This is a good experience if you are going to survive in Paris.
The subway arrives, the doors open up.
People get out, and it’s our turn to get in.
In the crowd there’s 2 german tourists, a young woman, myself and 2 kids about 12, 13 years old.
The tourist get in, and on the side in the space in front of the door, the young woman was in first and is at the opposite. the 2 kids come in and I’m just behind them.
They seem to stay in front of the door and stick to each other. To me they looked confused…
Then as the door starts biping, they run out of the subway and a woman shouts “grab them!”.
I was thinking they were with her and out of confusion they got out. It’s so fast, it was tough to understand what was going on.
They got their way in the small bag which was hanging in front of the german woman and got their way out of the train.
Let’s just slow motion on the event and try to prevent something like this from happening again.
A few things should have triggered awareness, but like the tsunami that hit Asia, nobody reacts because we don’t get the hints and it happens so fast.
1) The kids walk in the subway and they stick to each other very closely.
2) They don’t get out of the way and stand in front of the door even though there’s a lot of space in the train. I actually told them to move on and got my way in by bullying a bit.
3) They look extremely serious and ready.
4) They dress up with very baggy coat.
If there’s an obvious reason as why they stand in front of the door and look serious, it’s not jumping to the eyes why they stick to each other and wear baggy coat.
1 )They actually stand in front of their target, touching it (the german tourist in our case) so that they’ll get use to their body presence.
2) They don’t face their target but they know what they want and where it is.
3) They stick to each other and use baggy coat to hide the arm of one of them stuck below his other arm, doing its business in front of everybody (so his hand is in his back and that’s why they don’t face their target).
When the door rings and start closing they run out leaving everybody else inside the leaving train.
It turns out they grabbed no money and passport. It was just a notepad.
My recommandation to avoid this kind of problem is:
1) Avoid looking like a rich tourist. In paris dress like a parisian. In bangkok, dress like an expat. You are going to be the primary target…
2) Deter the eventual pickpocket if you got a bag hanging in front of you by putting something useless on top (the notepad on top of everything in the bag was very fortunate). Put your wallet/passport in a slot inside the bag with a zipper. It would be another wall to cross for the pickpocket and he got just a few second. There’s no time…
3) A pickpocket is never acting alone. To avoid getting caught, he would give his gain to someone else in case he is discovered. You will find nothing on him. Be wary of strange acting people. The only fact that they are acting strange should bring you in caution mode and have your hand in your pocket to avoid this. Just in case.
4) Don’t let anybody bump into you or touch you (It looks more normal in the subway aha)
Finally, I hope I’ll never cross someone as skilled as this one or the next thing I’ll know, I’ll be naked in the middle of the street.