IGOR POMERANTSEV 

& co-author Hotel Manager Milena

CHECKING IN & OUT PRAGUE


Igor Pomerantsev

 

I.

Had any effect?
The hotel?
It has, I'm afraid.
Check in, check out.
What's that in Russian?
Za-re-gi-stri-rovat-sya?
Arrived - departed?
Like that with men,
as well.
I've been in the trade,
the hotel trade, twenty years.
Still not married.
See what I mean?


 

II.

He produced a quote, I think it was
from the Italian novel "The Leopard".
About marriage being one year of fire and thirty years of ashes.
I asked how things were with him in this respect.
He answered that love, as opposed to marriage,
had its term: five years or so.
I asked which calendar he used
to calculate love.
He didn't get it.
So I explained.
You might, for example, count
just days and nights together.
Then five years would stretch a whole lot longer.
He looked at me suspiciously.
Pondered, then asked:
"And what calendar would you have us use?"
I answered that I'd like
to have both to hand,
and then I'd figure it out.
I don't know what he was thinking...,
 but he said aloud:
"Yes, hotelier is your true vocation.
I've never ever met a person before
with such a refined and profound
understanding of the concept of
'day' and 'night'".

alt



III.

You know, probably not.
We don't take groups,
even though it's worth it financially.
I remember an Israeli
basketball team
came down for breakfast and cleared away
all the dishes with cheese, ham and jam.
Of course, I told them
they were for all the other guests.
You should have heard them laugh.
You have to understand,
even if it's a group of English,
with their notorious individualism,
standing like a herd in the lobby,
then the hotel belongs to them,
and the whole atmosphere, climate,
that I've put my heart into creating
is sort of spoiled.
You know, with these groups
I feel like I've been violated.
So we don't take them any more.
Let them stay at the Hilton
or wherever.
In my heart, though,
there are no vacant rooms for them.
Am I expressing myself clearly!

 


Find further contributions from Igor Pomerantsev on Zeitzug

 

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