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There is this big white Mercedes with the number plate “MISCHA” on it. There is a possibility you’ve seen it on the streets and wondered who the heck it belongs to. Well, it’s ours. That clears that.

But the way we acquired it is a whole different story which I’m about to tell you. If you’re interested, that is.

It all started in Hamburg, Germany on a cold winter evening at the beginning of 2019. It was the kind of night where either you stay indoors or if you go out – straight to a bar to warm yourself up with some booze and human connection. We did just that.

The night was long and it took us through all kinds of places because for some reason, even with the cold weather outside we still were not in the mood of staying in one place only. The alcohol, of course, helped with that. It’s hard to tell you though how many places we visited that night because at one point our memories became quite hazy until there were no real memories saved on our biological hard drives any more. It was that kind of a cold winter night.

And as it so often does – the night turned into the day. When we finally came to it, we were sitting in the backseat of a car that was heading down a highway. At first we didn’t know whose car was it, who was driving it and furthermore – where the hell were we heading to.

Nikita was the first one to speak up and let the driver know that we were alive and in need of some urgent answers. At first though, the driver had a good laugh about the state we were now in. Then he filled us in on the details he knew.

First things first – at that point we were in the middle of Poland, somewhere between Poznan and Warsaw. Heading in the direction of Riga. We could have stopped there and could have asked the driver to turn around but that idea didn’t even cross our minds until we had reached the border of Lithuania. Also, the destination did not surprise us all that much. We had previously joked about the idea of having a car at our office in Riga.

“But what about the car?!”
we asked right after.

That part took us by an even bigger surprise than the fact we were heading to Riga.

Long story short – turns out Nikita is quite good at poker, especially when drunk. Usually it’s the other way around for people but this turned out not to be the case.

We had somehow found our way into a somewhat underground poker tournament where the stakes had gotten quite high. At the last round, the car we were now sitting in had become one of the things put on the table. It had belong to this rich guy who cared more about winning than whatever he owned. And that’s how the car came into our hands.

The driver told us that we had hired him after that for the sole purpose of getting the car the hell out of Hamburg and as far as possible. It was not a cheap thing to do but then again, apart from the car we had gotten into some extra money from the game as well. Looking at our wallets we could see that there was still something left even after paying the driver in advance.

After he had picked us up and gotten the directions all of the details about our night he had simply gathered from our nonstop blabbering. We had been a bit afraid that the guy might be connected to some bad people and that he might want the car back. One way or another. So that’s why the need to get it to Riga.

He also told us that the name of the guy was Mischa. It did ring a distant bell but our memories were still too nonexistent to put a face to the name.

As we were nearing Riga we started talking about changing the number plates and discussing the possibilities. Of course, it would have been cheaper to get a random regular one but we did have enough money left over from the winnings to afford a vanity plate. There was a load of options and we let the driver pitch in as well but as we were entering the city, one option stood out from all the rest – MISCHA. Yes, we would devote the car to the guy that wasn’t nearly as good at poker as two walking blackouts.

Written by Pauls Siliņš

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