Be wary. They’re everywhere: the Metro, the streets, the supermarket, Starbucks- and they want your iPhones and wallets, and anything else they can get their hands on. Here’s a short tale of what happened to me last weekend.
Before you start feeling sorry for me, I must admit something: I didn’t actually get anything stolen from me (yet). But wait- before you click the red “X” in the corner of your browser- it is still a story worth reading…
We were around the Carrousel du Louvre area, on a Saturday afternoon. As you can imagine, the place was swarming with people, all rushing off in different directions, map in one hand and a shopping bag full of novelty gifts in the other. But I didn’t have any of those things. I had both of my hands free, and my satchel bag to the side, with the front of it facing me- not the public.
So when an “innocent” lady tried to squeeze past me in between the crowds, mumbling “pardon”, I thought nothing of it- she obviously just wanted to get past. So why was it that when I looked down, she had her hand completely in my bag?! When I realised what she was doing, she just mumbled “pardon” again, and carried on with her shitty pick-pocketing day.
Luckily for me, my wallet is too huge for anybody to be able to grab it out of the tiny gap on the side of every satchel, but had I had something a little bit smaller, such as keys, or even my phone, she would’ve walked off with it, and I probably would’ve been none the wiser.
“Did you grab her hands and confront her?” asked Dennis, after I had told him what had happened. No. Unfortunately not. I just stood there, gobsmacked, for 2 reasons:
- I CAN’T BELIEVE PEOPLE ACTUALLY DO THIS! You always hear about these things, but it’s just such a’ stupid, ridiculous thing to do with your life, and I was stunned by how cheeky this woman was.
- I’M NOT EVEN A TOURIST! I LIVE HERE! I’m not saying that tourists deserve this treatment, but it’s common knowledge that tourists are the likely targets for pick pockets.
What was even more surprising was that she also seemed like a tourist herself. And if she wasn’t, then she was doing a great job putting on that shit French accent.
Let this be a lesson: you can be as careful as you like, have your bag facing a certain way like I was, but these nasty people will always seem to find a way. Be safe, and be smart.
I haven’t stopped thinking about this incident since, and I am already a lot more aware when walking around Paris.