Thursday, January 18, 2007

London Wallets Falling Down

My first visit to the UK, that turned out to be just to London, was many years ago (BK- before kids). I had planned everything out- Fly to London, stay several nights in a quaint B&B in Russell Square and see the sights, and then rail it up north to hit Liverpool to do the whole Beatles pilgrimage thing, and then take trains to wherever we wanted on the island, whenever we wanted- Scotland, Dover, anywhere.

The Beatles pilgrimage part sticks out like a sore thumb in the itinerary, but as a Beatles freak it was required.

Michelle and I didn’t have much money. We saved for some time, and had just enough for our core expenses (airfare, accommodations, food, BritRail passes) and a tad more for discretionary spending (Beatles stuff, gifts for family and friends, more Beatles stuff).

Shortly after we arrived- I think it was the second day- we rode a double-decker bus on a tour of London. I took my wallet out to check something, and then tucked it under my leg instead of putting in back in my pocket. Why, I don’t know. When we got to our destination we got up, walked off the bus, and left my wallet on the seat. Amazingly I did see it again.

Inside the wallet was £200 (almost all of our discretionary money) and the BritRail passes. Our planned trip to Liverpool and the rest of the island was shot. Fortunately the B&B in London was able to extend our stay.

A week later, back in the US, I took a small package out of the mailbox. Inside was my wallet, with a note from a semi-nice stranger that said they had found my wallet and thought I might want it back to save the hassle of replacing drivers license, credit cards, miscellaneous other ID and membership cards. The note mentioned the money was taken, as well as the BritRail passes- “sorry about that.”

The incident made an impact on Michelle far greater than me. To this day, when we leave a restaurant, theater and especially a bus, she often asks loudly “do you have your wallet?” Just a little embarrassing, but deserved.

Despite many visits to the UK since, I have yet to make it to Liverpool or the northwest coast. Someday.

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Anonymous said...

You should probably try to make it to Liverpool, give your Beatles pilgrimage another shot! Sometimes a "do over" will overlay the bad memories with good ones.

Your post gave me an idea for my own post but I'll give the short version here: I once found a wallet. Cash, credit cards, ID. No phone number, though. I spent some time trying to look for the person IN A PHONEBOOK.

Called her up, no big "WOW!THANKS!" which would've been nice despite my knowing that it's about doing the right thing and not looking for some type of reward. I gave her a time when she could pick it up. She replied that it was inconvenient, could I drop it off at her place?

Huh. I replied that this was a bit of a hassle for me. Maybe I should just keep it or replace it on the curb where I found it and she could get it when she had the time.

She picked it up.

The Eccentric Blonde said...

Perfect timing for this post - I've just spent several hours trying to plan out a trip to the UK for 9 days. If you have any suggestions for places to see (outside of London) I would love to hear about them!

DigitalRich said...

Ms. Q-

Way to go! Stand up for yourself. I can’t believe that lady asked you to bring it to her. Absolutely amazing. If she was wanting you to bring it to her the LEAST she should have proposed was meeting you for a breakfast, lunch or Starbucks break on her tab somewhere convenient to you.

Someday I will make it to Liverpool. Someday.


I am sorry- no good input from me on this. While I have been to the UK about 10 times, I have never explored much outside of London. Probably the farthest and most extensive travel outside London I have done was actually WITH YOU :)

Remember that cool castle, moat and garden maze? Besides an extensive road trip all around Ireland, that weekend was the closest I have come to exploring the world outside London. Sorry.