As I have mentioned in previous posts, we live very close to the Siemens corporation. As a shortcut to get to the train station or a walking path, we've been known to cut through their campus. We usually go through a parking area for Velos (bikes) and Motos (motorcycles and mopeds). Over the Christmas holiday break, this parking area was pretty empty except for a really nice helmet just hanging on a hook. Day after day we walked past this helmet with shock and wonder on who would have left it and why no one else has taken it. The reason I suppose is because we are in Switzerland - plain and simple. Now that the workforce is back at Siemens, the helmet sits next to a nice moped, ready to be worn again.
Then bright and early on New Year's morning, Smidgey was in need of a walk. (She didn't really care about the troubles we endured the night before.) As we stepped out in the early morning frosty air I spotted a very nice bike laying on its side next to the bus stop outside our apartment building. Smidge and I righted the bike and parked it against the wall at the base of the steps to our building. I chalked it up to NYE revelers finding an unlocked bike and going for a joyride then leaving it for the owner to find. Only the owner hasn't found it. As of this writing, the bike, in pristine condition, continues to be parked in a very public area with no lock.
|The bus stop is just up the sidewalk a few feet to the right of this picture.|
And then last week I trip-linked my grocery shopping with my morning jog. Since I didn't want to be weighed down with my entire wallet during my run I just took some cash in my jacket pocket. As I was walking home from the store (I was no longer jogging because I was weighed down with my huge shopping bag) I pulled out my phone to check the time. A little while later, as I continued down the path, my hands started to get really cold so I stuck them in my pockets. My stomach dropped. Where there had been two pieces of paper (CHF), there was only one. I pulled the single bill out of my pocket and realized I had dropped a 50CHF note somewhere between where I was standing and the store exit - a distance that had taken me at least 15+ minutes to walk. Mumbling a 'colorful' word under my breath with every footfall, I ran back toward the store retracing my route (my huge shopping bag now thumping against my hip and back).
I passed an elderly lady, "Grüezi" she said to my blur.
Then I passed two joggers. (Neither running with a huge shopping bag banging against their body - go figure.)
Finally, I saw it. The bright green bank note laying in the middle of the path. Hallelujah!
|Photo reenactment for effect. : )|
At a minimum three people passed my money and didn't pick it up. I have no idea how many other people passed that way that I didn't see, but not one person picked up my money. Honestly, the Swiss know how to "resist small temptations". (Or big - 50CHF is nothing to sneeze at!)
My poem today is dedicated to the honesty of the Swiss:
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