I was less than a year into China when I lost my wallet in Kunshan. I withdrew 1,000RMB from an ATM, rode my bike home, locked it, reached into my pocket and realized that my wallet was gone. Womp.
A few days later I entered my gym and an attendant explained, to my surprise, that there was a message for me. I received a phone and on the other end was a local journalist that was contacted by a factory worker that found my wallet. Because he couldn’t read English, he contacted a news station for assistance in tracking me down. The journalist recognized my gym membership card, notified the gym, and they had notified me. Whew!
The journalist also requested a meeting between the worker and I the next day and politely asked to bring a news camera to capture the caring side of Kunshan citizens. I happily obliged.
After meeting the worker I thanked him and even offered 200RMB (1000RMB was still there), but he refused. Following the video’s release onto local news, my ESL students and several strangers around Kunshan shared that they had seen me on TV.