Some Journalists and media vehicles were packed across the road in front of the hotel when I came down.
I approached the lady receptionist and asked why the Journalists were there.
”Tennis tournament” she had said.
It began to make sense to me. There was a Tennis tournament coming up, The Erste Bank open. Roger federer had won it in 2003, Feliciano Lopez in 2004, Ivan Lubicic in 2005 and then the 2006 games had come up.
I sat at the bar and watched the big screen TV showing the stars who had registered for the 2006 tournament.
Roger Federer, Ivan Lubicic the defending champion, Novak Djokovic, Juan Carlos Ferrero and numerous other stars.
I had started liking tennis since the emergence of the william sisters back when I was in Africa but the problem in Africa was that the TV coverage was very poor and frustrating. But back in Germany, I had followed every major tournament especially the grand slams.
As a result of the sudden discovery of the Erste Bank open of Vienna, I decided that I was going to watch Atleast two major games before going back to Germany.
Money was good to make but drug business was never something I was in a hurry to run back to. Joe was even taken care of things as much as he could. It was a very nice move to help him out. The gesture had started to pay off. It meant that my presence was no longer needed all the time.
I decided that I would leave the Kaiserin Elizabeth hotel and locate a new cheap one. My cash was running down and I depended on cash. I had no credit cards or bank cards of any form. If my money finished, then it finished. It was true that I could call money from Germany or even Nigeria but I hated calling money.
There, Novak Djokovic and his entourage were being followed by Journalists outside the hotel. They had just arrived with a black Mercedes car. I wanted to scamper out of my seat and rush to him for autograph but the other people at the bar didn’t move. I was an African ambassador at that moment and I figured it would be a let down to My mother continent if I had done that. I just sat there and watched them like others.
Djokovic and his group came into the hotel and signed for their own suit and went up.
The whole experience was like a dream. I went to the receptionist and asked her where I could purchase tickets for the games. She said I could buy it online.
I asked her to buy for me since I had forgotten my credit cards in Portugal. She was a chatty excited girl. She didn’t know who I was anyway; as far she she was concerned, I could have been the son of one king in Africa. Little did she know that my father, a primary school teacher was being owed 6 months salary by the Chimaroke Nnamani led Enugu state government of Nigeria.
She agreed to buy the tickets for me through the hotel reception computer set.
I bought two tickets, one for the Match between Novak Djokovic and some guy I had never heard of. The other for the game between Roger Federer and One Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, a half french half African boy.
About an hour later, Roger Federer and his group came out with their sports kits. They were going out for training. I wanted to follow them but on a second thought, I decided to stay back, I believed some other World big names could come to the hotel.
Some moments later, Djokovic and his entourage came down with their training kits and left too.
It was amazing how these guys just play and train and play. When did they even enjoy the money they were making? Probably when they get old or stopped playing.
Based on my own philosophy, money was such a wonderful thing only if you enjoy it. I was sure I would begin to envy those guys when they retired and start living like kings and queens but I loved my life the way it was. The only thing I ever regretted was my rush into trading business without getting a university degree. Life was a lesson anyway, no one can have it all.
I sat at the hotel bar drinking expensive whiskey at the rate of €10 per shot. It was nice to see Federer and Djokovic at the same hotel, the same day and on the same tournament.
Jennifer called. She had been posted to a town near Bremen called Achim. She said she was going to the town the next day and that she would register there and come down to Berlin the same day. I told her that I was in Austria and asked her to spend Atleast two or three days at her HEIM in Achim before coming to Berlin. She didn’t like it but I expected that. I had to make her understand that she may not see me someday in the future, she had to start learning how to live her life without me.
I called Joe in Berlin and asked how business was going. He had sold off the one kilogram of weeds I left for him. Bolaji had taken 200, Marko had taken 400, he himself had taken 200, and allen had taken 200.
I had called my supplier to meet with Joe that evening and gave him another one kilogram. I knew it was bad business and bad move allowing them to meet with each other since it was apparent that they were going to exchange numbers and start dealing but I was going to leave the business soon anyway. I was planning to go to Nigeria and rest in a few weeks time. I had tried enough.