Gave a Taxi driver more than a Tip; got back much more than I bargained for.

The evening was amazing it was one of those times where the conversation effortlessly flows and the good wine lightens up the soul. Time flew by and before we noticed it the waiter said that they are closing the restaurant. We decided to continue with the sensational evening at a friend’s place half of the group drove by car and me and two of my friends went for a Taxi.

We saw a white Toyota hybrid and a bald-headed Arabic looking driver. The Taxi driver asked where we were going. We knew where we were going but none of us knew the exact address.  So we used like 10 minutes, could be less, to describe our destination.  The Taxi guy finally pin pointed where we wanted to go.20171218_123059-1

We were in a merry mood making jokes all the way and laughing out loud. But what made us crack up the most was the Taxi driver. It was one of those hilarious moments where the driver’s laughter was funnier than the joke. The driver laughed heartily from his belly accompanied by coughing we just couldn’t stop laughing. At a red light another Taxi stopped next to us and was dumb-struck at a Taxi full of laughing people. I rolled down my window and said; ‘hey man why do you have such a long face? Come on laugh along!’ Then everyone in our Taxi burst into laughter again and the other driver joined in and was laughing his ass off. Now there were two Taxis driving across the streets of Vienna with people laughing for no reason.

We got to the destination paid the driver and he said we are the most cheerful passengers he has ever had and he will never forget. We also thanked him for making us laugh too. After he drove off I noticed my phone was missing. I could have left it at the restaurant or in the Taxi. My friends tried, calling, it was ringing, but nobody was picking up. I told my friends not to worry I am going to find it.

The next day I went to the restaurant and asked about my phone they told that they didn’t find any missing phone. I just realized my greatest fear; I must have left it in the Taxi. I went to the spot where we took the Taxi and it wasn’t there. I decided to stick around and wait probably he will show up. After 30 mins I saw a white Toyota Hybrid Taxi pull over and driving was a bald-headed man. I got excited and jumped on my feet and approached the Taxi. The driver looked a little bigger and much younger compared to the one I was expecting to see. I asked him if he remembers me and shortly narrated the events yesterday. He said he definitely didn’t drive us yesterday he was not even at this particular spot at the time I was talking about. He further told me there are like 500 white Toyota Hybrids and they don’t park at the same place everyday. The only thing I could try is to call the Taxi Central and request them to radio call all Taxis and ask for my missing phone. I left the place disappointed but still hopeful I had a lead.

When I got home I tried tracking my phone through my laptop. I was then sure that I had left it in the Taxi. Google showed me exactly where I was and the exact times. After being dropped off by the Taxi my journey continued up to 5.30am with short breaks to different parts of the city. It ends at the point when the phone shut-down after the battery got empty.

I tried calling the Taxi Central explained my predicament. The kind woman told me that she has a phone and a tablet with her but they don’t match the description of my phone. I should, therefore, call again after a few days and probably the Taxi driver would have brought my phone to them. I requested for the radio call and she said that she can’t do that. I was slowly running out of options. But giving up on finding my phone was not an option. The same day I went and bought a cheap phone and replaced my SIM card. On my way home I passed the spot once again to see if I will see another white Toyota Hybrid Taxi. There was none. I went home again disappointed.

At home I turned in the Tracker once again just in case the Taxi driver would charge my phone and turn it on. But there was nothing new. I spent the rest of the evening telling the people I am frequently in contact with that I am not available on Whatsapp. Then I remembered the tones of Data I had saved on the phone. I quickly logged in to my cloud and everything was there. All the beautiful moments I shared with my boys when they were little babies it was all there in the cloud. I really appreciated the advance in technology. These photos and videos are priceless. I would strongly recommend that you check your cloud if your data is there and if not it is clever to store it there. It not only frees your phone of memory space but also will prevent loss of valuable data lest you lose your phone.

I tried once again the next day after work to go to the same spot but this time it was more of just passing by just on the assumption I see something. There was nothing and I resigned. I argued that it was anyway an old phone and all the important data was safe. There was no point of wasting more time looking for a needle in a hay stack. I went back home once again disappointed but this would be the last time as I was ready to move on forget about that phone.

On my way home I observed that almost everyone on the was either having headphones or looking at their phones or both. I bet I was also the same when I had my smart phone. I took out my book and started reading an old lady sited next to who all along stared at her phone turned and asked me what I was reading. It is really rare that a total stranger starts of a conversation this way. It led to a very interesting discussion on religion and politics and the people in the neighboring sits joined in and put away their phones. I got home very satisfied with the conversation. I learned that the smart phone robbed me of a lot of opportunity to converse with people.

I was on my way to work the next day and I decided instead of using the shortest route to work I would use a longer route that passed where I first took the Taxi just to have a look and kill some time. As the train passed that place there stood a white Toyota hybrid and the driver was bald. I immediately got off at the next stop and ran towards that place hoping that he would not get a client and drive away before I arrived. 20 minutes later I was there and there it stood. The man was indeed bald-headed and Arabic. “Do you remember me? You drove us Monday night… We were laughing and making jokes all the way… Then I left my phone….,” I asked without pausing till I finished. “Yes! Yes! Yes! Yees!” he answered and burst into his hearty laughter once again. I couldn’t help but join in and praying that he would not say that he has not seen my phone. He came out of the car, went to the trunk and in his rucksack he pulled out my phone neatly tucked inside. He told me we were the most hilarious clients he ever had and was parking at that spot everyday hoping I would show up and pick up my phone. He told me has been looking for a charger and thought if he charged it and turned it on I would be able to track him or someone might call. I couldn’t thank him enough. He in turn told me that we should continue being so jovial as he was having a long day and we made him laugh like he has never laughed in a long time. We gave him more than a tip I got back much more than I bargained for. Important lessons of life. Placeholder Image



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