron was in the fifth grade, he had to stop bragging about his boss uncle. Aunt Ruth had once in a tipsy moment, let out that Donald had not only never served in the IDF, he had actually been deported from Israel. The reason for the deportation was never really clear, just that it was connected to his big mouth and tendency to tell Jewish self-deprecating jokes in the wrong company and at the wrong time.

Donald had never held a job for longer than a year or two, usually much less. No one ever really said it outright, but Aaron was certain it had to do with Donald’s big mouth. He’d even started a business once and had nearly bankrupted the family. Since quite a few years, Aunt Ruth, Aaron’s father’s sister, a high school principal, had been supporting the family. She had in fact cut off Donald’s access to the family bank account and put him on a cash allowance, not even allowing him a credit card.

Aaron’s girlfriend, Kellyanne, had not been at the dinner party. Although he and Kellyanne had been intimate for some time and regularly spent nights at one another’s apartment, neither Aaron’s parents nor Uncle Donald and Aunt Ruth had ever heard of her. That situation was mostly due to Uncle Donald’s ranting warnings about goys, especially goy girls. And Kellyanne really looked the part of the stereotype goy girl – blonde hair, slender, moderate pointy tits and a convinced feminist whom you knew would never shy away from a fight with Uncle Donald.

But Uncle Donald wasn’t the only reason Aaron had never introduced Kellyanne to the Fleischer family. Aaron just wasn’t sure he wanted to bring her out because to do so would represent a commitment to Kellyanne and that was a commitment he wasn’t ready to make. There were, however, lots of advantages to the relationship: She wasn’t too boring to talk to and she was one fantastic fuck - her blowjobs were monumental and her climaxes more like volcanic eruptions. When they fucked, Aaron loved to look down and see his shaft sawing back and forth in her blond pubic forest. Sometimes though, he wondered if, outside of the sex, there was much that held them together.

Tradition had it that after a meal, the men went to the basement den to shoot a game of pool. Rachel’s husband Bernie had finished out that part of the basement and was quite proud of it. Actually Bernie didn’t really like pool very much, he just welcomed the opportunity to show off his basement rec room to the men folks. For Uncle Donald, the men-only pool game was his big chance to tell the dirty jokes that were his specialty. That evening in the male-only environment of the basement rec room, Uncle Donald had gotten his chance to give Aaron all the advice that even a crude guy like him would never give in the company of women, especially Aunt Ruth.

“Now listen up Aaron, them Kraut women, they wear these dresses they call Dirndls or sumpin’ like that. They got built in push up brassieres so it looks like they got all kinds of cleavage. Hell, their fuckin’ cleavage, it’s like the fuckin’ Grand Canyon. Trouble is on most of ‘em, the cleavage is phony. You unzip ‘em in back and get that blouse down and what do see? A couple saggy bags with brown pimples on the end.”

Aaron, enjoying Uncle Donald’s bullshit, looked at him with feigned interest while slyly tossing grins to his father and brother-in-law who rolled their eyes.

“There’s nothin’ trickier than that phony tit. You start staring at all that phony cleavage and you’ll miss the rest, which is all bad, real bad, it’s true. Shit they’re fat, bad complexion, ugly legs, hair in their armpits, real number 10’s, disgusting, pathetic, real dogs. But you won’t notice all the bad stuff. All a New York Jew boy like you is gonna see is tit and cleavage.”

It was Donald’s shot and Bernie tried to tell him, but Donald was too wound up.

“But you know what? One thing they’re really after? Money, that’s what! Shit, they think ever’ Jew owns a bank! But lemme tell you Aaron, that’s not all them Kraut broads are after. Guess what? They’re fed up messing with stinky foreskins when they give blow jobs. What they really want is a smooth circumcised Jew dick. Yeah, that’s what they all dream about. They all dream about wrapping their lips around a big smooth circumcised Jew dick.”

Aaron’s father tried to shut him off. “Dammit Donald, that’s enough of your bullshit! Aaron’s grown up enough to know how to look out for himself.”

“The boy’s grown up because I’ve always shared my life experiences with him. It’s the advantage of being a traveler instead of a tourist. The traveler goes places and gets into the local culture. The tourist goes on a tour – 11 fucking countries in 5 fucking days! Big fucking deal! What a guy needs to do is get into the local culture - the local shmushka. Haw, haw, haw. Get into the local shmushka! Haw, haw, haw!”

Aaron’s father tried again: “Donald, sha aroyf!”

The other three men in the room had gradually found out over the years that Donald’s single overseas experience was the unlucky sojourn to Israel. That, however, didn’t stop bullshitter Donald from carrying on like he’d travelled the world over. He had more ‘experience’ to share. “You know something else. All over Europe, the women, they never shave their armpits. Girl wears a sleeveless dress, lifts up an arm, all you see is hair. First time it happened to me, I think maybe her shmushka’s in the wrong place.”

Now the other three men couldn’t help but laugh and that encouraged Donald to go on. “There’s something else you get into over there. European girls fart. Ever hear an American girl fart? Of course not. And not only do these Euro girls fart, their farts stink. It’s sad. It’s pathetic. It’s true.”

Aaron and Bernie buckled over with laughter. Even Aaron’s father laughed at that one.

 Donald was really getting warmed up. “Hell, you take one of ‘em out for a nice meal, you’re sitting in a fancy restaurant and what’s she do? She don’t just let a fart, she lifts her leg before she lets it rip. That’s when you can spot all the Americans in the place too. They all cough from that special girl fart stink. The Europeans though, they’re used to it, they go right on eating.”

And on and on it had gone. Uncle Donald had a way of speaking that in spite of the racist tone, his ‘advice’ had come across as a hilarious rant. The nonsense would have continued but Rachel called from upstairs to say that desert and coffee were ready.

A half hour or so after the lights came on, ‘breakfast’ was served. For the economy passengers that was some sort of doughy pastry with a cheese-like filling. After two bites, he gave up on it and finished sipping the dishwater tasting coffee. Back in the office, they’d told him that the bread and pastries in Switzerland were terrific so he decided to put off breakfast until he was on the ground.

Aaron got his first look at a traditional Swiss woman in the airport train that takes international passengers from Terminal E to the main terminal. A sort of light show on the tunnel walls shows an idealized Swiss countryside with cows, chalets and a pretty young Swiss girl with pigtails. Unfortunately, that picture went by too quickly for Aaron to see whether the cleavage was anything like Uncle Donald had warned him about.

After an expensive breakfast of pastries and real coffee in the airport shopping arcade, Aaron took an escalator down to the airport station and boarded a train for Chur where he would change to the narrow gage railway that goes to Thisan (pronounced teesahn), the city where the Kolhhof home office was located.

The company had reserved rooms for the trainees in the Krone Hotel. Including the time to change trains, the railway journey took over two hours and it was mid-afternoon by the time Aaron arrived at the hotel. After giving him the room key and directions to his room, the desk clerk, a fit looking  middle aged lady with a name tag identifying her as ‘Marlene’, informed him that dinner would be at seven.

Determined to make good the nights rest lost on the overnight flight, he went to bed immediately. Unfortunately, Aaron wasn’t immune to jetlag. Failing to fall asleep, he decided to go jogging, if for no other reason than to work up an appetite for dinner.

In spite of having a fairly good command of English, Marlene seemed not to know what to make of his question about a park where he could go jogging. (Only later did Aaron catch on that the people here didn’t necessarily go jogging in parks, they just went jogging, park or no park.) Then he remembered Aunt Ruth’s advice to keep questions simple and just told Marlene he wanted to go jogging. Marlene went outside with him and directed him to take this and that street and then up some small residential streets and pointed out some meadows that seemed to be at least five or six hundred feet higher than where they were.

At home Aaron jogged regularly and prided himself on being in good shape. But back home on Long Island, things are fairly flat – the highest point on Long Island is only 400 feet above sea level (Jayne’s Hill out near Huntington). Before leaving home, he’d looked up Thisan on Google Earth and saw that the central part of town lay at 2400 feet above sea level and that getting just a kilometer out of town involved gaining over 400 feet. In short, Aaron knew he was dealing with big vertical gains so he started slow and then picked up the pace. About the time he thought he was doing fine, he got his first big culture shock: A man and woman, looking to be in their 60’s, passed him – all the while nonchalantly chatting with each other.

After leaving the town behind him, he was on a wide trail that rose gradually through pine forests. Imperceptibly the trail became wider and turned into a forest road – probably used for logging. Further along, the forest road broke out of the forest and he found himself on a field road crossing a very steep meadow. Aaron realized he had reached the meadows that the clerk had pointed out. Now in the open, he enjoyed a refreshing breeze. That’s when it hit him. Shit, it’s mid-July, the temperature can’t be over 75 and the humidity can’t be much more than half that. What a climate!

Basking in his good fortune at being in such a forgiving climate, he didn’t see it until he was directly above it. Some 90 feet below him on another narrow field road was a small tank trailer standing at angle not in line with the farm tractor that had obviously been used to tow it and was now uncoupled. Sheep were grazing nearby. Then he saw the source of the sound that he had been hearing and what he had thought was a bird or some animal seeking a mate – a person in work clothes, obviously a farmer, on the downhill side of the tank trailer. Then more distinctly he heard what sounded like and turned out to be a call for help: “Hilf mir! Hilf mir!”

In a series of jumps, Aaron bounded down the steep slope. The ‘farmer’, whose long brown hair wrapped in a scarf gave her away as female, was trying to keep the trailer from rolling off the field road and down the steep slope below. When Aaron moved to help her push, she uttered something that to him was unintelligible. Hearing his American English reply, she gasped, “The brake, the brake!” Aaron pulled the brake lever on the trailer and the woman nearly collapsed with relief. Tears streaming down to her chin, she couldn’t seem to say ‘thank you’ enough. Then it was obvious to Aaron what had happened. She had unhitched the trailer before setting the brake. As it had started to roll towards her, her shirt sleeve had gotten caught on the hitch release and she could no longer reach the brake. Had he not come on the scene when he did, the 100 or so gallons of water in the tank would have eventually pushed her off the field road and down the steep slope – to an almost certain death.

After he helped her get loose from the hitch, she sat down on the meadow sobbing with relief. At first when she didn’t respond to his words of comfort, Aaron thought it might be language. Then he thought she might be in shock so he checked her pulse – in the 80’s but not weak and thready – no shock, just relief from the big scare.

When she got up, her hands were quivering too. She stammered, “Can you drive a tractor? I need to go home.” Extending her quivering hand, “Oh, by the way, I’m Mona.”

Aaron couldn’t help but notice how rough her hands were, like a working man’s. Aaron responded, “I’m Aaron, nice meeting you.”

Another thing to get used to in Europe – hand shaking. Europeans shake hands a lot more than Americans. It occurred to Aaron that couples might even shake hands after sex. Kind of like “Congratulations, that was a real nice fuck.”

Aaron’s macho streak wouldn’t let him admit to a female that he’d never driven a tractor. Anyway it couldn’t be that hard and he was a good guesser and a good bluffer and unlike most young Americans, he had experience with a stick shift. However, starting the engine and operating the tractor was one thing. Driving it on the narrow field road with hundreds of feet of very steep grassy slopes below him was another thing and it did scare the living shit out of him. However, the same macho streak that wouldn’t let him admit that he’d never driven a tractor before kept him from letting on to a female that he was scared shitless.

Mona on the other hand had always lived in the mountains and wasn’t affected by steep slopes and big vertical drops. Sitting on the fender of the tractor, she was slowly recovering her composure and began to eye her rescuer more closely. Brown hair, a hint of curls, prominent angular facial features. Not tall, not short – maybe a shade over or under 6 feet. Slender build but not the weak kind of slender. From his jogging clothes, it was pretty obvious he’d been – what else? Jogging. Clearly a good looking guy with a well kept body.

In the normal course of things, a virile young guy like Aaron, after saving a female’s life, would start thinking about how to take advantage of the situation and try to bring things to an intimate conclusion. In this case though, bulky work clothes, head scarf, dirty tear stained face, the smell of sheep, rough workman’s hands – nothing about her was much of a come on. Moreover, Aaron remembered Uncle Donald’s cautions against fiddling around with Swiss farmer’s wives and daughters. What was it he’d said about those farmers? “Oh they’re wild fuckers, they are. And they’re stronger’n bulls. Hell. back when the rest of Europe was kissing the nobility’s asses, them crazy farmers cut the dicks off all the noblemen. That’s why the Swiss don’t have any of them fucking counts, dukes, princes and such free loading bastards around anymore.”

Aaron couldn’t help but smile, almost laugh remembering the serious way Uncle Donald had said that. And Mona could help but notice. “You’re laughing at me?”

Of course Aaron couldn’t say what made him almost laugh, but he was ready with a lie. “I was just thinking, four hours ago I landed in Zurich and here I am driving a tractor in the Swiss Alps.”

That seemed to convince Mona that she wasn’t being ridiculed. “Oh sorry, I guess I’m just upset. You’re from the States?”

Aaron gave her a brief rundown about working for Kohlhof, the training week, the bad flight and going jogging to beat the jet lag.

The field road ended at a narrow paved road and she directed him to turn left. After less than a quarter mile of gradual uphill, they came to a farmstead consisting of an older house with barn attached and a large modern barn. Mona directed him to turn in and park near the newer barn. That’s when he got another culture shock. Not only were the windows on the house fitted with flower boxes, both the old and the new barns had them too – all full of geraniums in full bloom! What American farmer ever had flower boxes on barn windows? He couldn’t even remember seeing window flower boxes on any house windows back home. Come to think of it, there weren’t all that many flowers around the houses that he could think of.

Spellbound over the flowers and the awesome view of the mountain range across the valley, after dismounting from the tractor, Aaron could only look around in all directions. Mona’s invitation brought him out of his semi-trance. “Aaron, please come in and have something to drink.”

In the kitchen, Mona’s mother and sister, Hedi and Sara, were preparing an early supper. Hedi couldn’t fail to see Mona’s tear stained face and rushed to her. As they hugged, Mona talked. Although sobbing and speaking in that unintelligible local dialect, it was pretty obvious to Aaron that Mona was telling about the near tragedy in the meadow. Probably also the little she knew about him.

Letting go of Mona, Hedi turned to Aaron with a grateful look and being a non-English speaker, simply gave him a hug as thanks. Sara, having already had several years of English in primary school said “Thank you for saving my sister.”

Hedi turned to Mona and told her something that caused Mona to leave the room. A few minutes later, she returned carrying a sweater. “Mom noticed you’re still damp from running. She’s worried you might catch cold.” Aaron, having inherited some of the macho DNA that Uncle Wally had, didn’t really want to be a pussy and admit he needed a sweater, on the other hand, he was in a strange house in a foreign country, and he was a little chilled from the sweat and riding on the old open air tractor. In other words, it wasn’t the right time or place to be an arrogant asshole. He put on the sweater and Mona patted out the rumples.

Mona, smiling through her dirty tear stained face, continued, “You look good in Dad’s sweater. Mom wants you to stay for supper. You don’t have to get back for anything do you?”

For Aaron with an outsize curiosity for various cultures, an invitation to a meal in a private Swiss home was what he’d actually been day dreaming about. Just to keep up appearances though he pretended to reflect a few seconds. “No, actually not. Look I don’t want to be any trouble. Oh, how much daylight is going to be left for me to find my way back to the Krone?”

“Aaron, really, it’s no trouble to set an another plate. Especially, after what you did. And don’t worry about it getting too dark. I can drive you back to town – with my car, not the tractor.”

Just then, a teenage boy popped into the kitchen. “I’m on the way out to help Dad milk.” Noticing Aaron he didn’t know what to say until Mona introduced him as ‘Mario’, her brother. Mario, like his younger sister and most Swiss youngsters, knew enough English to carry on a simple conversation. “Aaron, pleased to meet you. You’re from the States, are you? Where at in the States?”

To Aaron’s reply that he was from NYC, Mario’s eyes got wide. “Wow a big city like that! Boy this must really be something new for you! Hey how’d you like to see where milk comes from?”

Mona flung some sharp words to Mario in that unintelligible local dialect. Hedi said something too, less sharply. Aaron didn’t have a clue as to what was said, but he could guess that Mona and Hedi both thought Mario was out of line by suggesting that Aaron didn’t know where milk came from.

Aaron, although a macho, didn’t want to see ill will build up on his account. “Mario, if you mean you’re willing to show me the barn and cows, I’d really like that. You know, in NYC, our milk comes from the supermarket and to tell the truth, I saw more cows from the train today than I’ve ever seen in the States in my whole life.”

Out in the barn, Mario introduced Aaron to his father, Harold. While Mario was deep in conversation with his father, obviously explaining Aaron’s presence, Aaron looked around him. He was a little surprised that there were only six cows in the stable being milked. He guessed there were at least 30 or 40 stanchions and wondered why so many were empty.

Mario must have anticipated his question. “We have 30, no actually it’s 32, cows in the alp for the summer. These six calved late and so we just decided to keep them here for the summer. Usually we don’t have that many here in the summer.”

Aaron was curious by nature and could get interested in about anything. “And how do you get the milk to sell when the cows aren’t here?”

Surprised that a city dude would think of that, “Oh, we get the cheese, not the milk.”

Aaron looked at him a little puzzled. “Huh?”

The shepherds on the alp milk the cows and there’s a cheese maker up there who turns all the milk into cheese.” Anticipating Aaron’s follow-up question, “No we don’t eat that much cheese, it gets sold. You see we get paid for the milk through the cheese sales. Anyway Dad’s about done with the milking. I got to look after the calves. Want to come?”

They were mostly done cleaning out the water trough and tossing hay to the calves when Sara came out to announce that supper was on the table.

Mario indicated that they should wash up in a room in the barn next to where the milking equipment was. “That way we don’t mess up a bathroom and get in trouble with the women folks. Harold, had already washed up and had started towards the house.

In the kitchen, the big table was set with 6 places. In the middle was a bowl with boiled potatoes, still steaming and obviously very hot. Next to it a plate with various cheeses and a butter dish. Sara had already taken a chair along one side of the table. Hedi brought a pot of tea and took a seat at one end. Harold started towards the opposite end, then turned toward Aaron and indicated he should sit on the side opposite Sara. After Aaron sat down, Mario took a seat alongside Sara and Harold sat down at the end – obviously his regular seat.

No one picked up a knife or fork or took a sip of tea. Aaron thought, they were waiting for Mona to join them in the Sunday evening prayers. Harold, obviously a little beat and hungry after a day of haying asked Hedi something. Aaron, hearing the name ‘Mona’ in his sentence, guessed he was asking if Mona would be coming to supper anytime soon.

It then occurred to Aaron that Mona’s family just considered it polite to wait for everyone to sit down before beginning with the meal. In other words they were just showing courtesy to each. Later on Mona told him that the origin of this polite custom went back to times when there wasn’t enough food and waiting for everyone to sit down had more to do with fair play than politeness. He thought of how it was in Kellyanne’s family where they prayed so fervently before eating. He’d seen that in lots of other Christian families and always had the impression that they were fulfilling a need to show off what good Christians they were.

Sara whispered something to Mario and giggled. In a half-hearted scolding tone, Hedi said something to Sara in that unintelligible dialect. Harold just looked a little right and left. Mario had a strange amused and knowing look. Aaron just took it all in, just sort of soaking in the local culture. It looked like supper was going to be cheese and butter with boiled potatoes. Oh yeah there were some pickles and dried tomatoes in olive oil too. Pretty plain cuisine but still lots more appetizing than any fast food horseshit.

When the door from the hallway opened, he realized what Sara had been whispering and giggling about. Mona was the only one missing at the table so the young woman who walked in could only be Mona. Aaron wondered what adjectives and expletives Uncle Donald would have used. Form fitting jeans that showed a form worth writing home about. White short sleeved blouse tucked in, not too tight but tight enough to leave no doubt about the treasure hidden beneath. The top button of the blouse left undone to reveal a half inch of some very promising cleavage. Dark brown hair, obviously just washed and blown dry, combed toward the back, some strands hanging down in front of  her ears. Eyes and eye lashes probably made up, but only so you’d have to argue about whether they were made up or not. Full lips but no lipstick.

Aaron thought she looked even better than the picture of the Swiss maid on the wall of the tunnel in the airport. He got up and pulled the empty chair out for her.

Mona smiled and turned her head at a slight angle as she thanked him. Aaron was glad to be able to sit down and hide a possible bulge under the table. Sara giggled and sucked in her lips as if trying not to giggle. Harold cleared his throat with a ‘uhmmf’.

Hedi said something in dialect and then finished with “En Guete”. Aaron found out later that this is dialect for the proper German before-meal greeting of  ‘Guten Appetit’, which translates to ‘Good Appetite’ in English. Aaron had once taken a night course in semantics and being a real food fan, took a sharp interest in these before-meal greetings. He still wondered why you’d ever need to wish anyone a good appetite. If a person was at the table, they must surely already have an appetite. Well anyway maybe that was just architect/engineer thinking. He did think the Arab before-meal greeting ‘Have a good digestion’ really made sense – especially if one had to eat Kellyanne’s so-called cooking.

Mona turned to him and said “Enjoy”.

Aaron had never eaten boiled potatoes with cheese and butter so he waited to see what the others would do. He saw quickly enough. Put a couple potatoes on the plate, cut or slice them, crushing seemed to be optional. A sliver of butter on top, a slice of cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.

“Aaron, this is called ‘Schwelti’. We usually have just a simple meal on Sunday evening. Oh, I do hope it’s okay. I don’t want you to go away hungry.”

Sara giggled again and Harold gave her a stern admonishing look. Aaron assured Mona that the Schwelti was fine and that there was no chance he’d go away hungry. He nearly added that it was better than anything Kellyanne had ever put on the table but he caught himself in time. By this time Aaron was beginning to wonder if he would be mentioning Kellyanne to Mona at all.

With the food, the tea and company of Mona’s family, Aaron’s beginning of a bulge had completely dispersed. Hedi served a plum cake for desert and by the time they had finished, Aaron could no longer hide the effects of jet lag and a nights sleep lost. Of course Mona noticed this. “Aaron, you poor thing, you must be exhausted! Maybe I should drive you back to your hotel now.”

Mona drove Aaron down to town in her own car, a VW Golf that had been new long before she had earned her driving license. In town, she expertly maneuvered the Golf into a vacant parallel slot close to the hotel and shut off the motor. Aaron, having expected her to stop on the street in front and deposit him without even shutting off the motor, wondered what that portended.

At first she sat looking straight ahead. Aaron didn’t know how to react so he just thanked her again for the hospitality and the supper. That brought a few sniffles from her before she turned towards him. Again the smile and head at a slight angle, “Aaron, Mom would like it if you could join us for supper some night this week. She feels guilty about the Schwelti.”

“Mona, I loved the Schwelti. Your Mom doesn’t have to feel bad about it at all.“ Now he had to be careful. “All the same, I’d love to join you and your family for supper. I wouldn’t want to be any trouble though.”

She blinked, gave him a look that said ‘don’t be ridiculous’ and leaned slightly towards him before he continued. “Oops, I forgot the company has a few evening events planned. Let’s see, yeah Monday and Tuesday. One night it’s bowling and a meal. Another it’s just a meal in some special restaurant or other. Looks like from Wednesday on is free.”

“Then it’s Wednesday. Mom is going to be so happy. Can I pick you up after work. Say around six. Are you back here by then?”

“I think so but I’ll find out tomorrow and let you know if not.”

Mona leaned a little more towards him and tilted her head back slightly. Aaron correctly assumed this meant she wanted a kiss and kissed first her left cheek and then the right. That wasn’t what Mona had expected or wanted. Aaron caught on when he felt her hand on the back of his neck. Their lips met in a desperate crushing kiss that turned tender as lips opened and tongues protruded. The tastes that both experienced from the other had nothing to do with the potatoes and cheese they’d had for supper.

Both Aaron and Mona wondered how far things would have gone but for the big console between the seats of the VW Golf.

Walking up to his room, Aaron had the sensation of walking on clouds. Then it struck him, “Maybe she’s got a boyfriend? No couldn’t be. That kiss told a different story.” After showering, he lay in bed, the afternoon and evening happenings going through his head. All leading to one thing. Mona with the dark brown hair, some loose strands descending over her face just in front of her ears, like female sideburns. Something that Aaron found extremely erotic – the look that made you think the woman had just had sex or was just aching to have it.

That did it. Aaron knew he might as well give in. He went to the bathroom and got a hand full of facial tissue. No need to mess up the bed. Afterwards he fell asleep.

Arriving back at her parents farm, Mona found her mother finishing up in the kitchen. In as neutral a voice as she could manage, “Hi Mom. He can make it for supper Wednesday.”

“You like him don’t you?”

“Mom! He’s just here for a week’s training course at Kohlhof.”

Ignoring Mona’s protest, “I saw how you made yourself up before supper. You didn’t do that for the rest of us.”

“Anyway Mom, he’s only here until Saturday. I’m tired. I have to get to bed. Good night.”

In her bedroom, Mona changed to a night shirt. In the bathroom after brushing her teeth, she stood before the mirror trying to imagine how Aaron would see her now. Would he move up behind her and cover her breasts with his hands? Would he like her breasts? She raised her night shirt to expose her body from the breasts down. Holding the shirt up with one hand, she hefted one breast with the other hand. Of course he would be pleased. She had full plump breasts. Silver dollar sized pink areola’s surrounded dark red nipples. Aaron would not only like them, he’d bury his head between them. And the other? Would he like her full moderately trimmed triangle? She’d read that most American girls shaved or had Brazils. She really didn’t want to shave. What if her hairy pubis turned him off? Somehow she knew that with Aaron it would come to sex. She had noticed his slight bulge just before they had sat down to eat. When he had gotten out of her car at the hotel, the bulge was more than slight. Yes, she knew he’d want to. She let her night shirt drop and placed a hand on either hip. Slowly stroking in circles, she moved her hands to the slightly moist slit in the middle. She felt a tingle and a warm rush below her belly button. Imagine how it would be if Aaron were doing that. She took a towel with her to bed.

In bed and under the blanket, her hips over the towel, she tugged her nightshirt up to her hips and ran her hands under it up to her breasts. She fondled them, forming and reforming them, they tightened. Lightly pinching her nipples between her thumb and first two fingers increased the warm flow and tingling. She imagined that her hands were Aarons hands. How long would he wait before touching her down below? Would he be hard just from touching her breasts? Remembering the bulge in his jogging pants when he had gotten out of her car, she decided he’d be very hard by the time he touched her breasts. She raised her knees and spread her thighs.

Her mind on his erection, she moved her right hand down to her pubic area. First rubbing and stroking with her whole hand and with her left hand still on her breasts, she switched to massaging her clitoris with her middle finger. How long would he play with her clitoris before he fingered her? She moved her left hand down and penetrated her vagina with the middle finger. Vibrating the finger brought on more intense tingles. She whispered to herself, “Aaron, please fuck me, fuck me now!”

Then she thought of a possession that she had nearly forgotten. Her legs trembled as she got out of bed and went to her dresser. Legs still trembling, she frantically rummaged through the shoe box with high school momentos and old tee shirts and scarves. Finally she found it wrapped in one of the scarves.

Mona had found it while helping her mother clean out the apartment of a deceased great aunt. At the time she had seen no need to show it to her mother, indeed she had been embarrassed for her great aunt and had hidden it in her purse with the intent of trashing it. At home she had studied it carefully before hiding it in her dresser. Like most women, Mona had always masturbated by rubbing her clitoris. Shortly after finding her great aunt’s dildo, she had tried using it to masturbate. She had quickly discovered that it was too cold and had tried warming it between her legs, but this had taken too long and the dildo didn’t get warm all over. Warming it up in the bathroom sink had worked pretty well but that was inconvenient and by the time it had warmed up, all spontaneity was gone.

Tonight was different. She needed more than clitoral stimulation, she needed penetration. In the bathroom, she filled the sink with hot water and held the dildo nearly submerged. Once satisfied that it was at body temperature, she went back to bed.

A little clitoral rubbing and she felt she was ready. Without interrupting the rubbing, she used the other hand to insert the dildo, first in between her labia and then to her vagina. At first it was too tight, then with some manipulative vibration and rubbing, it went in. Whispering to herself, “Oh Aaron, it’s so good.” She imagined him asking her if it was okay, like he was worried to hurt her. “Oh Aaron, please, I want it, you’re just right for me.”

She pushed the dildo in several more inches and stopped. “Aaron, my dear, please, fuck me, fuck me good!” She stroked the dildo, nearly withdrawing on the upstroke. At first in a slow easy rhythm, as her tension built up she went faster. As more and more of her stimulation came from her vagina, she stopped rubbing her clitoris and moved that hand down so the fingers were right where the dildo entered her. The increased tempo finally pushed her over the top and she collapsed, sweaty and out of breath.

Mona awoke sometime in the middle of the night. Her butt and thighs felt sticky, damp and cool. She was glad to have thought to have had the towel in bed but she’d have to remember to rinse it in the morning. And not forget to hide the dildo. Can’t be too careful when you have a mother who prides herself in good housekeeping and a curious 10 year old sister.

Aaron’s training week was actually a week of introduction to new products. He had gotten complete general training in construction chemicals at Kohlhof’s training center in New Jersey. Although the nature and purpose of the two training courses were different, another difference stood out. At the training center in the Connecticut, the trainers had been professional trainers who had leaned enough about construction chemicals to give the training. In Thisan, the trainers were experts on construction chemicals momentarily thrust into the role of trainer. Neither system was necessarily false, the difference was interesting though. One thing he knew for sure was that if sometime in the future he needed support, it sure as hell wouldn’t be the professional trainers that he’d be telephoning.

Given his preoccupation with Mona, Aaron had to make a supreme effort to concentrate on the subject matter being presented. Luckily it wasn’t all classroom. In fact it was less than half lecture and presentation, the rest being practice with the materials in the training laboratory.

Finally, Wednesday did roll around and that day of training seemed to drag on forever. It was around 5:30 in the afternoon when the Kohlhof company van dropped the trainees off at the Krone Hotel. Aaron started looking for Mona and/or Mona’s old VW as soon as the hotel came into sight. He saw neither. Still looking as they entered the hotel, he still didn’t see her. A little disappointed, he asked the lady desk clerk if anyone had come for him. Even more disappointed after the negative answer, he went to his room, almost too discouraged to shave and change into fresh clothing.

Then the room phone rang. He heard a heavily accented female speak in a knowing sort of way, “Mr. Fleischer, you have a visitor in the lobby.” No name, just “a visitor in the lobby.” Who else could it be? And it was.

When he entered the lobby, Mona was in a lively conversation with Marlene, the desk clerk. Obviously they were well acquainted. No surprise, considering the size of the town.

On the drive up to the farm, they exchanged their experiences of the day. Aaron was beginning to understand more of what Mona did for a living. Working for a lawyer, she conducted business affairs for clients, mostly foreign. During that day she had bought and sold cocoa, iron ore, titanium and had put a palm oil plantation in Indonesia on the market. Would anyone who dealt with her during that workday ever dream that she lived in a 200+ year old farm house and helped her parents put up hay and take care of farm animals.

Aaron’s day had consisted of getting to know the characteristics of new concrete admixtures, one of which made the concrete so slippery that it self compacted and there was no need for vibration. The slippery and vibration aspects had, of course, sexual connotations and he really had difficulty concentrating.

When they got to the farm, Harold and Mario were still busy with the milking and other chores and Sara was helping Hedi prepare supper. Mona offered to show Aaron around the farmstead. He had already been in the dairy barn. What he hadn’t seen or even thought of were the chickens, pigs, goats and vegetable garden. And there was the ever present, overwhelming view of 10,000 foot mountains across the valley.

Supper was diced veal in a white sauce, noodles and green beans. Again no food was touched until all were seated and again all said “En Guete”. Of course wine was served but not a drop was sipped until the glasses clinked together and all said “Zum Wohl”, meaning “To your health.”

After supper, Mario and Sara took care of the cleanup while Harold and Hedi watched the TV evening news. Aaron had offered to help Mario and Sara but his offer was very smoothly declined. Mona suggested to Aaron that they go for a walk.

On the drive up to the farm, Aaron had found out what Mona did for a living. He was curious about how she got into that with having gone to university. She explained that she had served a 3-year apprenticeship in a local bank. Originally when she had said she worked for a lawyer, he had thought she had one of those answer-the-phone, bring-coffee, make-copies and laugh-at-the-men’s- bad-jokes jobs.

What Aaron really wanted to know was whether she had a steady boy friend. After the kiss in the car, he should have known better but he still couldn’t believe his good luck. Mona had the same question in mind and men being men, she had a good reason to have that question in mind. But Mona knew that was a question that she had to be careful bringing up.

She started by probing about his job, school, hobbies and college. Aaron didn’t hold back. He was open about the two jobs that had gone sour and how his Uncle Donald had seen the ad that led him to Kohlhof. Hearing that, she got gushy, “Aaron, I guess I really have to thank your Uncle Donald. He sounds like such a nice man.”

Little did she know. He hoped she didn’t notice how half hearted his reply was. “Yes, he really is a very fine person.”

When she pushed him to tell more about his personal life, he didn’t have much to add. He jogged regularly – no surprise. Visited his parents, sister and family, Uncle Donald and Aunt Ruth. Went to movies, concerts. At that point he realized that up to then, his big excitement in life had been sex with Kellyanne but he couldn’t very well bring that up with Mona. He was a little surprised that she didn’t bring up the religion issue. Kellyanne’s family certainly had – very early in the relationship. After finding out he was Jewish, they had tolerated him with clenched teeth.

Aaron and Mona hadn’t walked far before their hands found each other. Her occasional squeezes sent a welcome message to Aaron. They came out of a grove of trees and another stunning view opened up. They faced one another and her tilted head and expectant look sent another welcome message to Aaron. He couldn’t leave it at that and didn’t. Their lips met. He put his other hand on her waist. When she opened her lips, Aaron made the only possible move – his tongue went in and met hers. Their tongues overlapped. He moved one hand to her rib cage and the other to her neck just below her hair line. One of her hands found the back of his head and the other his shoulder. Their bodies collided.

Mona was tingling. He was an accomplished kisser. She thought he must have had lots of New York girls. Or worse, “maybe he still has a steady.” Then she realized she didn’t really care. She could feel his erection against her belly. Girls have an advantage. Just getting close, a girl gets to know how turned on a guy is. A guy has to feel a girl’s crotch to know. What Mona didn’t know was that experienced guys know how far along a female is by the taste in their mouth.

And Aaron was experienced. He recognized that familiar coppery taste in Mona’s mouth. He moved a hand to her breast. Sure enough, no resistance, just a soft pleasing sigh. He moved the other hand to her hip and then to her thigh.

“Aaron, someone might come. Lots of people hike and jog here.”

“Should we get back?”

“Yes.”

Back at the house, the rest of the family was at the dining table playing cards. Mona slipped away to the bathroom as soon as they got inside. Her hair was messed enough that she knew Sara would notice and mention it. Mario explained to Aaron that they were playing Jass, a trick-taking card game that Aaron recognized as being related to pinochle, and more remotely, bridge. When Mona came in, they watched the play until the game ended with partners Harold and Sara coming out ahead.

Mario and Sara excused themselves as being sleepy. Harold proposed a nightcap and fetched a bottle of pear schnapps. Mona explained that her father had made the schnapps himself from their own pears. Not being used to schnapps, it was a little harsh for Aaron but he managed to hide his discomfort. However, the second round seemed to go down a little smoother. Then Harold and Hedi announced that they were also tired and said good night.

All the while Aaron had been looking forward to making the great conquest in his room at the Krone Hotel. “Well Mona, perhaps I should get back to the hotel and get some sleep as well.”

“Drive after two of Dad’s 40+ percenters? No way! Anyhow there’s room for you here. Don’t worry, I can drop you off at your hotel tomorrow morning before the company transport gets there.”

Aaron did his best to hide his disappointment. It would have been bad enough if she’d driven him to the hotel and not gone to his room. But this way, he’d be sleeping under the same roof but in a different bed. Well maybe he could cop a feel while they were still on the couch. He put his hand on her shoulder and slid it up to the back of her neck. The look on her face was one of apology.

“Aaron, I really should get to bed. We need to get up early. You too. Actually even more so than me.”

Resigned to spending a chaste night, he replied in a tone of voice somewhere between disappointment and disgust, “Well then, maybe you should show me to my room.”

They got up and Aaron followed Mona up the stairs and down the upstairs hallway. She opened a door to a room and entered. “Well here it is. No big queen or king size bed like you Americans are used to.” Indeed it wasn’t, just a normal double bed is what he saw. He also saw a dresser and from the nature of the stuff on top, he realized that this was a woman’s room – Mona’s.

“Mona, you don’t need to give up your own room for me.”

“Silly boy. I have no intention of giving up my room. You don’t think the bed is big enough for the two of us?”

Aaron wondered how many milliliters of blood surged into his penis in that split second. He reached for Mona.

“Aaron, how about if we closed the door first?” Ever the gentleman, he released her and closed the door. Returning to her, they embraced and kissed deeply. He now knew what was to happen.

Then something occurred to him. Speaking very softly, “Mona, your parents! I mean they’re here too.”

Still embraced and between kisses, “Yes, they’re here. After all it’s their house. But they have their own bedroom so don’t worry, they won’t come in and disturb us.”

“But do they know, I mean will they know that we, if we …….?”

“Aaron, if I drove you back to the hotel and didn’t come back home tonight, they sure wouldn’t think I’d checked into a separate room. And they’d worry too. Look, we’ve known each other, how long? Three days? They’re a lot more comfortable if we’re together here in my bedroom in their house than if we’re somewhere else.”

The few times that he had stayed overnight in Kellyanne’s parents house, her mother had made up a bed for him in the basement rec room. And he was pretty sure they had placed a baby monitor in the basement stairway. Strange how long Kellyanne had continued the charade of abstinence and how her parents seemed to believe it. He sometimes wondered if her parents believed in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny too.

Mona moved one hand down to Aaron’s waist and hooked a thumb in his jeans. He did the same, tugging her blouse out of her jeans. She felt his hand move up under her blouse and over her ribs and then cup her bra held breast. Impatient tingles went through her as he fondled her breast and squeezed her nipple through the bra. “I shouldn’t have worn a bra tonight.”

That was encouragement enough for Aaron. With both hands, he reached around her back and began fumbling with the hooks. Mona reached back with both hands and undid the hooks. Was he a beginner or did American bras have different hooks?

She felt both his hands under her blouse touching the bottom of her breasts. Obviously he needed better access so she undid the bottom button of her blouse. That was enough encouragement, he undid the rest and took away her blouse and bra completely. Hefting her full breasts, he alternated kissing one and then the other. As much pleasure as she had from looking down at his slightly curly brown hair with the red shimmer and feeling his lips on her nipples, for her things needed to move faster. She kissed the top of his head and followed by pushing his head back and kissing his forehead. He took the hint and there lips met again.

As their tongues overlapped, Aaron felt her hand back inside the waistband of his jeans. She ran the hand across his front, fingers going ever deeper, He felt them rummaging through his happy trail. He wasn’t sure if his erection was straight up or caught at angle. If it were straight up, her finger tips must nearly touch the glans. Then he felt a finger touch and shortly that finger was tracing a circle around his corona. Realizing that his snug jeans made it awkward for her to caress him, he undid the waist button. She unzipped him. He pushed them down over his hips and let them drop. He felt her hand holding him by the shaft, then a to and fro movement.

“Mona, my shorts are in your way!”

He felt her hands in the waistband and then her breath on his penis as she went down with the shorts, taking his jeans along. She felt him raise one foot when she got to his ankles and she pulled that leg free and followed with the other leg. Getting back up she hesitated part way up. God but she loved looking at him. How would he react if she were to kiss the head? He might want to push it into her mouth and she didn’t want that – just yet. She quickly grazed the head with her lips and stood up. In a husky whisper, “Your turn.”

Aaron wasted no time. Seeing her neatly trimmed triangle, he knew he’d be dilly dallying on the way back up. She felt his breath on her pubs and then he was working her jeans and briefs all the way down. Once she was clear of them, he switched to a kneeling position facing her closely. His lips brushing her pubic hair and his breath made her throw her head back and sigh with pleasure. When he spread her lips and licked her slit, her legs trembled and she breathed quivering moans.

When his tongue found her clit, she could wait no longer. “Aaaarronnn, Aaron, please, in bed, now.”

In bed, under the blanket, his mouth was busy on a nipple and his hand was at her crotch, middle finger in her vagina and thumb on her clit. Had she not been so hot and high, it would have occurred to her that he was certainly no beginner. As it was her hips were vibrating and she was breathing in short little breaths interspersed with soft sighs. She reached for his penis and found it hot and throbbing. Oh how good the smooth velvety like skin felt! She tugged it in the direction of her pubis. “Aaron, I want you. I’ve wanted you so much.”

They moved simultaneously, she lay on her back, knees up and wide apart, feet off the bed; he moved to a position on his knees lined up with her middle. With her hand on his shaft she guided him in. Then to Mona came that delicious feeling of being filled with his hard throbbing penis. His first few thrusts were slow and measured and she responded by rocking with him. Responding to her obvious increasing need, his pelvis was soon thrusting wildly. She didn’t hear herself squeal as she went over the top. Neither did she feel her fingernails dig into his back. In fact she missed a part of it by blacking out momentarily. Aaron noticed and wondered if anyone in the rest of the house had heard and he was glad she had a farm girl’s stubby worn off fingernails instead of the long claws of a high society bitch. Coming out of her fleeting blackout, she was surprised he was still hard and again fucking her in slow measured strokes.

The almost violent spasms of her orgasm were now replaced by a tingling warmth between her legs and she realized how much she wanted to feel him jerk and squirt inside of her. On the advice of her mother, Mona had learned how to flex the muscles in the walls of her vagina and she now put this to good use. She saw Aaron’s eyes and mouth open and she knew her reward was soon to come.

A few more rapid violent fucking thrusts and Mona was rewarded with Aaron’s penis throbbing inside her. When she felt the spurts of his semen, she began topping out again. This time she managed to not black out. She wanted to watch his face as he ejaculated into her.

Afterwards, he collapsed onto her and they kissed deeply, exchanging tongues.

When she felt him backing out a little, “Aaron, oh Aaron, I feel you inside me. Oh please stay inside me.” And they resumed kissing as he now formed and reformed her breasts, intermittently squeezing her nipples between two fingers.

“Mona, I feel so good inside you.”

“I know, I feel you getting bigger again.” And indeed he was getting hard inside her.

Another session, more relaxed than the first, and they collapsed side by side.

Sometime during the night Aaron woke and had to pee. Mona’s room had an adjoining bathroom, which she shared with her younger sister. He was just opening the bath door when Mona cautioned him. Make sure to lock the other door so you don’t get surprised by Sara.

After peeing, Aaron wet a washcloth and wiped the now dried sticky juices from his crotch. Thoughtful young man that he was, it occurred to him Mona might like being wiped off too so he rinsed the washcloth and after unlocking the door to Sara’s room, took the warm wet washcloth and a dry towel with him to rejoin Mona in bed. He was surprised to see that she had turned on her bedside lamp and was sitting up in bed, pretty plump breasts in full view above the blanket.

“Mona, I thought you might sleep better without the sticky.”

Aaron’s penis swung loosely as he walked to the bed. Mona was a little surprised by how it looked. Not the size, after all, it had already been in and out of her. She had had a number of boyfriends, some were bigger, some were smaller. But all had foreskins covering their glans when they weren’t erect. She stared a moment too long and then tried to hide her surprise: “Oh dear sweet Aaron, you want to wash me?”

In answer, he pulled the blanket down exposing her to her knees. On his knees on the bed, half facing her, he slid the towel underneath her hips. He hadn’t missed her stare and surprised look. “You’re surprised that I’m circumcised. I hope not disappointed too?”

“No! Aaron it’s just that, well ……” Mona almost said that she’d never had a boyfriend who was circumcised, but that just wouldn’t be the right thing to say to him at this moment – or maybe at any moment. “It’s not done much here, well except for Moslems and Jews.”

Now on the towel, she raised and spread her knees so he could wash her. Aaron, enjoying the sight of the source of so much pleasure, took his time and diligently washed her crotch, her thighs and even had her lift her hips so he could wipe her ass cheeks. Afterwards, he used the towel to dry her.

“You would be a good nurse.”

“You wouldn’t want that. Then I’d have to wash other girls too.”

She giggled happily and took the wash cloth from him and started to wipe his genitals. Feeling the smooth skin, she spoke in a disappointed tone: “Aaron dear, you washed yourself already. Oh, but I’ve got another idea. Can you just scoot yourself up to the head of the bed. I want you to watch.” Once he was sitting with his back against the headboard, she got in a kneeling position between his legs and bent forward towards his crotch. With her thumb and first fingers, she picked up his soft penis and then looked up at Aaron, a naughty eager smile on her face, a face was framed by strands of brown hair hanging down in front of her ears. Her plump breasts dangling completed the picture of eroticism pure. He felt blood surging to his genitals.

Then her mouth encompassed the head. Conscious of her hot breath, he felt her tongue, first on the rim, all around, then up to the hole, then all over. In spite of having just ejaculating twice inside her, he wondered how long he could hold back. And hold back he wanted to so dearly – this pleasure from her tongue was something to prolong as long as possible. He grunted with the effort of holding back. He felt her mouth close on him and then there was a feeling of moist warmth from her spit. Her head went down on his shaft. He gritted his teeth and groaned with the effort of holding back. She looked up, again with the naughty smile, “Aaron, it’s okay. Don’t hold back. I want you to – in my mouth.”

She went back down on him, her head bobbing. He didn’t stand a chance and exploded. She kept her mouth on him, when he began to soften, he felt her sucking. “Mona, you emptied me.”

She looked up again, this time her mouth open, again the smile. He could see white goo in her mouth. Then she swallowed. Her head went back down and she licked his now softening penis, all over – head and shaft. Then with the washcloth and towel, she carefully wiped him and dried him. Done with the cleanup, she cradled his soft penis in her hand, momentarily gazing at it before showering it with kisses.

“Mona, come to me. I want to hold you!”

Once they were spooned together she thought it the right time to make right what she thought she should have said differently. “Aaron, I’m so sorry about bringing up - well you know, about you being circumcised. That was really crude of me.”

“Actually, I’m glad you noticed. It means you’re interested.”

Now more comfortable with her interest in Aaron’s penis, she asked, “did they do it in the hospital where you were born?”

“No.” He hesitated, thinking this was an odd place to say what he maybe should have mentioned earlier on the walk when she wanted to know more about his family and life in New York. “Mona, Jewish males are circumcised by a rabbi when they are eight days old. It’s a really important ceremony for Jewish families.”

“But you don’t look Jewish.”

“You can thank the Russian nobility for that.”

“Huh?”

“My family, both sides, is mostly of Russian ancestry. The old Russian nobles couldn’t run the country any better than the Communists did or the Putinists do now – probably they were even worse because they had the church backing them up. Whenever things got really bad - screwed up economy, corruption, drought, whatever, the nobility drummed up some fake news, like how old Jews were raping pretty young Christian girls. And presto! There was a pogrom and the poor common Christians could steal all they wanted from the Jews, kill men and boys and rape Jewish women to their heart’s content. Statistically, there’s a 7% chance of a rape resulting in a pregnancy so every pogrom resulted in thousand and thousands of Jewish women getting pregnant from Christian Russians. In fact there were so many rape children that the rabbis decided that these rape offspring were Jews just like their mothers. That’s in a nutshell why lots of Russian Jews don’t look Jewish – except for their penis’ of course.”

Mona couldn’t care less what religion Aaron catered to. Well maybe she’d be concerned if he were a Scientologist or some other kooky shit. But she was curious and aware of the issues. “Well I’m glad Mom made veal and not pork. Aaron, you should have told me. What if Mom had made pork chops?”

“My family has gotten more and more liberal. We don’t normally have pork at home but we don’t choke if we’re invited to somebody’s home for a meal and they serve port. We might even order it in a restaurant. Anyway, pigs are God’s creatures too and the people who claim it’s so unhealthy, they never explain why there’s no Moslem country among the top thirty in life expectancy.” Then wanting to lighten up the conversation, “So don’t worry, you can make bacon with my eggs in the morning.”

“Then we’d better get some sleep so I can get up early enough.” Both laughed, then cuddled up and dropped off to sleep.

Aaron awoke to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Opening his eyes, there was Mona, fully dressed for work and holding a steaming cup. “I thought this’d wake you. Bacon’s in the skillet, eggs are ready to go there too. And you need to be on time for your day’s meetings.”

At the table in the big kitchen, Harold and Hedi were sipping coffee, Mario and Sara were eating cereal. He was looking at some school notes and she was writing something in a workbook between mouthfuls of cereal.

Sara looked up, giggled and in a low voice said something to Mario. Mona’s immediate and sharp reproach told Aaron Sara’s remark must have had something to do with what happened in Mona’s room after the others had gone to bed. Unless Sara was a very sound sleeper, she surely would have heard the bed squeaking and voices of passion. Hedi said something to Sara and she kept quiet from then on.

Aaron was a little embarrassed to be enjoying bacon and eggs while Mario and Sara had to be content with cereal. After praising how good they were, he went on, “But Mona, you really didn’t have to. Asking for bacon and eggs, I meant it as a sort of joke.”

“I know but I wanted to.” What she didn’t say is that it served her purpose quite nicely.

Like on about half her workdays, Mona came home that day for lunch. She knew she’d face some pretty intense questions from her mother but she also needed her mother do something for her.

Hedi could barely restrain her voyeuristic curiosity until Harold left to take his after-lunch nap. “Well?”

“Well what?”

“Sara said you two kept her awake for a while. Did he, uh, did you two really do it twice, right in row the first time around?”

Mona almost flew off the handle but she knew better. She needed a big favor from her mother so she responded with indignation rather than anger. “Mom!”

 “I changed your sheets this morning – had to really. Do you think he’d be too upset if you used a towel? Nothing to be ashamed of really, you know I always have one by our bed. Some people might say the spontaneity goes out the window but for your father and I, it’s just a part of the whole thing. Like the kissing, like feeling, fingering, well you know. Just before your father gets ready to enter me, I hand him the towel and raise my hips so he can slip it under me.”

Hedi, no dummy either, had a feeling that Mona was going to ask for something and thought to use that as leverage to get some juicy details to satisfy her voyeuristic curiosity. “Did he kiss you down there?”

“Mom, please!”

“Nothing to be ashamed of Mona. Your father still likes to go down on me too. Think of it, after all the years of marriage. He really likes the other way around too and it sure makes him remember to wash behind his foreskin. Did you go down on Aaron last night? Had he washed first?”

Mona knew what her mother wanted to know. Well if she needed to tell to get what she wanted, why not? “Mom, Aaron doesn’t have a foreskin.”

Hedi was well aware that circumcision was very prevalent among male Americans, but hoping to get more anatomical details from Mona, she acted surprised.

“Mom, Aaron is Jewish.”

“But this morning. You made bacon for him.”

“His family doesn’t do all that kind of stuff.” Taking advantage of her mother’s surprise, she changed the subject. “Mom, your cousin Raimund. He’s a big shot at Kohlhof isn’t he? You know at the company where Aaron is.”

“Raimund manages a whole market region. I think he’s responsible for countries like France, Spain, Italy and some more. Yes he’s got a very high position. Why?”

“Couldn’t you talk to him. Aaron’s leaving on Saturday and well, you know.”

Hedi knew if she managed things right, she’d hear more details from Mona. “Of course, my dear. I know how much you like him. I just hope Raimund isn’t off on a business trip. He does travel a lot.”

Late that afternoon, Mona was waiting outside the Krone Hotel when the company bus pulled up with Aaron and all the trainees. Their kiss got the attention of the other trainees who looked on with envy, but cheered anyway. Mona cut a very sexy feminine figure and no one could feel her rough worker hands.

That evening, Aaron again had supper at the Burkhartt farm. This time Aaron and Mona helped with the chores. Compared to the night before, supper was a little more on the simple side – fried eggs on hashed brown potatoes and a salad from the family garden.

After dinner, they all went into the living room to watch the evening news – barely a word of which did Aaron understand, however, Mona filled him in as the show went along. The news had pretty much the same format as that of a major US station – anchor man/woman introducing a topic and then conversing with a correspondent on location. The weather at the end of the half hour program was different, bigly different. The weather was broadcast from outside on the roof of the TV station’s building! “Mona, what happens if it rains or snows?”

“The same thing we do. They wear a rain coat, hat, gloves, whatever it takes. They do go inside if there’s a thunderstorm though. It’s hard to dress against lightning you know.”

Afterwards Mona showed Aaron some photos from various vacations, ski vacation in winter, bicycling on Ibiza in the spring, Crete in the fall. “Mona, how do you find time to do all this and keep your job?”

“We have to use our 5 weeks of vacation somehow. And then there are the various days off around Christmas too.”

Aaron, whose yearly 2 weeks paid vacation would be increased to 3 weeks after 5 years, could only gulp. That was one thing they didn’t tell him at his going overseas briefing.

The next day, Friday and the final day of the training, Aaron and the other trainees had just returned from lunch in the company restaurant when a secretary came in with a note for Aaron. Just to make sure he understood, she told him he had an appointment with a Mr. Pius Halderung, the head of the Human Resources Department. At first it sent a jolt through him because one of the responsibilities of HRD is to fire employees whom management has decided to fire. Then he came to his senses realizing that HRD here in Thisan would not fire him, an employee of Kohlhof in the States.

Entering Mr. Halderung’s office, Aaron was a little surprised. He had expected a real cold looking hard ass. Instead, a slender, slightly balding man in his 40’s came around his desk to greet him and shake hands. In the course of the getting acquainted chit chat, Halderung mentioned that he’d been with Kohlhof for over 20 years, having started there as an apprentice draftsman when he was 16. What Halderung didn’t mention was the telephone call he had gotten from Hedi’s cousin, Rainer.

Finally, he got down to business. “Well Mr. Fleischer, you see we have a limited number of positions here that we like to fill with personnel from our national sales and marketing organizations. Your education as an architect and your experience with an architecture firm and with a municipal public works agency is the kind of background profile we’re interested in. Would working here be something you could see yourself doing for a few years?”

Aaron had to contain himself. He could already see himself in bed with Mona every night. But it wouldn’t do to show too much eagerness too soon and he needed to show confidence and strength in a humble sort of way. “Well this is of course quite a surprise and a welcome one indeed. I’m very honored that you’ve considered me.”

Pius Halderung explained that the job would be in product management and that he would become an employee of Kohlhof AG in Switzerland and receive pay and benefits appropriate to the position. Then in an conspiratorial tone of voice he went on. “Our vacation policy is that the 4 weeks vacation that new employees get increases to 5 weeks after 3 years. However, I’ve been advised that there is to be an exception in your case. Your yearly vacation is to be 5 weeks from the start.”

It flashed through Aaron’s mind that 5 weeks was also Mona’s yearly vacation. Hoping that his voice didn’t give away his eagerness, he wanted to know when the job would start.

“Oh we’ll give you time to settle up affairs in the States. Since you’re not married, I assume you wouldn’t need too long. Would 2 months be pushing you too hard?”

Aaron was about to say he’d be back as soon as he could clear out his apartment and get an airline ticket but that too would have been overly eager. Pretending to reflect on the timing, he tossed his head back in a thoughtful way and replied in what he hoped was a calm enough voice. “Oh I think that’s possible, it’s tight but yes, it’s possible.”

“Well good then that’s clear.” Halderung stood up indicating the meeting was over. “Well I hope the rest of your training here is interesting and profitable and enjoy the rest of your stay in Switzerland. Your flight is tomorrow?”

Aaron had been plotting how he could postpone the flight back to JFK until Sunday thus giving him another night in the sack with Mona. “Yes it is tomorrow but I’m really enjoying myself here in Thisan. To tell the truth, I’m trying to rebook for Sunday.”

The look on Halderung’s face was one that Aaron couldn’t figure out until he remembered that Halderung, being a native of Thisan, would be pleased that he, Aaron liked the place so much. On the other hand, there was more in his look, more like a knowing grin, like someone who’d just heard a saucy story.

After the last session was over that afternoon, Aaron was surprised to see Mona waiting for him outside the training center. The other trainees didn’t miss the enthusiastic kiss she planted on his cheek and the grasping of hands.

“Well Aaron, how was your day?”

Barely able to contain himself, “You’ll never guess what happened today.”

Mona, doing her best to express curiosity and surprise, replied, “I can’t begin to guess. Please tell me!”

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