There are moments in life when things go your way. One minute you live in a small one room apartment with your Grandma Georgina, Grandpa George, Grandpa Joe and Grandma Josephine. The next minute you have been given the keys to your very own chocolate factory*.
Sometimes in life however, things don’t go your way. Charlie got his break, he bought the chocolate and got the ticket. Fair play to him. I, however, cannot even find the chocolate. For 2 years now I have been scouring the whole of Vienna for the illusive ‘Schokoschnecke‘. It is a soft round pastry, with chocolate inside and chocolate outside. Rich, delicious and impossible to find. It exists though, I swear. I’ve even tasted it.
The ones I found were from a chain of bakeries called ‘Der Mann’. I check every one I pass. It has become habit, just like John in Serendipity, who checked every used bookstore in New York for a phone number. I don’t even think about it anymore, I just do it. The excitement and anticipation has gone now, of course. I mean it has been around a year since my last discovery. I never expect to find one now. But nevertheless I check. I know what to look for – the chocolatey top, right between the chocolate croissants and the ‘Nussschnecke’. Word of warning: don’t let the Nussschnecke trick you, they look similar but they are not the same. These have come to be known as ‘Fools Necke’.
Then suddednly, today…
I’m rushing to my next job; it is 3 minutes until I have to be there. That is when I see it, I pass a Der Mann, it is a new one. Full glass windows and door. No need to enter, I see right inside. Some customers are obscuring my view, and there it is. That is when it happened. I only caught a glimpse… but it was enough – I had found the Schokoschnecke! A rare sighting, and seemingly the only one left.
Now I was stood, dead in my tracks in the street. Yes, I had to get to work fast but, what do I do? I can’t just leave this behind. Well, unfortunately for me the decision was already made. I didn’t have any cash on me – it is a cash only bakery. OK, new plan; go to the job, get paid and come back for the Schokoschnecke.
Long story short; it was gone.
I’m not sure how one copes with disappointment like that in their life. My golden ticket was right there, I knew it was there. Yet it was not meant to be. So now, as I write this, I can only imagine what might have been.
Charlie got his ticket, and took full advantage of the situation. But had he not got the ticket, would he of been mentally robust enough to handle the disappointment? I have my doubts. Today I am in a place where nothing can bother me, including missing out on a Schokoschnecke. My mood is unwavering. Would kind of like a chocolate factory though, if you’re offering.
*Which seems to me at least, to be a wildly irresponsible thing to do. I mean, was there any due diligence on Willy Wonka’s behalf at all?
*translated as ‘The Man’, would you believe