Translation for 140 languages by ALS
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowline.
Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sail.
Explore. Dream. Discover
---Mark Twain


I returned a lost wallet (London)


"See something, say something" is catchy -- but rubbish (in as far as folks follow it). 

I sat in the only other available seat in the subway, the other one being taken up by this lady's shoulder bag, which I thought that was rude of her until I realized that, unlike any other woman, she did not pull the bag closer so...the bag wasn't her's?? Nor did the gentleman sitting across the aisle appear to possess any ownership of it. In fact, as I looked around the crowded car zero eyes appeared to be watching this Puma bag (which I initially thought was too sporty for the lady anyway but what do I know?). One stop later nearly the entire car empties and there still sat the bag; on the next stop, which was mine, I took it.

I imagined nothing dangerous about it - hell, if it was going to detonate, then it was going to blow us up whether I picked it up or not - because I refuse to swallow the paranoia gov't propaganda perpetuates to partial away all public and private corners of comfort, convenience, and common sense. But I was displeased and put off by the 'self-preservation' of everyone in that subway car: not one of those "civilized" bastards sought out a platform official and I'll bet a hundred pound sterling no one tried to call back the passenger who forgot it; but, hey, they were "decent" enough not to steal it, right? Just ignored it and let it be.
 What comes around, goes around
I hoped there were bricks of cash or diamonds inside but there were none. It was just some guy's stuff: cellphone, newly bought neckties, loads of hair dyes (I imagine he worked in a salon), several pieces of identification, digital camera, and a wallet with sufficient cash and credit cards. Was I tempted? Certainly. Do I know the Principal of 'finders keepers, losers weepers'? Certainly. But, then, I also KNEW this belonged to so-and-so...there was his face and name and address and, by extension, his story: he was a German tourist and he'd lost his belongings! Plainly, this wasn't mine to keep. And since it wasn't bricks of cash or diamonds what then, after all, was there to keep?

I've walked off many a-times and left behind stuff like shoes, gloves, hats, cell phones and, yes, money. Only in one country were any of those things returned to me: Germany. So I felt all the more compelled to turn this man's lost bag. What comes around, goes around. 
I refuse to swallow the paranoia gov't propaganda perpetuates to partial away all public and private corners of comfort, convenience, and common sense
The station manager looked at me strangely as if stunned by confusion or something. I didn't like the way he was looking at me so I repeated my stated business because either a) he didn't comprehend me and b) I had to pee -- really, really badly. At length he said, still unsure, You're a braaave man to pick up things like this! What his tone said, however, was that I was crazy but, being a transport official, he couldn't very well discourage good Samaritanism/civil obedience/honesty.

I had to stick around and witness his itemizing the inventory (he counted out the monies a little too slowly for my bursting bladder). While there the lost cell phone buzzed! Turns out the tourist was on his way back to Germany. He beat it back to the tube station and correctly identified the contents of the bag. Grateful, the man offered me the British money (£15) and was more than willing to reward me all of the euros (€95) in the wallet but I was cool with accepting an additional €20; I was just so happy that he was happy and grateful, and that his trip wasn't effed up by this blunder. 

There are good people in the world -- and I like to prove that I'm one of them. 

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