I got to Austria and called Amechi, a man from my village who had lived there for years. He had traveled since 1998 and had never returned back to Nigeria. My elder brother who was his school mate during their secondary school had given me his number.
He picked my call and asked who I was. After the introduction, he agreed to meet with me at the Wien Florisdorf train station in an Hour.
( Vienna is called Wien in Austria and Germany. It is actually pronounced Vien. Vienna is the English name chosen from Vienna in Italy.)
I got to the station and settled inside a coffee bar to wait for Amechi. An Hour passed without seeing him. I called his phone again and it had been switched off. I waited for another 20 minutes and tried to call him again, the number was still switched off.
I decided to spend the rest of the day in Vienna before going back to Germany.
I got out of the station and called a cab. ”Take me to a nice hotel” I said to the driver in German.
The official language of Austria is German. I believe it was the only language too.
The cab looked on The mirror several times and I suspected that something was wrong.
”Warum willst du in den spiegel schauen (why are you looking in the mirror)” I asked?
He said the Police were following us.
I asked him why, knowing that it was a silly question.
He didn’t know but he said it could be that they were actually following me. I suspected the same as well.
I had spent over an hour in the train station waiting for Amechi. They must have thought that I had entered into Austria to deliver drugs since I was making calls from the coffee bar.
There were police stations in every major train station in Germany and Austria. They must have seen me from a spy camera in their office.
We got to a clear road and the cab stopped. The Police had blown their siren once which signified stop.
I sat inside the passenger side of the cab and pretended not to be aware of what was happening. The cops came to our car and asked the driver where we were going, he told them that I had requested for a hotel.
They asked for my papers and I handed it over to them. They asked me to come down from the cab with my small bag.
One opened my bag while the other was asking me where I had come from.
I told them that I had just come from Slovakia where I had gone to purchase used clothes and that I was going back to Portugal but had decided to wait until the next day.
They opened my passport and saw Slovakian Visa and bus tickets.
The one holding my papers told the one with my bag that I had not come from Germany and Switzerland as suspected.
They closed my bag and papers, handed it back to me and apologized for the waste of time.
We continued our journey to the hotel. The cab driver stopped at the Kaiserin Elizabeth hotel in the middle of the city. I paid him and he left.
I entered the hotel lobby and it was a 5star. I hated 5star hotels, they were all expensive for my liking.
As an African poor boy, I was not raised to live in such luxury.
But since I was there already, I walked to the lady receptionist who welcomed me with a warm smile.
”I need a room for the night” I said.
She handed me the paper containing the prices of each suit and room.
1 – Super luxury suit = €2250.90
2 – Lite Luxury suit = €2000.90.
I scrolled fast down to the tail end of the paper.
8 – Standard room – €450
9 – Normal room – €300
That was it. Why would a human being pay over €2250 (400,000 Naira) for a night in a hotel suit?
I could easily afford to pay €300 for a Normal room but what was the need when I could also drive further down and get a room for €50 ?
I was contemplating leaving the place when a group of four men showed up.
”we booked Suit 11 please” one of them said.
The lady receptionist had focused on them and I was just left there with the paper still on my hand.
A closer look at the group and I was almost shocked.
There standing with other three men was Roger Federer, a famous Tennis star I had been seeing only on the Television. Then I understood why a €2250 suit was too expensive for me.
For the reason that I had seen Federer, I decided to take the €300 room.
I waited for them until they finished signing their receipt, then I paid and signed my own receipt. I got my keycard and took the lift to the top floor where the room was located. Whether it was worth it or not, I didn’t care anymore.
I recalled the day I bought a first class ICE train ticket from Berlin to Frankfurt. I had sat on the first class coach and when our train stopped in Hannover, Angela Merkel entered with some other politicians I didn’t know. She was not the German Chancellor then but she was the leader of her party CDU. The bottomline was that ” if you want to meet with the society big wigs, you must behave like them”. You can’t meet President of Nigeria in Ajegunle.
I dropped off my bag, took a bath, wore the cleanest jean I found in my bag, sprayed my channel perfume and took the lift down to the hotel bar/restaurant.
I had hoped that I would find Federer and his group there sooner or later and I was right.