Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Story Worth Sharing

I planned all week long to have my first posts since January 27th be all about my amazing and wonderful trip to Tennessee last week. And don't get me wrong, plenty of posts about the UT Trombone Symposium are in the works right now. But something happened yesterday that I simply must share with you all and preserve for my own records.

I guess I need a way to tie this in to music, since that's what this blog is all about! Let me think...

OK. Yesterday morning was the dress rehearsal for last night's Philharmonic concert under Seymon Bychkov. The program is a fun one, with Schubert's Symphony No. 2, Wagner's Prelude from Tristan und Isolde, and Bartók's Miraculous Mandarin Suite. It's my first time doing the Bartók, and I've been playing principal for this particular program, which has been great.

I decided to come back to Sommerein during the midday break to get some work done, get a bit of rest, and see my awesome family which I was away from last week. I was sitting on the S-Bahn reading my Kindle, and was so engrossed in the book I was reading (Laura Hildebrand's Unbroken- highly recommended) that I didn't realize when the train was approaching my stop. At the last second, I looked up to see the train sitting at my station. I hopped out of my seat, threw on my coat, and rushed out the train doors just as they were closing.

In the parking lot, I looked in my messenger bag (AKA my man purse) for my iPhone, only to realize it was gone! When I hastily put on my coat, it must have fallen out of the pocket!

I raced home as fast as safely possible, logged on to my MobileMe account, and launched the 'find my iPhone' application, which told me that my device was located somewhere in downtown Bruck and der Leitha. Bruck is a couple towns northeast of here, and I thought maybe someone on the train had seen me drop the phone and had turned it in. In particular, there was a woman sitting across from me with a young girl, and I thought maybe she grabbed it with the intent to return it since she knew what I looked like.

I used the MobileMe program to first lock the phone and then display a message on the home screen that read, "The owner of this phone is Jeremy Wilson. Please call me at (number)." I sped off towards Bruck, with the hope that when I found the coordinates the program was giving me I would be able to easily figure out where it was. I thought maybe it was at a police station or an ÖBB office (the Austrian rail system) and I could just walk in and retrieve it. No such luck. The 'Find my iPhone' program wasn't able to exactly pinpoint the location of the device, and the blue radius it was giving me actually encompassed several buildings, none of which seemed to be an obvious place to return a lost phone. There was a real estate office, a book store, an Irish pub, and several other businesses on the street level, and then loads of apartments above them. I went to each business, asking them, "Have you maybe found an iPhone?" It's such a random question to get, and I understandably got several funny looks. No one had the phone.

After striking out for half an hour, I realized my only option was to begin ringing doorbells of the upstairs apartments. I would estimate there were probably 25 apartments within the 'search area'. After confirming with Kristi at home that the phone had not changed locations, I slowly walked up to the buzzer panel on the westernmost edge of the blue circle. As I scanned the list of names, I suddenly remembered that the woman across from me in the train had been speaking what I thought was Hungarian. I decided to look for a non-Austrian surname on the panel... Strasser...Müller...Hoffmann...Radics! BINGO!

I pushed the button...
"Grüss Gott. Have you perhaps found an iPhone?" (In German)
* pause *
"Hold on! Just a second, just a second!" (In English)

I waited for about a minute, still astounded that I had found someone in Bruck who was more comfortable with English than with German, but had apparently recognized the word 'iPhone'. I looked up to see a girl in her early twenties bounding down the stairs...could it be??

She had my phone in her hand.

She opened the door and asked, "Are you American?" She had seen my name and the orange 'Power T' on the phone's home screen and put two and two together. She was also an American, originally from Seattle, but now living in Bruck with her aunt, who had seen me drop my phone and had brought it home to try and return it. The very first apartment I had buzzed in this massive block of buildings had been the correct one, and with an American living there to boot. Now, how's THAT for a story!?

1 comment:

  1. That's wonderful Jeremy! My first thought when you started saying you were looking up the location of your phone and could lock it and junk was "There's an app for that?" So fun!