Monday, October 29, 2012

Paris Pickpockets

Walking along the Seine River in Paris, a woman leaned down in front of Terry and she picked up a big gold wedding ring. She offered it to me, not knowing what to do with it. We had been warned about pickpockets so I kept my hand in my pocket on my wallet. I checked for an engraving and handed it back.  I told her she was a lucky lady. A half hour later a man pulled the same stunt. I watched him lean down with the ring in his hand which he pretended to pick up. He moved with slow deliberateness and he could have won an Oscar for his performance of concern. This time we moved away quickly.  I was curious to find out the next step in the ruse. I think the idea was to get in a heated discussion about the ring and then a second person would approach from behind to pick the rubes pocket. Terry figured the stunt was an attempt to get people to offer money for the ring. The ring looked like gold to me however. We joked about walking along the Seine again to collect more rings.

The Metros in Paris are clean and run like clockwork. Pressing into a crowded car, I again had my hand in my pocket covering the wallet. My art supply bag was on my chest and the artist stool acted as a nice lock to keep hands off my paints and sketch pad. Some guy dropped his keys as he was supposed to be getting out. I ignored the keys stepping around him. He grabbed the inside of my calf firmly but as I moved around a central support pole,  the back of his arm got pushed up against the pole and his arm might have broken if he didn’t let go. I figure there must have been someone behind me as that guy’s keys distracted me. Luckily my back pockets were empty. Then again the guy might have just wanted to check out my calves. For the rest of my time in Paris, if I saw someone drop anything, I felt the urge to push them over.

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1 comment:

Vicky said...

On a trip to Paris, a woman tried the ring drop with me, too, but luckily I knew about it. I'm glad to hear you escaped the pickpocket, too!
This is a very nice sketch. I hope you'll be posting more from your trip so I can see Paris again from your sketches.