The following is a work of fiction. If you are easily offended, please read no further. Any resemblance to actual persons is unintended.
Steffi Muller grew up with her parents and younger sister in the small southern Bavarian town of Ohlenheim, an idyllic location nestling in the foothills of the Alps. It was so picturesque that in the past it had actually been used as a chocolate box cover. The town was quiet and prosperous and served the surrounding farming area.
Steffis parents were strict Catholics, and she attended church twice a week, where she also sang in the choir and helped her mother arrange the flowers. She helped out with her friend at a stables on the outskirts of the town, and the owner allowed them to go riding together.
She attended the local Gymnasium, where she practised athletics and played badminton. She played the clarinet, and was an active, sporty and popular girl. She was a good student and consistently obtained good grades. She specialised in languages and excelled particularly in Spanish. Most of the boys at the school seemed to specialise in science subjects like chemistry and maths. Most of the other pupils taking languages were girls. There was a clear gender divide in the choice of subjects, however sexist that might be.
Steffi was very striking in appearance. All the sport and outdoor activities had developed her physically, and by the age of 18 and in her final year she was very tall, just under six feet tall, with long golden blonde hair, which she either wore loose down to the small of her back or in a plaited pony tail. Her fresh face and piercing blue eyes complemented her friendly manner and bubbly personality.
When she was 15, Steffi seemed to go virtually overnight from going braless to a C cup. The woman at the sports shop had measured her recently for a sports bra and had recommended her for a 38D. This attracted a great deal of unwelcome attention from boys at the school and men generally. They tended to stare at her bust when they were talking to her rather than looking at her face. Some of the boys made crude comments and tried to grope her if they could. She found this embarrassing and generally wore loose fitting clothing to conceal her figure. She didn’t wear any make up and generally confined herself to her girlfriends when socialising.
Most of the boys at school were fairly immature anyway, and did not pluck up the courage to ask her out. As a result, despite her evident charms she had very few boyfriends, in fact she only really had one. This was Konrad, who was in the year above her at school. She quite liked Konrad, and went out with him a few times. Very little happened apart from some kissing and cuddling in his car. She was frightened of becoming pregnant. Her parents would go crazy if she did, and an abortion would be out of the question. They never talked about sex with her. Konrad got angry and frustrated and asked if she was frigid or a lesbian. He soon drifted away, and at 18 she was still a virgin. Steffi was very inexperienced and somewhat naïve sexually. She had heard vaguely of oral sex in magazines, but this was something of a mystery to her. She had spent almost her whole life in Ohlenheim, apart from visits to relatives in Munich. She had been abroad, but this was always with her parents and sister.
Steffi obtained excellent grades in her Abitur in her final year, and did particularly well in Spanish. Her teacher, Frau Ziegler, was delighted and asked her if she was going to continue on to university. Steffi said she would like to, but it would be difficult for her parents to support her through university. Her father worked as a carpenter and her mother worked part time as a receptionist. Frau Ziegler was aware of her situation and suggested a solution. The Goethe Institute offered two scholarships with full Bursaries each year to study Spanish in South America, at the University of Rosario in Argentina. All tuition and accommodation was paid for and there was a Bursary in addition to cover living expenses.
Steffi had never heard of the Goethe Institute before. Frau Ziegler explained that this was an international cultural organisation closely linked to the German Foreign Ministry. It promoted German cultural activities abroad in music, literature, sport and other areas. The scholarships were a part of the educational programme. Steffi was very excited at the prospect of living and studying abroad. She discussed this with her parents, who were very supportive but advised her not to get her hopes up too much – there were only 2 scholarships and there were bound to be other applicants.
Frau Ziegler helped with the application forms and gave her advice about the interview. The day came for the interview at the Institutes offices in Munich. Her father drove her there, and everything seemed to go quite well, but she didn’t really know if she would be successful. She had to wait for another week before an official letter arrived at home bearing the stamp of the Goethe Institute. She was trembling as she opened the letter and hardly dared to breathe. The brief letter congratulated her on being awarded a full scholarship and bursary. Steffi was over the moon. She had done it!
Her parents and friends and Frau Ziegler were delighted. There were many arrangements to make in the brief period between leaving school and starting her studies in Argentina. There was a big going away party for her at a local restaurant and there was even an article about her in the local newspaper.
Her parents drove her to the airport and her friends came to see her off. She could hardly contain her excitement on the flight to Argentina. Apparently Rosario was a city of about 1.4 million in the province of Santa Fe. It was about 200 miles from Buenos Aires. Argentina was such a big country. Ohlenheim seemed pretty small and insignificant by comparison. It was a university city, with a student population of 80,000 at the National University of Rosario and other colleges. German immigrants had played a large part in the development of the city in the 19th century, and this was the reason the Institute was based there as the centre for its cultural activities in South America as a whole.
The Institute had arranged for a taxi to collect her from the airport to the accommodation provided. As she collected her baggage, a man approached her with a sign bearing her name. “Fraulein Muller?” he enquired, raising his cowboy hat. “I take you to your house.” Steffi spoke very good Spanish but found his Rosario accent a little strange. The airport was only a short distance from the city, about eight miles. He told her the university campus was quite near her address.
As they entered the city limits, Steffi was impressed by the gleaming modern skyscrapers and older stone colonial style buildings in the centre. “You’ve never been to Rosario before, Fraulein Muller? That’s the river Parana there, big port on the river. Big ships. You know Lionel Messi? Famous footballer? Hes from Rosario. Che Guevara too. He did the Revolution in Cuba with Fidel Castro.” He pointed out the university campus in the distance. It was huge, with many large modern buildings.
They soon arrived at the address. This was a large old three storey detached house with its own garden. The driver helped with her cases and waited till the door was answered. A middle aged woman in her 50s emerged to greet her. She was called Olivia, and she came to the house twice a week to do the cleaning. Her cousin did the gardening when required. Several female figures emerged at once to welcome her. These were the four other students at the house. “I’m Katarina,” said a tall girl with long chestnut hair and smouldering dark eyes. “You’re upstairs in the room next to mine. This is Sophie, Erika and Luise. Well dump your cases in your room and have a drink in the lounge.”
Steffis room was on the top floor next to Katarina. It was a large bedroom with a tall ceiling, tastefully furnished with old furniture. She was so happy to have her own room. At home she had always shared with her sister. There were 6 bedrooms, with 2 bathrooms, a kitchen and large lounge with 2 long leather sofas, a table and television set. One of the bedrooms was unoccupied. The boy who had won the other scholarship was living in accommodation on the campus itself. It was only a short bus journey to the campus.
Katarina and Sophie were starting their final year, and were 2 years older than her. Katarina was from Berlin and seemed quite sophisticated. Erika and Luise were in the year above her. Erika was from Dortmund, but Sophie and Luisa were country girls like herself. Only Katarina was dark, the other girls were blue eyed blondes like herself.
Two large bottles of wine were produced. “That’s one good thing about Argentina,” said Sophie. “The wine is cheap.” “And the Spanish men are really hot,” said Erika. “That’s two things.” They talked about the university and the work of the Institute. “You can go round and book in at the Institute tomorrow,” said Katarina. “They’ll give you your pass and paperwork. You’ll meet the Director, Professor Jurgen Scharfschwerdt.” They laughed at his rather odd sounding name. “Hes a bit of an old fossil but quite a sweetie really. And Herr Bauer, his deputy. We have more to do with him. He can be a bit stern. He gets complaints from the neighbours sometimes when we have a party. They call this place the German brothel.” The girls giggled. Two young Spanish men suddenly appeared, and just as suddenly disappeared with Katarina and Erika, to their rooms.
Sophie and Luisa told her more about the Institute. “They pay for everything, really, and are very good. We have to help out at the functions there occasionally, but its dead easy, just looking after the guests and so on.” Steffi soon settled in and unpacked. The next day she went in to the Goethe Institute in the city centre for all the administration that was required.
This was a large old imposing three storey neoclassical building with stone pillars in front of the entrance. There were many offices and lecture theatres on the three floors. She produced her documents and obtained a laminated pass from one of the secretaries. There was a lot of form filling, and Steffi was given a welcome pack containing information about the Institute and her course at the university, together with various other items. The secretary said, “Ill take you up to see Herr Bauer now,” she said. “His office is on the next floor.”
She knocked on the door and a tall dark haired man aged about 30 appeared. There was a large mahogany desk in the centre of the room with bookshelves around the walls. He brusquely indicated to her to sit down and looked through the file in front of him on the desk. She thought this was probably her personal file.