This past week one of my coworkers left his bag with his laptop in a taxi. He realized it shortly after he got out of the car but not quick enough to chase down the taxi and get it back. As one can imagine he was extremely frustrated with himself and his inability to contact the taxi driver, not because of limited language, but because there are 30 cab companies in Seongnam alone and he wasn’t even sure if it was one of the local companies or a cab from a neighboring district. So he did the only thing he could and he filed a police report hoping that the cab driver would contact the police. Now he wasn’t very optimistic as the computer would fetch a pretty penny. He was far more up beat about it than I would have been and we joked that only in Korea would you think there was a chance that he would ever see it again. In an unexpected turn of events his computer was returned to him roughly a week after he lost it. The taxi driver had gone to the police station and said that he found this computer in his car and that he knew that the owner was an international teacher. The police tracked down the police report and sent the driver to the school. My coworker glided into my room with his backpack in hand and the computer with a grin bigger than Norfolk St. would have if they won the whole tournament. Without a doubt this is one of the biggest cultural adjustments that we are getting used to. Nowhere else in the world can I think that a laptop would be returned to you. Unfortunately my coworkers luck has run out as he is getting thumped in all the pools he entered, but I think he’s ok with that.
One thought on “Whole different World”
One of my UW-Madison colleagues was at a meeting in Merida, Mexico and left his lap top in a computer bag on a street corner. I can't remember if he went back and found it or if it was returned to him in some other way but he got it back.
I think there are more good people in the world than bad – we just focus on the bad too much and take the good for granted.
Nice story Alex (I think this sounds like Alex' writing voice.). And tell your friend not to be such an airhead. (I can say that since I am one myself. Like when some guy found my wallet in a shopping cart and drove it all the way to our house in Menlo Park to drop it off. Or like when my wallet (with cash in) was waiting for me when I returned to the Atlanta airport. i had left it there on my way to Athens, GA, had given up on it but found it when I checked in for my return flight. Or when some maintenance guy at some big airport (can't remember which) called Matt saying he had his wive's phone and then arranged for a spot to give it to me at the airport. I guess when you lose a lot of things you find out how honest the world really is.
(Oh yeah, and someone stole my bike last month. Stuff happens. Maybe they desperately needed it.)