The Lost Bag

似有故人来

Special Focus - - Contents - Mo Xiaomi 莫小米

In my neigh­bor­hood, there is a street lined with small shops, where, al­most on a daily ba­sis, you can see all kinds of no­tices, such as new shop open­ing, job re­cruit­ment, clear­ance sales, and prop­erty trans­fers. Very few shops re­main open for over two years. How­ever, in Tokyo, there is a shop called Uchiyama Candy Shop that has been oper­at­ing for five decades, and the shop owner Mr. Uchiyama has reached an ad­vanced age of 90 and still runs the busi­ness.

Due to his age, Mr. Uchiyama con­sid­ered clos­ing this candy shop two years back. How­ever, he claims that just be­cause of a bag left be­hind by a cus­tomer yet to be claimed, the shop is still open.

In all like­li­hood, the owner of the bag was just a passerby, who has gone some­where far away, and will never be back. More­over, it is likely that there is noth­ing valu­able in­side the bag, and it would hardly mat­ter even if it was lost. Yet Mr. Uchiyama holds a dif­fer­ent view. He thinks, since the owner was a guest to his shop, he should be fully ac­count­able for it.

Re­cently, a Ja­panese news web­site posted pho­tos of Mr. Uchiyama and the shop on­line, hop­ing to find the owner of the bag; thus, we got to learn about the shop, even if it doesn’t sell can­dies any more.

If you have left some­thing in some cor­ner of the world, it could still be there, wait­ing for you. In a mid­dle school lo­cated in a south­ern county of China, the school prin­ci­pal had taken care of a brief­case with a com­bi­na­tion lock that was left be­hind by a job ap­pli­cant over 20 years ago.

Back then, mo­bile phones were not yet com­mon, and the only clue was the name of the owner. Af­ter many fruit­less at­tempts to reach the ap­pli­cant, the prin­ci­pal thought of hand­ing the brief­case over to the po­lice sta­tion, but later he changed his mind, as he felt the po­lice wouldn’t ac­cept such a triv­ial mat­ter, so he de­cided to safe­guard the brief­case him­self, just in case the owner came back to look for it some­day.

Over the past 20 years, the school changed its name and split and merged three times, and the school dor­mi­tory was also re­lo­cated three times, but the brief­case was al­ways kept in the school’s archives. When­ever the school needed to be re­lo­cated and was faced with a heavy work­load, some­one

would al­ways sug­gest, “This brief­case has been here for so long, yet no one ever showed up to claim it, so it must be val­ue­less. Why don’t we just throw it away?”

The prin­ci­pal replied, “No. I don’t know whether it is of value or not, but when he came to at­tend the in­ter­view, he took out his cer­tifi­cates of honor from the brief­case, so I be­lieve it should be mean­ing­ful to him.”

At the oc­ca­sional gath­er­ing, where the at­ten­dees were not fa­mil­iar with each other, the prin­ci­pal would chat with the per­son next to him out of cour­tesy.

“I have a se­nior school­mate who once ap­plied for a po­si­tion of your school many years ago.” said that per­son.

Over the years, count­less can­di­dates had ap­plied for jobs at the school, yet un­ex­pect­edly, the prin­ci­pal blurted out, “Is his name XXX?”

“Do you know him?” said that per­son, feel­ing sur­prised.

The prin­ci­pal told the whole story, and, fi­nally, the mys­tery was solved.

A few days later, in the prin­ci­pal’s of­fice, the owner un­locked his brief­case, and it turned out that the pass­word of the lock wasn’t set.

In fact, seem­ingly hope­less wait­ing has its own sig­nif­i­cance. At ev­ery mo­ment, it may re­mind you of the days of the past, as if ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the re­turn of an old friend.

(From Tonight News paper, Novem­ber 28th, 2016. Trans­lated: Zhu Yaguang)

我家附近一条街,一溜的小店铺,几乎天天都能看到开张、招工、清仓、转让的大小告示,很少有开到两年以上的。但在日本东京都,有家内山糖果店,开了50年之久,店长内山先生业已九十高龄。

店长年事已高,两年前也想关掉糖果店,只因有个顾客将一个包遗留在店里,小店便一直开着,等待那人前来认领。

那个失主可能只是匆匆路过,可能已经去往天涯海角,再不回头。更可能,那包里根本没啥重要东西,丢了也就丢了。但店长不这么认为,既然是他店里的主顾,他便要负责到底。

日本网络媒体将小店连同店长的照片传上网,帮忙寻找包的失主。这样,我们才知道这家糖果店,虽然它已经不卖糖果了。

你在这世界上某个角落遗留的东西,有可能一直在那儿等着你。南方县城的一个中学,有位校长保管着前来求职的人遗留的密码箱,长达20年。

当年,大多数人还没有手机,留下的线索唯有失主的一个名字。校长多方查询无果,也想过将密码箱交派出所。但觉得这点小物件,派出所未必受理,还不如先代为保存,哪天失主来找,也有个交代。

20年里,学校改名、拆并三次,校舍也搬了三次。校长把密码箱存放在学校档案室,每次学校搬迁,工作量很大,总有人说:“这密码箱长时间没人来找,肯定不值钱,扔了算了。”

校长说,不能扔,值钱不值钱不知道,但他来求职时,曾从箱子里拿出过荣誉证书,应该很珍贵吧。

在一个非常偶然的场合,同桌吃饭的人也都不熟,校长跟边上的人礼节性地交谈。

对方说:“我有个师兄,很多年前,去你们学校应聘过。”

这些年有多少前来应聘的人啊,校长竟脱口而出:“是不是叫 XXX ?”对方奇怪:“你认识他?”校长说出原委,果然对上了号。几天后,在校长室里,失主直接打开密码箱,原来根本没设密码。

看似无望的等待,有它的特殊意味。每时每刻,都可能重逢当年,似有故人来。

(摘自《今晚报》2016年 11 月 28日)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.