Wednesday, 22 November 2023
A Korean tourist has praised the honesty of two locals from Ronda after they traced and returned his waist bag containing 5,000 euros, his passport, and that of his daughter, which he had mislaid on a bus.
Malena León, who runs the cafeteria at Ronda bus station and Francisco Gavilán, bus driver, swung into action to help the distraught visitor whose trip could have turned into a nightmare, not only because he was left without cash, but also because of the hassle of having to renew his identity documents.
The tourist, León explained, had travelled from the Malaga city to Ronda, on a tour of Andalucía. After getting off the bus, he realised that he did not have his bumbag. He thought had fallen under the seat, but he did not know for sure.
"He came to the cafeteria and asked me for help," León said. "With an [online] translator I could understand him as I don't speak any Korean. He came with his daughter and he was really worried about the passports," said the Ronda local who, given her years managing the café business, knows the routes and the drivers of the different transport lines operating in the municipality.
"I located the driver, but he didn't pick up the phone at first, because he was driving, and later he called me," she said.
Gavilán was driving between Ronda and Olvera, a town in Cadiz province where he lives. When he arrived he checked the bus for lost belongings but didn’t spot anything. Minutes later, when he received the call from León, he returned to the vehicle and found the bumbag. "I hadn't seen it initially, it was under the seat.... This man was very lucky.... It was open, you could see the money, but nobody found it," Gavilán said.
He took it home and in the morning delivered it, together with León, to its owner."He was very grateful," they said. The relieved tourist gave them one hundred euros each as a token of gratitude. "The reward for us was to help others, not the money," they said.
"What he was really relieved about were the passports, he didn't care too much about the money, which was in dollars, banknotes from his country and in euros," they said, estimating that there were more than 5,000 euros and "also a lot of money in dollars".
"You have to be very careful when travelling, especially with wallets, purses and waist bags," Gavilán said. Only the day before he returned a wallet to its owner, a young man from Olvera, who left it on the bus; and in April, León returned 6,000 euros, in another wallet, that belonged to an Argentinian who had lost it. "We are not going to keep what is not ours, it is what our parents taught us," the pair said.
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