Sunday, February 13, 2011

Picked in Paris

As you travel around Paris you'll see this sign in the subway.
 You'll see this sign at the high speed train station.
 You'll see this sign at the Eiffel Tower.
 Those signs give you warning that there is the potential for problems.  Saturday we were walking along the Seine River towards the Notre-Dame Cathedral which in on this island you see in the picture below.  As we got to the bridge in the picture a woman came up to me begging for money.  She did not speak English.  She was very aggressive and bumped into me as she got in my face asking for money.  She bumped into me again for a couple of seconds as I told her no.  As she moved away I checked my pockets and my wallet which was zipped into the chest pocket of my North  Face coat was gone.  I wondered for a few seconds if I had lost it somewhere previously and I realized she had very smoothly in a matter of seconds picked my pocket.  I told her to give me back my wallet.  My friend Barry said are you sure, I said yes.  He said to her and I, let's get the police.  I said to her again, give me my wallet and Barry again said let's get the police.  He said to her let's look in your shopping bag, she opened it.  No wallet.  I said to again, I know you have it, give me my wallet.  She opened her purse and gave me back my wallet.  Nothing was missing.  She again asked for money indicating was a raised shirt that she was pregnant.  We said no and  left the scene to catch up with our other friends.  I kept my hand on wallet in my pocket for the rest of the weekend.  I had been very fortunate.  Several friends had their pockets picked in Chicago last November.  The prompting to check immediately as it happened enabled us to confront her before she left.  The whole incident probably didn't last 2 minutes.  Lesson learned.

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