Monday, September 3, 2012

Good deed

A couple of days ago, the hubs and I took a short walk around the 'hood in between bouts of rain.  We spied what looked to be a park, but was really more of a walk path through a dense patch of trees.  As we turned on to the path I saw a small, leather wallet on the ground in front of me.  It looked as if it had weathered the most recent storms and was both a bit soggy and muddy.  I picked it up and looked inside for identification.  At first it appeared that there was nothing in the wallet.  I found five and ten Rappen coins in the coin pouch and absolutely nothing in the bill fold.  I felt bad for the owner, whoever he or she may be.  The hubs wanted to look at it, but I held onto it a few seconds more digging a bit deeper into one of the card slots.  There I found a train pass with owner's name and likeness on the front.  Petr H., a teen it would seem, had probably had his wallet pinched.  Poor kid, really, as the train pass I found is a yearly pass entitling the user unlimited rail use Switzerland wide.  That's right.  The card is good for use throughout the entire country (visualise that I'm typing in all caps right now).  Then I read the expiry date: 6/9/12.  So he'd only missed out on a few days of travel at most on this card.  There was a slot behind the credit card area that I hadn't yet checked, so I dug my fingers down into it and pulled out another GA travel card.  This card was valid from 12/9/12 and ran until the following Fall.  Ugh.  At least the creep who grabbed his wallet hadn't taken this, I thought.  'Let's got to the train station, so that I can turn these travel cards in,' I told my husband.

Worth its weight in gold.

So, if Petr H. were under 15 years of age, then losing that card could have set him, or his parents back 1500 CHF for 2nd class travel.  If he were simply young looking for his age, but still hadn't yet reached his 24th birthday, then he could have been out 2500 CHF again for 2nd class travel.  1st class fare would cost 2500 CHF and 4000 CHF respectively.  I don't even want to type the cost of a full adult fare.  It's ludicrously expensive!  You can gag on the price for yourself, if you wish, here: GA travel card.

We made our way down to the Stadelhofen train station, en route to Duebendorf for a caiprinia fest a few friends were throwing.  Our train was due in ten minutes.  As I don't have the pleasure of owning a GA travel card, I purchased my ticket from a from a machine, then walked over to the ticket office.  There was a small queue, so I stood in it waiting to turn in the wallet and wondering if I'd miss my train.  It appeared that the guy at the window was performing some complex transaction that was costing me time, so I approached a woman who'd recently sat down at another window.  She wasn't open for business, but she also didn't look too terribly busy.

I began with something like, 'Pardon the interruption, but I've just found a wallet with...'  'Oh, you'll have to turn that in at window 1,' she said and returned to moving papers around her desk.  I had been sent to stand back in the line I had just left.

A few more minutes passed, and I was no closer to the front of the line than before.  There was another employee sitting at a closed-for-business window.  I approached her with the same sort of opening as I had the last gal.  This time, however, I was quick to say that I might miss my train, and I proffered the newer of the two GA travel cards from the wallet.

'I'd like to turn this in, please.  I've just found this wallet...'

'Where did you find it?' she asked.

I thought, huh?  Who cares where I found it!  Just take it!  

'On the street,' I said.

'Oh, okay.  Just leave it here and we'll look into it.'

I made it back in time to vent to the hubs about how I had to stand in line in order to turn in someone's lost and costly travel cards before catching our train.  He said, 'You know the kid could have just gotten a replacement card.'

I recently looked up the cost of replacing the GA travel card.  It's 30 CHF.  I guess I could have left that wallet lying in the dirt on the walk path.


  1. Yes, they have a record in their system. Good thing for that guy and his parents, bad ting about having wasted your time. But hey, that's one thing to blog about, and who knows, there may be such a thing as karma.

    1. Yes, it's a super good thing that the cards are able to be replaced! Who knows, maybe the kid will want his water-logged wallet back. :)

  2. No matter what its value is, you did the right thing to return the GA. I left my bank card on the counter in a shop at the weekend and it was never returned...that set me back 70CHF to have it blocked and replaced, thanks to Credit Suisse!!

    1. Yes, you're totally right. It's always a good thing to turn in lost items. 70CHF is quite a charge for blocking and replacing your bank card. :(

      Where I'm from, the travel cards are mostly paper and aren't tied to the user by address unless one writes one's address on the back of it. I never felt comfortable doing that, so, if I lost the card that was it.


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