Mystery Note

People close to me will tell you that I have a lousy memory. Although I could remember a lot of useless trivia and information, I sometimes have a hard time remembering things I’ve done. That’s why whenever I need to remember something, I have to write it down so that it becomes a sort of information that I could remember more easily. Sometiems, though, I still forget so it’s safer to just keep notes.


Yesterday, I rumaged through my wallet and found in it this folded piece of paper torn from a notebook. I frankly couldn’t remember putting a piece of paper in my wallet. I thought that maybe I wrote something important in it so I unfolded it.

In the mystery note was mostly a bunch of numbers. I didn’t understand what they meant. I couldn’t remember what the numbers were for. All I know is that at some time in the past, I wrote these numbers down because I recognized my own chicken-scratch handwriting.

For those who can’t read what’s on the actual piece of paper in the picture, here is what’s written on it:

W-E P 12
66 – 5.13, 545, 622, 6.57, 827, 947, 1117
63 – 525, 605, 633, 732, 907, 1047
65 – 645, 748, 914, 1055

E-W
66 – 642, 800, 926, 10.56
63 – 653, 752, 925, 10.55
65 – 644, 733, 844, 1024

I was genuinely puzzled as to what the numbers meant. Was it a sequence of SQL database data that I was working on in a previous job? Was it a message I had encoded into numbers so that nobody could read the message in case somebody else found the note? Was it a secret pass code for a computer game I used to play? Or something more sinister? Dun-dun-dunnn.

I pondered at the possible significance of the mystery note the whole afternoon after I found it in my wallet. And because I couldn’t even remember ever writing this note, I even fantasized that maybe it was an encoded message I wrote to myself just before my memory got erased by off-world beings in an attempt to preserve what has transpired on that fateful day. Ha! Unlikely, I know.

So, on the way home, I showed Raquel the note and asked her if she could tell what it could be? Maybe I have told her about it and she still remembers, or something. She had one look at it and declared in Tagalog, “isn’t this a bus timetable?”

Oh! I snatched the note from her and looked at the set of numbers again. Of course! It was so obvious. It was indeed the timetable for buses!

Indeed, after further research on the Internet, I found that it was the timetable for the ACTION buses that go through the Canberran suburbs of Woden and Erindale after 5 pm. The W in the note stood for Woden and the E stood for Erindale. And now I even remembered why I wrote the note in the first place.

At the time, we still didn’t have our own car and there was this sports club in Erindale where they had badminton matches every week at around 7 pm, if I recall correctly. I needed to know what time the bus goes through Woden so I would know what time I should leave the office. I also needed to know the bus trips from Erindale back to Woden after the game as it would mean a long wait or a costly taxi ride for me if I missed the bus. This info wasn’t that useful in the end because I almost never went to the badminton matches.

Anyway, Raquel basically solved the mystery of the note for me. It’s true that two heads are better than one. Specially in my case. So, let this be a lesson to some of you. When you write a note, make sure it doesn’t just contain a bunch of numbers with no explanation as to what they could mean.

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Published in: on July 5, 2005 at 12:51 pm  Leave a Comment