Posts Tagged ‘Starbucks’

If you’ve got to lose something, lose it in Turkey, not in Silicon Valley

May 15, 2010

I’ve written here about how I recently left a wallet with all my credit cards and $300 in cash in an Istanbul Starbucks, and how the finder tracked me down and returned it intact. I had a similar experience in Turkey several years before. Good thing I didn’t do that in Silicon Valley, where Apple engineer Gray Powell left a priceless prototype of Apple’s next edition of the iPhone in a Redwood City bar. Brian Hogan, a 21-year-old college student, found the phone and shopped it around, finally selling it to technology blog Gizmodo for $5,000.


Hogan’s roommate, Katherine Martinson, said she and other friends tried to talk Hogan out of selling the phone, arguing it would ruin the career of the Apple engineer who lost it. Hogan responded,


“Sucks for him. He lost his phone. Shouldn’t have lost his phone.”


He sure shouldn’t have lost it where Brian Hogan could find it, steal it, and sell it. He should have lost it in Istanbul where it would have been quickly returned to him.

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Are Turks more honest than most? My Turkish friends modestly say no; I say yes.

April 22, 2010

If you lost a wallet with credit cards, a driver’s license, and $300, what would your chances be of getting it back? Depends on where you lost it, right? It would be interesting to know the chances by location—are Minnesotan more honest than New Yorkers? Or are Germans more honest than Italians? We don’t know.

But one thing I do know: if you’re going to lose your wallet, do it in Turkey.

Last month in an Istanbul Starbucks I reached for my wallet and it wasn’t there. I had just ridden in a packed tram, and I figured that I had lost it or had my pocket picked in the tram. Several hours later—11 pm, when I was in bed—I was awakened by a call from Enver Beyazyuz, a businessman who frequents that Starbucks. He had found my wallet on the men’s room floor, turned it over to the store manager, then had second thoughts: he wasn’t certain the manager, busy as he was, would make every effort to find the wallet’s owner. So he went back to Starbucks, asked to see the wallet again, found a business card of the hotel, and tracked me down. (more…)


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