The case of the metro thief who stealthily stole my phone out of my coat pocket so I somehow instinctively grabbed him by his collar and asked him nicely to give it back

I have preface this to say that over the on and off period of living in France, mostly Paris over 13 years, NO ONE has ever stolen from Libby. Oh, but have they tried.

Innocently enjoying dinner at my favourite restaurant because I hadn't taken my friend here yet (but I had every other friend I had in Paris)...

Photo credit: Libby Crozier

Photo credit: Libby Crozier
Double YUM!

Sigh... just us enjoying... this is pre-theft attempt of the rather old mobile phone device (so poor choice really, ey?).

My dear American friend I had just finished a lovely meal at my favourite restaurant in Paris, "Chez Pradel Bastille" and were at Bastille metro station on the platform to go home.

I had been looking at my phone, whether to look at the time or to see which station I should transfer at.

The train arrives on the platform and as we enter the carriage, I place my phone into my right pocket of my coat. 

There is quite a short man who brushes past us in the direction of the middle of the train. 

I instinctively put my right hand into my pocket as I just thought it maybe felt light (it is light in any case) and of course my phone was gone.

I admit that this guy was slick! Wow! (I have to give credit where credit is due).

But somehow I just took a step forward and took hold of the back of this jacket collar and said (nicely of course, I don't yell at people as that is useless and silly).
"Non, non, non. Donnes-moi mon portable..."
"No, no, no. Give me back my phone..."
He did not turn around but my phone dropped into my hand. 
I was in shock and I do tend to ramble on, especially because I was in disbelief.
My friend exclaimed:
"Wow... You. Have. Hands of lightening!
I was laughing because it was true. 

I was looking down at my hands like they were magic!
"I know, right?!"
I don't know how I did it. At this stage, we kind of had completely forgotten this little man who had quickly made his way to the closest door.

He had been so seriously smooth! I knew what these pickpockets do. They get in on the train at one station, steal something and then hop off at the next stop.

Unfortunately for this guy, we were uncontrollably laughing about it. I guess it was a combination of "this guy is so stupid", how on earth did I even notice, and then have the fast skills to get it back.

Seeing as this was still covid season, I took out these mini sanitising wipes and gave my phone a wipe, exclaiming:

"Well, knowing my luck, this guy has covid. Can't be too careful"

It did appear to me that our talking was amusing some of passengers in the train as some were holding back laughter. I continued my little rant in disbelief at his stupidity...

Est-ce que tu connais pas un truc qui s'appelle une "pandemie" qui se passe en ce moment? Tu sais que les frontières sont fermées? Alors, tout le monde à Paris est PARISIEN!"


"Haven't you heard of this thing called a "pandemic" right now? You know that the borders are closed? So, all the people in Paris are PARISIANS!!!"

 So the poor fellow has both hands up on the train door windows, the next ones down from us like some kind of frightened meerkat. It seemed to be with our laughing at him, laughing at my "hands of lightning" and this dude waiting desperately to get out at the next station, we have audible laughter coming from inside our carriage. It must have been the longest 2-3 minutes of his life!

This man learned a lesson that day. He now knows not to mess with this Australian. 

I'm definitely not a tourist! Even if I look like some nice, little naive Asian girl. I have learned to be naturally hypervigilent. 

I was most insulted that he thought this way! Tsk, tsk.

I was probably more annoyed that he even dared to think of me than the actual physical action of theft. Oh I'm sorry. Attempted theft. Libby was not amused.