Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lost and Found

So, I've had a brief hiatus from my computer. It was in bad shape, so I took it to a repair shop last week. It was ready by Friday, so I wanted to pick it up that night and have it for the weekend.

Well, Friday afternoon, Matt accidentally locked his keys in the trunk of his car. This is mostly irrelevant so I won't go into too much detail, but the result was that I walked to and from the computer repair shop (less than a mile from home). It was drizzly outside, not pouring but still mildly unpleasant. On the way, I found a passport on the sidewalk.

The passport belongs to a 17-year-old German boy named Erik. I didn't know what to do with it, but I knew the sidewalk in front of a car repair shop wasn't a good place for it. So I picked it up. While I walked, I tried to think of ways to make sure this kid could get his passport back. Should I try to contact the German Embassy? Should I turn it in to the police? Would I be able to find him on Facebook?

 The experience made me think of this Regina Spektor song:

Unfortunately, finding a passport is a little different from finding a wallet. Unlike an ID card, there is no address on a passport, and even if there were, mailing it to Germany wouldn't exactly help the kid. What would this poor kid do when he realized it was missing? How scary would that be? The passport had his visa in it as well.

I also wondered what the boy was doing here. Not just in this city, but in my neighborhood. Was he here with friends? With family? With school? Was he studying abroad? Where did he visit on this street? A restaurant, maybe? I imagined him here with family, staying in a rented condo or house.  In my mind, he was visiting Blind Lady Ale House (which admits minors) when his passport fell out of his pocket.

After picking up my computer, I stopped at a few local business, including Blind Lady, to look for him.  I asked employees if they remembered anyone with a German accent visiting. No luck.

I tried to do research when I returned home, however, after just a few moments of use, my computer experienced a major error. In the end, I called the local police department and they had an officer stop by my house to pick it up. I can only hope that Erik contacted them to report it missing. I feel like I should have done more but I wasn't sure what.

In other news, my computer continued to have problems, but it was covered under the repair shop's warranty so they continued to work on it and now it's behaving itself. I definitely missed it this past week.

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