02 January 2013

In the Bag

The other day I left my beloved little shoulder bag on the train. I’d had this loyal bag for 20plus years. It was perfect for a camera, water bottle, sandwich, half-bottle of wine, notebook, etc. It’s been my go-to on hundreds of day trips around the world. And now, due to my utter stupidity the bag -- and notebook with irreplaceable notes -- were gone.

But maybe not.

My wife had twice left stuff on Swiss trains (once her glasses, once a laptop), and miraculously had them both found and returned.

And I’d even had my cellphone returned after a couple weeks when Maïf left it on the train.

So I went to the train system’s website and filled out the lost item form, describing in excruciating detail what my beloved bag looked like (yellow elastic cord around the side pockets!). I submitted the form and got an instant robo-response saying SBB CFF FFS had no report of such an object, but would get back with me in four days.

Which they did. In exactly four days. To say they’d found my bag, and I could pick it up the next day at my town’s train station office. Which I did. Everything was still there, even the priceless notebook.

When I picked up my bag at the station I asked the man if he knew who’d found it. He fished around on his computer and soon found that it was a CFF employee, Herr Stéphane Maurer based out of Basel. Today I wrote him a little note to say danke. And next time I’m on the train to Basel, I’m going to keep an eye out for him. When I see the controller, I’ll wave my bag around and see if he takes special notice.

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