Vienna, a wallet, and a barber shop
Vicarious Travel Blog, Day 19: Some stories are so unbelievable, they must be true. This one is. Yesterday, Thomas and his girlfriend traveled by train from Munich to Vienna, Austria. They checked into their B&B and then went out on the town for some sightseeing. Later that evening (morning in BC) I got a Whatsapp voice call from Thomas. He never calls me. It’s only ever text messages.
“WHAT HAPPENED? Are you ok???”
“Not really. I think my wallet was stolen.”
My first thought was ‘passport’! Luckily, his passport was back at the room. There were some credit cards (mine and his) and his driver’s license in the wallet, as well as an Apple Airtag. Thomas told me that he could see his wallet “moving around” on the Find-My app on his phone, away from the center of town to the outskirts of Vienna. I told him not to follow the Airtag, but to go to the police. In the meantime, I put a lock on my credit card in his wallet, and called his bank to try to cancel his bank card. This was Thomas’s main concern.
Thomas and I used to have a joined bank account until he turned 19. I knew it would be difficult for me to do anything on his bank account, but I tried. Our bank advisor knew us both, and I was sure he could help. Only, he wasn’t at the office yesterday. I was connected to the assistant manager of the branch instead. I explained the problem, and she verified that I had been on that same account until recently. She was able to cancel the card.
Meanwhile, Thomas and Brie had found a police station and filed a report. The officers took their information and offered to drive with them to the last known location of the Airtag. It now was midnight in Vienna. The last known location was a very densely populated area of town, and since the Airtag wasn’t really pinging anymore, all they could do was check around some garbage bins in the area, and then the officers drove Thomas and Brie back to their room.
Our two travellers didn’t let this spoil their fun though! They kept on with their program, and the next morning, they went back out to do some sightseeing around town.
I’m not sure what this church is called, but on the steps of this church, Thomas and Brie found a phone. They took it and looked around a bit to see if someone was searching for it. And indeed, they were successul!! They gave the phone back to the happy owner, and only two minutes later, Thomas got a Whatsapp message from his barber shop.
Ok, now let’s stop here for a minute. Why would Thomas get a Whatsapp message from the barbershop he usually goes to? I’m glad you asked.
The message went something like that: “Hi, this is Hayley from Tommy Gun’s. We just got a message from a gentleman in Vienna who claims to have found your wallet. He found your loyalty card in the wallet and thought to email us to get in contact with you, so he can return the wallet to you.”
Again - this is a chain of barber shops. They have 70 locations all across Canada and its headquarters are in - you would never believe this - Kelowna. Where Thomas lives. They weren’t able to call Thomas because Thomas had taken the SIM card out of his phone overseas, but Hayley (the office manager of Tommy Gun’s) was able to find Thomas on Whatsapp and texted him there.
Thomas was able to get in contact with the finder of his wallet, and the met and he gave it back. They thanked him profusely but - much to my chagrin - didn’t offer to buy him a beer. I was able to unlock my credit card, so now Thomas has at least one card left he can use for his travels.
This is an incredible story. And it has a very happy ending. Sometimes, people are truly amazing.