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Foreigner retrieves watch undisturbed on Taipei street after 15 hours

Taiwanese-Argentine man finds heirloom watch unmolested after sitting on Taipei roadside for 15 hours

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Spot where watch was left. (Facebook, Ebaneo Valdez Kao photo)

Spot where watch was left. (Facebook, Ebaneo Valdez Kao photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Taiwanese-Argentine man who accidentally left his family heirloom at the side of a road in Taipei was amazed to discover that it was still sitting undisturbed in the spot where he left it a day later.

At 7 p.m. on June 10, Ebaneo Valdez Kao, who works in Taipei as a software engineer, told Taiwan News that he placed a precious watch that his father gifted him atop a roadside pylon as he put on a pair of rollerblades near Taipei's Nangang Software Park. He spent the next two hours rollerblading along the Keelung Riverside Bikeway and forgot about the timepiece.

Valdez said that he then went home and did not notice anything amiss. It was not until he woke at 9 a.m. on June 11 that he realized his watch was missing from his apartment.

Desperate to find the watch, Valdez bolted out of his residence in Taipei's Neihu District, rushing 4.4 kilometers to make it back to the spot where he thought he might have left it. He said that he expected the watch to be gone, yet he felt a glimmer of hope that it might still be there because Taiwanese are famous for leaving abandoned personal items untouched.

To his pleasant surprise, at 10 a.m., when he reached the spot where he recalled sitting down to put on his rollerblades, he found that the watch was still perched atop the pylon. Valdez said that had he not found the watch, he would have tried contacting the police.

That same morning, Valdez was so pleased with the conscientiousness of Taiwanese society that he posted photos documenting his story on the Facebook group Foreigners Society in Taiwan with the hashtag #onlyinTaiwan. The post swiftly gained 679 likes and 83 comments, with many sharing their own experiences retrieving items such as backpacks, bags, sunglasses, keys, wallets, phones, credit cards, laptops, etc...

Valdez said that 50 years ago his grandfather gave the watch to his father, who then wore it on many trips over the decades. Before he left Argentina for the first time in 2016, Valdez said his father gave it to him.

Foreigner retrieves watch undisturbed on Taipei street after 15 hours
Pylon Valdez left watch on. (Facebook, Ebaneo Valdez Kao)

Foreigner retrieves watch undisturbed on Taipei street after 15 hours
Closeup view of spot where watch was left. (Facebook, Ebaneo Valdez Kao)

Foreigner retrieves watch undisturbed on Taipei street after 15 hours
Valdez proudly showing his watch back on his wrist by 10 a.m. (Facebook, Ebaneo Valdez Kao)