At the current exchange rate we had won the equivalent of eighteen thousand US dollars. We figured that sum would not come out of the machine, but there was some way to print a ticket that could be taken to lottery headquarters and redeemed. Trying to decipher the language that explained how to get this voucher was difficult. Karen bugged us to ask the girl behind the counter. Being American males, Joe and I could not stoop to asking for assistance. Besides we did not want to appear stupid and not hip. In our efforts to try and pry out the winning ticket one of us hit a button that started the wheels to spin again. What we did, was gamble away all our winnings on a double or nothing bet. We immediately confirmed our stubbornness and foolishness. Even this loss did not break Joe’s spirit and he appeared to feel well.
Our next adventure at gambling came in a casino in Lindau Germany on October 3. That day marked the official union of Germany after being seperated following WWII. We had to pay admssion to enter this casino. Obtaining dated passes establishing our presence in Germany during a day of huge celebration. Still smarting from our previous loss to a slot machine in Netherlands, we decided not to gamble on even games we recognized. Instead we spent the day toasting with schnapps that was being passed out everywhere. We figured that we got out as winners since except for he price of admission we came out even. This was a good day for Joe, but he had been having some rough ones characterized by immense headaches.
Our last adventure with games of chance came in Monaco. Joe was not feeling well so stayed in our car napping while Karen and I happened into one of their famous casinos. Karen strolled around playing slot machines. I had a hundred franc bet riding on number 9 at a Craps table. The shooter was rolling a string of passes keeping my bet good. A very smartly dressed man walked up and presented a five hundred thousand franc note encased in plastic. He received a sizeable pile of chips which he began placing on bets. Something about his bearing made me think him an Egyptian arms dealer. I was getting nervous with all that money on the table. I did not pick up my bet, but as soon as it came up a winner, picked up my chips, cashed in, found my sister and walked out. Retrieving Joe we sat at some concrete benches in a park. From slots between each bench we dug out change and bills. Our work as scavengers was more rewarding than gamblers. It helped Joe feel better that we dug up money rather than spin it away inadvertently. His time of not feeling well far surpassed any moments of well being. As his condition slowly slid downhill, I worried about how he would traverse the last week we had left in our European holiday.