“Bond, James Bond.”
“Lucky, Michael Lucky Hodson.”
Just doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as easily. But given that one of those is a fictional character and the other seems to describe my actual real life, I think I win.
I have written a good bit before about my random good luck around the world and the many manifestations of it:
- My getting across the Kenya/Ethiopia border with no visa.
- The random guy on the internet that got me on the only ferry I could take in Norway.
- Hell, I dropped my camera out a fourth story window… and it survived.
- My random cabbie in Addis Ababa who saved me a few times.
- Being in Victoria Falls during the full moon, to see the rare Lunar Rainbow.
- The cabbie in Uruguay who drove me to Brazil to catch my bus.
- The random kindness of people who picked me up hitchhiking in New Zealand.
- And just a whole lot more than I can’t think of off-hand.
Today was yet another in the long list of examples that I think prove that I am the luckiest man on the planet, save on one topic which we shall not discuss.
I lost my Eurail pass this afternoon.
Now, the wonderful folks at Eurail have been very good to me multiple times in the past, present and soon-to-be future. They were one of the primary sponsors of the Ultimate Train Challenge last September. They have given me a pass before to make it to a fun party in Venice. They gave me a pass a month or so ago to cruise around Europe for a couple of months this summer. And they are sponsoring the new Ultimate Train Challenge this November.
I love Eurail. Plain and simple.
This is a big deal. First, the pass is like cash. You can’t get it reissued. You have it or you don’t, so losing it basically meant it was just gone forever. I love the Eurail folks, but doubt they were going to just send me another to make up for my idiocy.
Second, I am all the way down in southern Italy right now, in Bari, and need to get back to Girona to pick up my new computer, then up to France to do some stuff next month, then back to Portugal by September 1st, when my pass runs out, to get ready for this year’s train challenge and a couple blogging conferences.
So I was checking my pockets a couple hours ago. My Eurail pass had been in my left pocket this morning, since I wandered over to the train station to check out tickets for tomorrow. I got back up to my room and it was gone.
Simply put, without a Eurail pass, that would cost me a good bit of money. Off the top of my head, I’d say about 800-1,000 euros.
That’s a good bit of cash for being an idiot and letting that pass drop out of my pocket.
So I retraced my steps. I went to the coffee shop that I went to this morning. Closed. Went to the train station and tourist information booth where I had earlier picked up a map (found in my left pocket during the frantic search in my room and therefore my most likely candidate for a good luck find). Nothing. Then I went to the kebab place that I got my late lunch today.
As I walked in, the guy behind the counter sees me and immediately lights up with a huge smile, reaches down under the counter and pulls out my pass. “You should really write your telephone number on here, in case you lose it. I think these things are expensive, aren’t they?”
Once again, random good luck shines down brightly on me. Not sure why I’d ever deserve this sort of thing to happen all the time.
He was beaming. I was smiling. I wanted to go back around the counter and give him a hug.
And by the way, if you want a good place to eat in Bari, Italy — try Kebabberia at Via Toma 95. Tell them I sent ya. And also…. tell them thanks for me. Kindness and thoughtfulness to strangers should always be recognized for the gift that it is.
Good Story about Eurail…;-)
That’s one way to get a great endorsement for the Kebabberia! Yes, you were lucky.
And yes, that moonbow was awesome!!!
I wish they would have had a website. I would have linked them up.
The Eurail pass is great if you can get one for free. Otherwise, we consider them to be expensive as most things that are geared towards tourists are. Much cheaper to decide on each leg of your journey as it goes and then make the decision between bus or train.
Bus is always going to be cheaper, but I love trains. The Eurail pass is totally worth it for the way I travel. I never book 3-4 months in advance (when you can get cheap train tickets). So, if you travel like that, its a huge cost saver.
I love stories like this. You ARE lucky!
Nice story, what a relief you must have felt! happened to me in NZ when I left my camera in a sushi bar… fortunately it was there the next morning. Lucky us!
Pamela, funny you should mention that. I’ve left my camera twice in places. Once in Croatia, the bar owner saw it and it was there the next day. The other time in Egypt, they claimed to have not seen it and it was gone. Then again, I think I could have bought it on the black market from the waiter. 😉
Lucky stiff! This is such a sweet story—so often hear of travelers being on the receiving end of some of the worst type of human behavior. This kinda restores a little bit of my belief in the kindness of strangers.
Generally speaking, I think strangers around the world have been great to me. Well, except for assorted cab drivers….
As they say: Do good , be Good and it does you Good.
Hmmmm, that might not be the source of my good karma…. but I like the phrase!
Haha, great story – this is always happening to me with my wallet :D”
I think it’s a glass half empty/half full type of thing though, like when good things happen to good people they think “I’m so lucky that this has happened to me…” but when bad things happen they just roll with the punches without thinking, ‘Woe is me, I’m the unluckiest person in the world…’
Your wallet??! Crazy. If that has been returned, with the money and credit cards, multiple times you are one lucky guy!
Wow, that’s amazing you were able to find it again! So awesome that guy held onto it for you! Also, I love that in Italy it becomes “Kebabbaria” 🙂
I think I shall have a kebab right now, in fact.
Don’t forget about your hard drive!!! ;]
You deserve it all!! BTW, there’s a new Mac Store in Plaça Catalunya, just in case you want to pick up your computer there!
Nice! I’ve had a wallet returned (in Mexico), as well as my laptop’s charging cable (in Panama). Never underestimate the number of good people in the world. 🙂
You’re LUCKY alright :o) I also like to think it’s all the good karma that’s coming back to yah! Think of all the good things you’ve ever done for just about anyone! It’s luck well-deserved, and may you have more of them in the future!
Seriously did all that happen to you? My god! You are definitely the luckiest man around. Good luck with future endeavors.