At dusk I am standing in front of the Staatsbibliothek with two large bags of loan books on my shoulders. I’m looking on my mobile which bus comes first. I hear a shy voice behind me: “Would you like an apple?” I turn around and see the speaker matching the voice, a small, shy, thin-faced homeless person who offers me a beautiful red-yellow apple. I don’t want to deprive him of this beauty. “No, thanks.” “And do you have an euro for me?” he asks in elegant German. I dig in my pockets. I hate coins, I usually try to get rid of them as soon as possible, but luckily now I find a two-euro piece. While I’m searching, he tells me that he really likes apples, but the other day he almost choked on one, it got stuck in his throat and he could barely cough it out. As he talks, I can see that he only has one tooth like in the cartoons. It is difficult to safely eat apples like this. He thanks me for the coin, and offers me the apple once more. I turn it down once more, although later I recall that maybe I should have done better to him by accepting it. “Then let me give you something else”, he says. He begins to search his infinite number of pockets. He cannot find it. He searches through them again. I know this, I have exactly the same number of pockets. After a while, I say: “It’s okay. Next time”, I almost add inshallah, since this year I have guided mainly in Muslim countries this far. I start to go towards the subway. After some two hundred meters, I hear his muffled voice behind me: “Hallo, guter Mensch!” I turn around, he reaches me. He reaches out his clenched fist. “This is it. I have found it. I don’t know whether it is made of gold or not. Maybe it brings luck, maybe not.” He pours it into my hand. I say thanks, einen schönen Abend noch. I only look at it in the light of the lamp.

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