So, this may sound obvious, but. . . why is it very, very important not to forget your bag on the bus?
Reason: It might get blown up.
No, that’s not a joke. Honest. Here in Israel, bags that are forgotten on a bus – or at a bus stop, or anywhere else – will be blown up by the police. If an item is spotted and no one has claimed it for all of five minutes, it is dubbed a “suspicious object“. I.e., it could be a bomb, or some other explosive device, left by terrorists who did not want to harm themselves.
What happens is as follows:
1) Someone reports it.
1a) The police call him back to ask a few questions.
2) The police send over some officers, along with a special police car that’s equipped to handle these instances.
3) The police clear the area for about 50 meters around (don’t quote me, I’m not good with distances).
3a) They make sure that there are officers keeping everyone away.
3b) They drive their car (which I think has a robot) to the object in question.
4) They blow up the suspicious object.
5) Crowd hears a big BANG!
6) The police clean the area up and leave.
If the item proves to be innocent, which it usually does, they try to find the owner so that they can return the item. So, if you forgot your laptop on a bus, you might just get it back, blown to bits, two weeks later.
(This post is from November 8, 2013 (2012? I think I wrote 2013 by accident.), but was never published. I’m not sure why, so I’m publishing it now.)