One-Hundred-Meter-Dash with a Suitcase and Smartphone


Bob is already starting to get impatient when, finally, his suitcase shows up too. It’s one of the last ones on the baggage carousel, in fact, it’s the last one: He’s already seen the one following behind because it’s doing a second round. Bob heaves his large, gray hard shell suitcase off the conveyor belt. It’s terribly heavy – did someone add something to it? He’s in for a nasty surprise when he checks the luggage name tag – it’s not his! These suitcases all look the same and, especially if its manufacturer is reputable, you can expect to have several of them on each flight.

What’s the owner’s name? Chris Rowland, presumably a woman then? No, not even that’s a given. In any case, this person is probably in the process of moving. Considering the suitcase’s weight, it probably contains all his earthly possessions. What’s strange, though, is that the individual didn’t notice the weight difference when walking off with Bob’s suitcase. Must be a bit of a sleepyhead.

Bob gets out his Smartphone, opens the Tracing Station and clicks on one of his monitored “babies” – no. 7 is his suitcase. Yes, it’s moving away. Having covered a distance of 172 meters by now, it’s already beyond the customs authorities. In his left hand, Bob holds his Smartphone in front of him like a compass; he grabs the handle of his trolley case with his other hand and starts running!

This person, Chris Rowland, seems to be in a hurry and obviously wasn’t held up by the customs authorities. Fortunately, the customs officers aren’t interested in Bob’s suitcase either. If he’s not able to swap luggage soon, he’ll have to inquire with the airline: Which passenger reported accidentally switching suitcases? Address, phone call, going there, exchanging suitcases – what a nuisance that would be! Especially when you have important appointments to keep. And perhaps Chris won’t even notice that he has the wrong suitcase until he gets to his hotel way up in the mountains! Bob’s week would suddenly take on a completely new focus.

Bob keeps running and checking his Smartphone, all the while thinking that this exercise should be turned into an Olympic discipline. He’s only 20, 15 meters away…there, the taxi stand! It’s only a matter of seconds now. Which one of those boarding a cab is Chris? The tall lanky one with the blonde mane? No, the suitcase looks different. Where is Bob’s suitcase? Another glance at the Smartphone. The direction is entirely different now: he sees a fellow with two suitcases amidst the throng of people. He’s sitting on one of them making a call. On Bob’s suitcase!

“I beg your pardon, would you mind calling from your own suitcase?”
“What’s wrong??”
“You’re sitting on my suitcase. This one here is yours!”
The man jumps to his feet as though he’d been bitten and immediately checks the luggage tag.
“You’re right! I’m so sorry about that! Thank you very much.
“By the way, what’s in your suitcase – bars of gold?”
No, books! I just bought the 1788-1801 edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica in London. “The entire knowledge of the time, 20 volumes, 24 kilos!”

“In any case, the heaviest knowledge I’ve ever had to deal with! Didn’t you notice that your suitcase was a lot lighter after the flight?”
“My mind was already working on a lecture that I’m giving this evening. But tell me, how did you find me so quickly? You must have eagle eyes.”
“No, it’s a type of radar. It keeps an eye on my suitcase and some other things as well. There’s a particularly intelligent receiver in my Smartphone that works with angle measurement; and there’s a little transmitter in my suitcase.”
Chris Rowland’s jaw drops in awe and then closes again.
“And where can you…I mean, does this invention have a name?”
“Yes, it’s called ‘Tracewave’.”
“Unbelievable, the things that exist nowadays!”
“Indeed, today’s knowledge couldn’t be transported in this suitcase anymore. At least not as an encyclopaedia!”


Story translated by EnglishProCo