As we all know, you can’t choose your family. But you can choose your friends. And I choose them well. One of them, for example, is the general manager of a luxury resort with overwater bungalows in the Caribbean. Every year, I visit him there for two weeks with my girlfriend Madita. When taking a shower, we’re treated to a view of the seabed through the glass floor. The official price for the fourteen-day stay in our category is €19,820. On the last day of our vacation, I pull out my credit card. Pro forma. My friend always just taps me on the shoulder with a wink, “Kurt, c’mon, are you crazy?” Another friend of mine runs this gourmet temple in Vienna. Twice a month, occasionally three times, I dine at his place. With Madita, of course. I especially enjoy the seven-course table d’hôte (the most recent example: Bouchot mussels with sweet corn, Arctic char with blood orange, wild duck with black walnut, etc.). Comes to €410 for two people. Not counting the bottle of wine. After dessert, I ask the waiter for the bill. Pro forma. My friend, a whirling dervish in a tailored cashmere suit, then comes rushing to our table, gently squeezes my forearm, shakes his head and says, “No way, Kurt! Go on, put it back.” Some people say that money can end a friendship. I don’t agree. For me, that’s exactly where my friendships start.