61: Black Magic

I left the westbanhof and followed a tram to Florisdorf area. I found a crowded bar where people were betting on the games of the day. Since I was going to stay in Vienna until the next day, I placed a €100 bet on Federer winning Tsonga and €100 bet on Djokovic winning his opponent.
The returns was not much. If Federer wins, I would get €17 Euro. If Djokovic wins, I would get €27.
There was another Tennis tournament going on in Berlin. A certain lady called Justin Henin was playing another lady I had forgotten her name. I placed a bet on Henin winning the game. There were other bets such as horse races, dog races and snooker but since I had little knowledge of those ones, I decided not to bet on them. I collected my betting receipt and left the noisy hall.

I located a super market, bought a large bottle of smirnoff ice and a pack of Marlboro menthol. I walked down to a small water fountain I had passed with the tram 200 meters down the road and sat there.
I opened the smirnoff and drank straight from the bottle. Two teenage girls were there smoking cigarette too. They smiled occasionally at me as if they wanted me to join them. I decided to play along.

” Alles Klar” I said to them.
” Ja Klar” they responded at the same time.
I motioned them to come closer.
It was true that I was in their country where women were respected more than men but that fact didn’t change the fact that I was Ozoigbondu. They may not have titled men in Austria but we did in our country.

They came and sat on both sides of me.
I was sure they wanted to drink my smirnoff. They were not old enough to buy alcohol and cigarette. It was illegal for me to give them and I knew that. However, I was from Portugal according to my passport and permit and I shouldn’t be expected to know all the laws of Austria.

I gave them my smirnoff to sip. The alcohol content was 6% volume which was too small. They drank in turns and handed it over to me to keep. I was watching the area very well looking for suspicious security operatives who may see us.

”What is your name and where are you from” one of them asked me.
The kids had big mouths too. They should have noticed that I wasn’t their mate but in Europe, nobody cared about such things.
I told them that my name was Ozoigbondu Omeiheukwu. They tried in vain to pronounce the names but couldn’t go as far as Ozoigbo. It was funny but I enjoyed their futile efforts at trying to say the names. It was a sweet revenge against them.
The Europeans, especially the Polish, Russians and Ukrainians had a way of answering funny names. Names that were very difficult for we Africans to pronounce.

Our own names were equally difficult for them to pronounce which brought about so many changes that crumbled our culture and tradition.
Forinstance, Omambara was changed to Anambra by the whitemen. The same thing happened to Enu ugwu (Enugu) and many other things such as our names.
Our native names were difficult for them and as a result, they resorted to naming us the things they saw in their Holy books such as Peter, Muhammad, James, Issa etc. They practically killed our cultures.

Those Austrian teenagers were paying the price with Ozoigbondu Omeiheukwu. It was fun watching them struggled not to bite their tongues in an effort to pronounce the name.

When it was 3:30pm, I took a little sip and handed the bottle over to the girls. I knew the police would take it from them if they showed up there but it wasn’t my concern any more.

I left the square and called a cab. It took me to the Stadhalle tennis court where Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga was already tossing the ball.

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