Here’s a story with a happy ending. A friend of mine was recently traveling in Eastern Europe, specifically Budapest, Hungary. He took his car rental in Budapest to a downtown hotel, and was about to check in. As he was waiting in line, he set his luggage down, and forgot about it. Sure enough by the time he remembered, he had already taken a few steps forward and the luggage was no where to be found. This was bad news. His carry on bag was with his luggage, and it included his passport. This was definitely a major situation. He had a money belt with all his cash in it, but that was of little assurance. All he could think of was the movie Midnight Express, as he had watched it on the flight over, on the laptop that was now currently missing.
He then remembered that his bag contained his cell phone, which had been outfitted with an international SIM card. He went to the front of the line and asked the hotel to call the phone. Imagine his shock when someone answered!
The voice on the other end only spoke Hungarian, so my friend gave the phone to the clerk and frantically asked him to convey his message. The clerk looked at my friend and started laughing, and then hung up the phone. Apparently a passing security guard had spotted the lonely luggage, and asked everyone around if it belonged to them. Unfortunately, my friend doesn’t speak Hungarian, so he never heard the announcement. The guard was just bringing it to the lost and found on the other side of the hotel when the phone rang. By the time my friend got to his room the luggage was already there, and the rest of the trip was fantastic.
It’s little stories like this that remind me to always keep track of my personal belongings when traveling, no matter how tired I may be – this is especially true when carrying a cell phone in Europe. If you are looking for a way to avoid this situation, check out our cell phone rental page. Have you been saved by a cell phone? Leave a comment and tell us all about it!