Lucktown

Stefan Wieser from Cologne, Germany, submitted this photograph of Glückstadt, which literally translates to “Lucktown.” He had these thoughts on luck to share with us:

“When I was having dinner with my sister and my parents a couple of weeks ago (honoring my sis having passed her final exam to complete her time as a doctor-in-training; she’s now a full-fledged internist), my Mum wore a Chinese-style dress and carried a handbag I had once brought her from Shanghai Tang. I forget who had told me about this particular habit then, whether it was the vendor at the store or someone else, but I had slipped a $1 bill into the bag’s side pocket for good luck. And it was touching to find out that even now, some five years or so later, my mother still carries the same dollar bill around with her.

Another lucky charm story: The day before I started taking MY final exam, sometime in 2003, a friend came over to my place and gave me a rusty nail. She said that she had actually wanted to bring me the entire horseshoe (which, at least in Germany, is one of the most popular symbols for good luck), but that she didn’t want to add even more weight to the huge volumes of law commentaries I would have to schlepp all the way to the examination’s venue already. So what she gave me instead was one of the nails with which the horseshoe was once affixed to the hoof. Lucky charm worked quite well for me. For her, however, good luck was somewhat scarce since. Although she went on to find her dream job, working with the Organization Committee for the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics, and fell in love with someone, I never got the chance to see her again. When she was diagnoed with kidney cancer, the prognosis was only three to six months. Later, as she had instructed me, I passed on the nail to a friend in Paris, once again for an important exam situation, but – even though the lucky charm worked well in this case, too – received it back afterwards. Obviously the custom of passing on a lucky charm does not exist in France. Well.”

–Kevin