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Christoph Haller

Created on: 12. June 2007
Last update on: 19. August 2013
Entry from 12. June 2007       

A VIP but still not a Dolphin

First of all, I’d like to apologize to my faithful readers. There hasn’t been a new “letter from Odessa” for a very long time and I can’t even think of a good reason for that. Maybe I’ve already adopted a bit of the Ukrainian way of living and have started letting things go a little more slowly?

There are really a lot of things to report about that! Even my arrival was like something out of a movie. Even as the plane was still rolling into the terminal, I noticed a small, dark bus. A big “VIP” logo on the side and one in the front too, diagonally over the hood and on the roof; this one twice as thick. My understanding was that in case an Ilyushin suddenly fell from the sky, the highly trained pilots were required not to crash into the VIP bus. Someone important could be sitting it in. Instinctively, I looked around. Maybe some star was on board? Sylvester Stallone for example, he has relatives here and I slept in his suite once before. But there was no one to see that I recognized.

I then scrambled down the walkway and in front of the bus stood a wonderful, tall blond with a wide smile and a sign with the name “Christoph Haller” on it. Unbelievable! Or was this a trap and it was just about money again? Like it was the first time I arrived? The driver got out – they had magically gotten my luggage from somewhere – and off we went, over the curb of the runway to the arrival hall. But what am I writing here, “arrival hall?” Naturally we came to a special VIP entrance to the arrival hall. There, standing humbly, was the ringleader of what had happened to me before with declared cash at customs, and then my friend (let’s call him) Vitali also, smiling from ear to ear. I had explained the incident to him during my last stay, he was clearly more displeased, though I found the whole thing appropriate. and had talked on the phone a bit. Blaring and with an angry, red face. An important man in Odessa and nonetheless I didn’t attach too much importance to the whole thing. – Now I’m a VIP and instead of leading me to an interrogation room like before, now I’m being officially flattered. But the nice blond was gone unfortunately and with that we come to the tragic part of my stay: it’s quite complicated with women in Odessa, you probably have to be good looking or intelligent. In any case I can’t manage it.

First off, a short update about the casino world here. The “Pokerclub Odessa” opened with a celebration and now big money is gambled there every night. My job posting was successful, by the way. The dealer, Alec Babic, made contact with me over PokerOlymp and worked the first two weeks here in Odessa. Dealers are always needed here and you can also have a great vacation here on the black sea. Those interested please contact me (mail). – Two high tables mostly run parallel to each other and now they’ve finally introduced a “must-move” rule, because the full-blooded Ukrainian players mostly bounced back and forth between both tables and sometimes nearly got cards dealt out to them at both games. It’s all going well for me. I’ve gotten used to the constant power outages. In the “Pokerclub Odessa,” the backup generator kicks in after a few seconds. In the meantime it goes dark and all the players count the seconds until the lights go on again. Everyone rejoices and then it continues happily. – That’s the Ukrainian attitude towards life.

What isn’t so great is the connection to the internet. This time I wanted a hotel with really stabile internet. I spent the first few nights as a guest in the magnificent penthouse of my new friend, Michael Galytskyy – eleventh floor with a view of the sea. During the day, I spent my time in search of adequate accommodation. I noticed a post-modern building made out of glass directly on the coast. To me it seemed like at least a 5 star hotel, and I even got a chauffeur to drive me there so I could ask about an available room and stabile internet connection. The women at the reception were extremely courteous; however the “hotel” wasn’t a hotel at all, rather a state-of-the-art dolphinarium. And even though I also belong to the mammal genus, they didn’t want to let me stay there. Fine, I looked further and finally found something. Then, befitting my own standards, I gambled the night away and in the morning I wanted to consecrate my new apartment. I said good-bye to the other players and had the receptionist call me a taxi: “25 minutes, sir. You must wait.” What can you do so early in the morning. I packed out my money again and went back to the open seat. By the time the taxi was there, I had racked up a loss of more than $ 8000. So I sent the driver away and fought for ten hours until I had partly leveled out the damages. So late afternoon, clearly overtired, I had another taxi called and this time I was wiser and left, swaying back and forth as I went (even though a seat was open again). – Then I had to go to the penthouse to get my luggage. My bad luck, power outage and backup generator failure. So I took the stairs to the eleventh floor. Completely bleary-eyed, I ignored the view of the sea and cursing, I dragged the suitcases to the taxi.

Now I’m in my hotel. The internet connection is just about as stabile as the erection of a 70 year old man under stress. Sometimes it works, most of the time it doesn’t.
In my next “letter from Odessa” I’ll write everything about the secrets of Ukrainian women. Not that I know or have understood these secrets, but I at least know that they exist. More about that here soon.

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