I was standing on the platform waiting for a train. We were heading for Sacré Couer.
The train arrived and the people on the platform surged forward, towards the train doors. (Nevermind that passengers already on the train might want to get off first.)
There was a young man behind me with a coat draped over his arm. He was quite well-dressed.
As I moved forward he moved forward, too. He put his coat over the rucksack on my back and fumbled with the fasteners. It’s a classic move.
I jumped onto the train. He stayed on the platform. As the train pulled away, I pointed my finger at him. I couldn’t say anything.
Signor Lu was with me. Eventually, I explained what had happened, that I had almost been the victim of a pickpocket.
Luckily for me, the young man hadn’t managed to open my rucksack.
But in some ways, I was disappointed. My rucksack contained nothing of value and was, in fact, stuffed with snotty tissues – the pollen from European trees makes me sneeze and sneeze and sneeze – and it can get very messy.
They’d removed all the rubbish bins from the station for security reasons, so I’d been using my rucksack as a container for my unsanitary tissues.
Had the pickpocket managed to get his hand into my rucksack, he would have found a soggy, wet surprise.
I was also disappointed on another level. I was disappointed with my reaction to the event, or rather, my lack of reaction.
I’m going to Paris again, soon. This time, not only will I be on ninja-like guard against pickpockets, but should anyone so much as brush against my bag, I will respond disproportionately with screaming, kicking, swearing and biting (maybe). To make up for last time.
Paris: you’ve been warned!