A few weeks ago I met an important man in his office on Unter Den Linden.
The same evening, the new German president Joachim Gauck was being sworn in. The surrounding area was awash with media types clutching furry microphones, adjusting broadcast platforms, parking vans.
I didn’t know the man I was meeting. He was a Spiegel-employee friend of my boss and I was doing him a favour. He was planning a holiday in Ireland and was overwhelmed by the detailed itinerary his travel companion had compiled weeks in advance. He wanted me to amend it.
He made me a latté and we sat down and poured over the meticulous plan.
“You won’t manage all that,” I said. “Not if you want to sleep.”
For the next few hours we teased out the relative merits of Longford and Louth, Killarney and Kilkeel.
“You can give Derry a miss,” I said finally. “Just go to the Giant’s Causeway instead.”
“Is it Derry or Londonderry?” he wondered.
“Oh, that depends on with what foot you dig,” I said.
Joachim Guauck was being sworn in on the television in the background.
“I’m sorry for keeping you so long,” he said as I was making a leave. “Do you drink wine?”
“Yes I do.”
I have a very expensive bottle here.”
“Alternatively, do you like chocolate?”
“Oh yes, very much so.”
“Well then I have just the right thing for you.”
“For you!” he beamed, wielding it at me. “As a thank you.”
Loyal readers will know how much of a chocolate advocate I am, but even I was stunned at the scale of my killing. If you are sceptical, examine the chocolate in relation to the medium-sized cat.
Last Saturday, LSB and I went on a chocolate tour of Berlin. We started off at Fassbender and Hausch, where we could afford a single truffle each.
Then we went around the corner to the Rittersport museum and shop. We learnt about the cocoa been, and about Klara Ritter, who invented Ritter Sport because she wanted football supporters to be able to fit a 100 gram bar of chocolate into their pocket when they went to matches.
Then we decided to design our very own bar of chocolate. We chose three fillings from a possible 27. We tasted the chocolate the next day. It was heavenly.
If you become a fan of the katekatharina facebook page, and correctly guess two of the three flavours we picked, I will have a bar of Rittersport personally designed for you and post it to you, wherever in the world you may be. If you can get ten friends to become fans of the page, I will design a chocolate bar for you too.
Entries must be received by midnight Easter Sunday. Just leave a comment on the page with your suggestion. One entry per person. Check out the page for clues until then.