With Easter upon us, I find myself, for a change, gorging on chocolate. This is opposed to my usual gorging on German biscuits, cake and schnitzel with only the occasional Kinder Schoko Bon thrown in for variety’s sake.
Our ‘treat cupboard’ is currently home to a repulsive amount of chocolate (alongside the box of assorted licorice SG’s mother sent down from Kiel in a knee-jerk reaction to hearing northern-style licorice does not abound down in these southern parts). My Mum kicked things off by sending two enormous Hillier confections and two classic bilbies. This overkill was a rare display of my mother’s seldom seen competitive side (only ever really seen in full flight on the sidelines of her children’s high-school sporting matches, and even then it was usually confined to a relatively restrained fist bump) as she emailed me later saying ‘I know it was a bit over the top, but I sort of wanted to show the Germans we can do chocolate too!’
Next came a sort of diorama from my ‘German parents’, the inimitable Rita and Bernd (R&B). Our story goes back eleven years, when their son lived with us during a student exchange; since then we have all but swapped houses every three or so years. They came down from Münster for a quick visit yesterday and, in between stuffing our faces with large plates of schnitzel, Haxe and apfel strudel, they presented SG and I with beautifully wrapped fat. I am not kidding. R literally said, ‘here is some Hüft gold (hip gold) for you,’ which only slightly removed the lustre of receiving a platter of chocolate. R is famed within her circles – when I say circles, I mean me – for her wrapping. This year’s treats came with chocolate lady beetles sticky taped to the side of the basket/meadow and two Lindt bunnies reigning supreme amongst a sea of eggs.
But it isn’t over yet. In two days we will fly to Kiel to celebrate Easter with the SG family, my second German family. SG has warned his mother will probably have baked and, because it is Easter and because Germans, collectively, have one of the world’s sweetest tooths and because chocolate is one of their great passions, it will undoubtedly abound.
I may meet my maker lathered in Lindt and on a bed of scrunched up, vibrant tin foil. And when they cut me open they will find nothing but schnitzel, strudel and a lot of hip gold.