This is a followup to our Florida Coast tour from last September. This story took almost 4 months to unfold.
When I got back home in October, I remembered the banged up cell phone I’d picked up on that rainy day riding on US1 from Florida City to Key Largo. [Recap: The phone had been soaking wet with its back cover off and battery missing, and I had found the battery 100 yards further down the road.]
The phone was a Samsung Galaxy Duos model. Nice size screen and apparently in good condition. No screen cracks or scratches and only one small ding on a corner of the frame. My son and I tried the battery, and then tried a mini-USB charger, but couldn’t wake it up. The phone got placed on a shelf and forgotten.
For some reason in December, I decided to give it another try. Lo and behold – it booted up fine! Maybe it just had to fully dry out. The screen looked great, and I spent some time examining the contents, trying to identify the owner. It was actually lucky that there was no access security on the Android operating system, otherwise I may have decided to wipe out the OS and start fresh.
A little digging led me to the name and email address of a woman. Googling her, I learned that she lives in Dehli India. Shipping would cost maybe $150, so I decided to send her an email to ask what she wanted to do.
A very nice email came back. The lady was delighted at the idea of retrieving her phone, especially since it had all her vacation photos from the US. She could hardly believe that it had been found. She explained that she’d been snapping photos of the Everglades from a moving car, and the phone had slipped out of her hands. Since that road is a limited access divided highway, I can easily see how there was no way to turn around to retrieve it.
Instead of sending the phone all the way to India, we agreed that I’d send it to a friend of hers in Virginia, one who was soon to visit India and would bring it. I sent it off the next day. The postage was less than $20. I decided that was too low for us to bother with, so I included a note to that effect with the shipment.
A few days later I received warm thank you notes from Virginia and India in my email. A few weeks later, sometime in mid-January 2014, I received a package in the mail containing a pair of lovely pewter candlestick holders, again with thanks from both the owner and her friend in Virginia. A note even invited me to come visit India and stay at their place in the Himalayas.
Making such a connection, via my bicycle, halfway around the world, feels pretty amazing. Hmmm…I wonder if they do any cycling in the Himalayas?