PACING the streets of Paris, convinced that he would never see his wallet again, Chris Jobson was trying to recall the moment it fell from his pocket.
Panicked and distressed, the postman from Edinburgh returned to his hotel room to begin the gruelling task everyone fears while on holiday – filling out insurance forms and cancelling bank cards.
But the 60-year-old father was stopped in his tracks when his mobile phone rang – on answering he learned to his surprise that the city council back in the Capital knew of the wallet’s whereabouts.
It had been picked up by Belgian holidaymakers, who had called the number on the back of Mr Jobson’s bus pass.
He said: “The feeling of relief was just unbelievable, and it was all because my bus pass had been in my wallet – they managed to track me down so easily.”
Mr Jobson, from Wardie, had been on holiday with a friend at the end of October when the incident happened.
The pair were enjoying a stroll through the Opera district of the city, when he noticed his wallet was missing.
Mr Jobson told the News: “My jacket had zip-up pockets and I kept checking every so often to make sure my wallet was still there. I’d read about pickpockets so I was really conscious.
“When I noticed it was missing, to say I was distraught would be an understatement.
“It had all my bank cards, money, metro tickets, and, of course, my bus pass in there.
“I was trying to back track to where I might have lost it but I just couldn’t think.”
A member of the city council’s One Edinburgh call centre phoned Mr Jobson in France, after a couple from Bruges – who were also on holiday in Paris – contacted them.
They asked the council to pass on their contact details to Mr Jobson, so they could return his wallet to him before they made their way back to Belgium.
Mr Jobson said the couple then made their way to his hotel in the Pigalle area of the city, where he rushed to the reception desk to meet them.
He said: “I just about hit the roof with excitement when the council told me it had been found.
“I honestly couldn’t believe it, you’d think losing a wallet in Paris would be like a needle in a haystack but I was so lucky.
“After I phoned the couple from Bruges, they said they’d bring it to my hotel.
“I almost burst out crying when I saw them – I was just so emotional.
“I am very grateful to the department at Edinburgh city council who dealt with this. I am so grateful to have got my wallet back.”
Councillor Alasdair Rankin, city finance and resources leader, who is in charge of the contact centre, said: “This is a great example of the service our contact centre provides to the people of Edinburgh – and in this case, Paris.
“This international rescue has helped reunite Chris with his wallet.”