To date in my life I’ve been pretty smug about something – I’ve never lost a wallet, a set of keys, or been pickpocketed*.
I’d put this down to maintaining a general sense of awareness, and some behaviour patterns to minimise the risks of losing any of them.
Late last year I took young LarryBStanding for a walk down in the park and was wearing a rando pair of shorts, and got home to find that I’d lost my wallet out of the back pocket somewhere along the way. Cue LOTS of swearing and a fevered re-tracing of my steps (with Larry in tow – although he was pretty useless as a sniffer-hound). Upon returning home I began the unenviable task of phoning up and cancelling all my cards, etc. and about 1.5 hours later got a knock at the door by a chap on a moped who’d found it and was wanting to return it. So that was awesome**. But it meant indelibly losing the “I’ve never lost a wallet” smugness.
Earlier this year I jumped in the car, dropped Larry off at the dogsitter, went in to work, and realised I couldn’t unlock my desk drawer – BECAUSE I’D LOST MY KEYS! Cue lots of swearing, a trip across the road to the carpark to see if they were there, a Whatsapp chat with the dogsitter in case they were at his place, then a drive back home… where they turned out to be lying in the driveway. Seemingly in the palaver of managing all the various bags and getting Larry in the car I’d dropped them. Thankfully no more ill-effects than that, but again – the farewelling of another chunk of smugness.
And the event prompting this outpouring: on Sunday in the Parisian Metro I had my mobile phone stolen.
I think the pickpocketing thing was possibly my last real point of smugness, because I *like* to think I maintain a good general awareness of what’s going on around me, and when other people are moving into position to create opportunity.
In this case my T+ ticket wouldn’t work in the barrier I was trying to get through. I had our wheelie bag in one hand, Liz had gone through already, and we were in a bit of a getamoveon to get back out to the airport. I strafed across 2 or 3 barriers trying the ticket but kept getting the red light. I knew I had one more spare ticket in my wallet, so fumbled to get that out and deal with the situation before the people approaching up the corridor arrived and potentially evolved the situation into a kerfuffle. Eventually a ticket/barrier combination worked, but that distraction and stress created the perfect moment for someone to dip my pocket, and I’m 90% sure that’s exactly what happened.
If I’d had my house keys in there like I normally do there’s no way it would have happened, but helpfully I’d put them in the wheely bag because you don’t need to be carrying a big bunch of keys on holiday, do you?
So there it is – we got on the Metro to Gare du Nord, I went to check the time, and then had that slightly sickening flat feeling when one realises what’s happened.
I suppose if there is an upside it’s that I’ve been visiting Paris since 2004, and this is the first/only time it’s happened. And they’re VERY good down there. And, also, they didn’t go for/get my passport.
Eugh. Still. Now I can’t think of myself as superior because I don’t lose things.
Will have to take solace in the other 4,500 reasons instead…
* that was going to be “or lost a mobile phone”, but then remember the incident in the Frankfurt taxi
** the annoying part was that this was the 3rd time he’d come around to return it – the previous 2 times I was still out looking for it, so had I been home I wouldn’t have had to cancel *anything*.