TAIPEI, Taiwan - Two Tamsui district police officers were featured in local newspapers yesterday and were praised for aiding French tourists in recovering a cellphone within 20 minutes of it being lost.
Four men and a woman from France had entered the Tamsui District Zhongshan Road police station days before, speaking in simple Mandarin and English to the officers on duty.
With heavy French accents, the tourist soon began talking with Sergeant Huang Chun-shu and policeman Li I-hsin, both holding elementary level qualifications from the General English Proficiency Test of Taiwan. However, as both parties spoke in their respective accents, it took the group around two to three minutes of English, French, Mandarin and hand gestures before it can be conveyed to the police that one of the tourists had lost his mobile phone.
Bonnaffoux Alexis, owner of the lost phone, told the police that he had dialed his number and spoken to the person on the other end of the line, but as the receiver only spoke Mandarin, the tourists were unable to communicate with the person.
After the police redialed the number, the officers found out that the phone had been left at a Japanese restaurant by the Tamsui MRT station. Li soon retrieved the phone after jumping onto his patrol scooter, and closed the case within 20 minutes.
The police officers had been reported as saying that though they have had experiences with foreigners, it was their first time with French tourists.
The tourists were very friendly, said the officers, and expressed their gratitude in their best attempt at saying "thank you" in Mandarin.