Two weeks into my Abu Dhabi experience, I was stupid enough to leave my wallet in taxi on my way to work. I only realized this when I got to the door of the office at which time the driver was long gone, with my wallet in the car. Not only did my wallet contain my bank cards and drivers license but also my expenses which had been paid to me the day before ($680). To say I was a tad annoyed with myself is being mild. I’ve never been a person to leave things around or lose things. I immediately phoned the cab company and told them about my wallet which had been left in the taxi, but considering I couldn’t remember the taxi drivers name, number or registration number there was nothing much the company they could do. To my annoyance, the PRO (public relations officer) of the company just said ‘Don’t worry Tonito, Insha’allah they will find it’.
A month later the full impact of losing the drivers license was felt as I was told that I could not get another license issued in Abu Dhabi and would have to travel to South Africa to get another drivers license which would have been impossible at the time. Without a driver’s license I couldn’t get a car. Without a car, the Arabian summer would be difficult especially when you need to find taxi’s in 40-50 degree weather. Without a car I would have to depend on taxi’s all the time which I wasn’t keen on.
Four months later I was busy having lunch with a colleague when I get a phone call from another colleague.
“Tonito, have you lost your wallet again?”
“Well some lady phoned me and told me that she has a wallet belonging to a Tonito”
“Did she say what was in it?”
“Yeah, some bank cards, a driver license and some business cards, including my own, which is how she contacted me”
So he gave me the number of the woman and I got our PRO to speak to her and fetch the wallet. I was surprised that the wallet had been found but unsurprised the money was gone. Though I was really not interested in the money, it was the drivers license I was looking for.
A couple of minutes later, the PRO phones me.
“Tonito, did you have money in wallet?”
“Do you know how much?”
“Because there is money in the wallet. $680”
“That’s exactly how much I had in there!!!”
“Tonito, they want to know if you will give them small gift for finding wallet”
I was so impressed that the money was all there and considering I thought of the money as lost, I decided to give the two guys who found it, half of the money, to which the PRO said “Mashallah Tonito, Mashallah!”
Apparently what happened was that the taxi driver saw the wallet in his car, got scared and threw it out. Someone found in front of a shop and took it inside (without opening it). The unopened waller stayed in the shop until four months later, when another person found it in the office and opened it. When he saw the money and the cards he decided to phone the numbers on of the business cards which turned out to be my colleague’s.
The PRO told me afterwards “See Tonito, I told you will find it again”
To this day I still find it hard to believe that someone returned a wallet with $680 inside.