A beer tower in Ochang, South Korea.

I was in a hurry. Story of my life. I wasn’t paying attention, and the bus reached Ochang before I was able to neatly gather all my belongings. Usually it’s not a big deal, but this time the bus wasn’t stopping in Ochang. Its final destination was Cheongju.

I quickly threw my stuff in a pile, and jumped off the bus without looking back. I wanted to avoid the wrath of stares I was getting for making people wait an extra 23 seconds.

I reached for my iPhone to call a friend. It wasn’t where I usually put it. It wasn’t in my coat pockets, or any of the pockets in my bag. I left it on the bus! At that moment I felt a little piece of my soul shrivel up and die.

A beer tower with a Korean friend in Ochang, South Korea.
Having a beer with Jason in Ochang, South Korea.
I’m not one to panic, but I instantly went into this sort of survival mode. I made quick, strategic decisions that got me from point A to point B in a matter of minutes.

The most helpful, and coincidentally the person I was going to call anyway, would be Jason. I ran into his sixth grade classroom at my school. He was with two students, so I calmly interrupted to tell him/them what had happened. Jason immediately made a few calls, and located my phone within seconds. I couldn’t believe it.

We had to speed to Cheongju in order to catch the bus driver who had my phone before he left for Seoul. We made it! And after a few bows, I gave a small token of appreciation to the driver and had my phone back. Jason made it seem so simple, but it would've been nearly impossible to get my phone back on my own.

We went out for fried food and beer after. I appreciate any time I get to spend with Jason, and am truly thankful for everything he’s done for me. Not only did Jason get my phone back, he’s also the person who got me the phone in the first place. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to fully repay him for his generosity.


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