March 29, 2010

Caught in the act..

I finally "experienced" pick-pocketing first hand. Just that it wasn't my pockets.. It was my rather large  and moderately "heavy" handbag. And it wasn't smooth, suave or subtle. Rather it was brusque and upfront and downright funny if you ask me. You hear tales about the smooth criminals... where the people swindled had absolutely no clue how their wallets vanished or how their cell phones weren't where they were supposed to be. But this wasn't one of them. We were in Metro 1, one of Paris' most popular Metro lines. And it was pretty loosely packed. As I got in, with no reason, given the space around me, this teenage girl threw herself upon me and then as if to steady herself, she grabbed at my handbag. And I saw the whole thing happen as if in slow motion. Customarily I have my hand loosely held on my bag in spite of the fact that the straps remain steady on my shoulder... and good thing too in this case. Because to me what the girl attempted seemed to be a bad rehearsal from a very bad play. And even after she failed once, with me watching on, she tugged at my bag another time. This time I slapped her hand away... and off she jumped from the train, with her 4 companions just as the doors swooshed shut. And here's where the stupid rehearsal would've become the Master plan and the gravity of the situation struck me. Had she succeeded, nothing could have been done to get hold of her in that instant the train departed. The worst part? All she would've gained is some meager amount of cash... but I'd have lost a great deal more, everything from house keys to my IDs, add to that the headache of canceling the credit cards. Whoosh, I survived and now I see reason behind the terribly frequent warnings on trains to be aware of pickpockets. Lesson learned firsthand. And thankfully at a dress rehearsal at that.


Post a Comment