Barbara and I thought that it would lovely if we could go on holiday together. We never saw each other for a long period. Just being together for a long time would be amazing. Of course there was no chance that this was going to happen. Barbara's mother didn't even know that I existed or that Barbara had a boyfriend.
Then we had this great idea. If we could persuade her mother to let that Barbara go on a culture trip abroad organized by school, she probably would agree. Barbara and I were good at arranging things. I think Barbara would have been a good manager. We looked for two students who would be accepted by her mother as decent students. They could convince her mother that it was really necessary that Barbara had to go on this trip.
We asked our most respectable Chinese friend and an Iranian girlfriend. They agreed. Barbara gave them instructions on what they should talk about and which topics they definitely should avoid. We planned the holiday from Sunday till Friday during the first week of the two week Easter holiday. That way Barbara could still work in the weekend in the shop and the whole week after the holiday.
It worked. Our friends played their part beautifully and Barbara's mother agreed.
We met at the train station in Cambridge to take the train to Harwich. From there we took the night ferry to Hook of Holland. When Barbara sat next to me in the train we finally believed that we managed to pull this off. The days before were very tense days and there was always the danger that her mother would find out.
The journey on the ferry took 8 hours, we didn't have a place to sleep. We went to the restaurant, that was closed, and collected a lot of cushions from which we made a bed. We also managed to find some blankets. It wasn't comfortable and we weren't alone, as more people copied our idea, but for us it was perfect. Barbara wasn't sea sick, what surprised me.
(translated by Zhi)