Recall back when I never wrote down the story about Lucerne? Well after the second person told me about this story… I felt I should tell it after all.
We had one hour to experience the joy that was Lucerne, Switzerland. My parents were visiting and this was their last stop on their tour of the country I was calling home before they went back to the states. That made this event much more painful. In our hour we were going to walk down to the "lion" and just wander the city a little bit so we decided to stow our winter wear in a locker in the train station so we didn't have to lug it around with us. My mom was to be central keeper of bulky things so we stuffed anything we wanted to keep in her back pack. It was a small backpack, almost purse-like and I stowed my wallet in it. You see where this is going? Not 200 yards from said locker I got to the bus stop and needed to buy a ticket. I turned to get said wallet and the backpack was flapping open, wallet gone.
We all calmly flipped. Well except for Mom who was calmly hysterical. We retraced. Checked trashcans. Glared at all smarmy locals, (why were there so many more smarmy locals that day? ) We retraced again. And again. Nothing. Maybe someone turned it in??
Why would they, it had my EVERTYHING in there. We are talking Passport, Swiss Work Permit, Train half fare card, Train Ticket, tram pass for Basel, Credit Cards, Bank Card, Insurance Cards, 300 dollars in cash, Drivers License ID, Hosiery club cards at JCPenney, and I had NOTHING left. If my folks hadn't been there I would not have been able to get home. I had no phone numbers, no phone with me that was charged. I was somehow fine will ALL of this stuff and was keeping it together and breathing normally, even though my blood pressure was elevated, but I broke down and LOST it on the bridge when I realized the one thing that could not be replaced, restored or re-ordered was the key to the lock on my 'new' old bike that I had just gotten to ride to work. It would now just sit there and rust in front of my apartment until doomsday. And there was little to no chance of getting another one at such a deal. So yes that is what finally made me cry. I hated Lucerne, with its charming covered wooden bridges and it's flower boxes and it's gorgeous lake, litered with swans and yachts.
We went to the tourist information booth. They sent us to Lost and Found, who had nothing. Lost and Found sent us to the police station. Police station was the last straw and our last hope before leaving the trail behind and heading home. Police man went in the back and came out with my wallet, shiny and sound. I lost my mind and dove across the counter and hugged the stiff Swiss Officer around his immaculately kempt neck, as he looked, well… assaulted.
My mom started crying tears of relief and Dad struggled not to get misty, I apologized to the officer for being an American. He seemed to understand my handicap and nodded knowingly.
Walked directly out of the Station, went back up to the nice ladies at the Tourist Info booth to let them know I found it and then as we walked out of that door, our train was magically parked in the very first platform (the first of like 15 or so). We walked directly onto the train and ordered a round of beers. Crisis averted. Fervent prayers answered.