36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 105: I find money, a lot of it


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 105 — I find money, a lot of it
15-November-1971 (Mon.)


Today was a weird day. Took pictures for Mike. Practiced. But then…

While I was on a Strassebahn (52), I happened to find this shabby envelope— with 3,000s and 100 DM, plus a sales receipt. This amount of money ($150) was enough to live on for a month, and with my money problems, it could have been a gift from heaven. However, being myself, I decided that I couldn’t keep it (honesty) and should try to find the owner. I couldn’t keep it because my luck of fortune could be someone’s extreme misfortune. For example, for an elderly person, it could be an extreme hardship. The sales slip with its info (store name, Wien 7, Siebenstorngasse 27), produced nothing.

So, I brought it to the police, who also could not find it. If at the end of the year, no one claims it, of course it is mine. I will make sure to have to check up on it—to make sure the police or some other unrightful person doesn’t claim it. And if someone does claim it to make sure they are “brummer.”

I hope that my philosophy of being honest doesn’t let me down, because I would hate to turn into someone who becomes extremely selfish and uncaring. Maybe I’m being naïve for this world.


I find money, a lot of it. I forgot about this incident, but now I remember this day. I was on the streetcar system and find a very shabby envelope on the floor by my seat. No one is around. There is a lot of cash in the envelope—3,000 Austrian schillings and 100 Deutschmark. At the time, I guessed that that is about one month’s worth of expenses—rent, food, everything. I needed the money. I could use it. It was like a gift from heaven.

Doing the right thing. I couldn’t keep it. Honesty is part of my character and still is today. Generally, when I find things I return them. Wouldn’t it be nice if the entire world were this way? Too bad it isn’t. However, many, many people are honest, good citizens and are always doing the right thing. In many ways. It’s just that you don’t hear about these good deeds. It’s not newsworthy. If you’re one of those people though, it makes you feel good. Very good.

John, the sleuth. There is no ID in the envelope, only a sales slip. I go to the store to try and see if they could tell who the owner might be. No, it was just a cash register receipt. I return it to the police in that district. They take down my contact information and explain how things will proceed. Of course, I am just a little bit skeptical about human nature, but hope for the best.

Prophecy. In my journal that night, I am writing about how my fortune could be someone else’s misfortune. This was very prophetic. In the future, you will learn about how this event played out.

Till tomorrow.


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