The Case of Being Asked Out by a Pickpocket Who Tried to steal from me until he realised I was a local because I asked him if he enjoyed his job

What a fun experience this was. It was the end of September. I was moving back to Paris from Antibes because I applied to study a master's degree here. 

It was the very first day back in Paris and the most stereotypical thing for Paris happens. I mean, along with the sound of sirens, the hustle and bustle, (I would say wine, cheese and patisseries, but who are we kidding here? That is available all over this country!). The pickpockets!

I understand that with covid happening and the lack of tourists that business has been somewhat down these days for the typical pickpocket. Dry season. The borders are closed and there is no tourism so therefore no gullible, naive, or just plain innocent tourists to prey on.

So what is next best?

Apparently Libby is a good target.

I have gotten the bus in from Orly Airport from Nice and am just about to enter Denfert-Rochereau metro.

I am just about to enter the turnstiles to enter the station and I hear:

"Son sac à dos est ouvert"

Unfortunately, when you get to a certain level of familiarity with another language, you often simply overhear- even if you don't want to. (I was on the metro another time and had to listen to two girls debating what brand of some sauce was superior to each other. I was trying not to laugh because these girls were really taking it seriously).

So I heard this and innocently turned to look at my backpack, as a reflex:

"Oh, mon sac à dos est ouvert?"

" Oh my backpack is open?!"

My backpack wasn't open. All he had seen was the top part, where you could put a pair of sunglasses in was open. That does not, a bag open make.

And that is when I spotted him. He was on his phone. This automatically said to me that his little friend was on the other side waiting for these poor victims to rob them.

He had been a little behind me and to the left.

As I was entering the turnstiles into the station, I asked with honest curiosity:

Tu aimes bien ton boulot, alors?

"So, you like your job, do you?"

Funny man has a smile forming on his face. Naturally, I continue:

"I know your tricks. You know...twelve years and all..."

And I turn right to enter the tunnel. 

Then I notice the attempted thief following me, so I am picking up my pace but then slow down to turn around:

"Umm... do not follow me! You try to steal from me and now you dare to follow me?

He has this huge grin on his face. Simply very creepy. He ignores my plea. It's actually quite frightening to be followed.

Libby is not amused.

Then the unthinkable happens. Also to note that he uses formal language 'vous,' which annoys me more. Plus he says mademoiselle. Someone is trying to suck up.

"Ah, mais Mademoiselle! Vous etes d'ici, alors?"

"Oh you are from here, are you?"

Me, I cannot really speak at this moment because I am confused and my head is cocked to one side. I try to walk away. He tries to keep up with me.

"Est-ce que peut-etre vous voulez prendre un verre avec moi ce soir?"

"Well then... how about. What do you think about joining me tonight for a drink or something?"

Excuuuuuuuse me??

Did I miss a step here?

I am so confused by this point, my brain is not fully processing what is going on. I am also annoyed I am getting held up that I simply turned around to get to the platform (rather huffily to tell you the truth). Fine, not just huffy. I stomped off like humpf!! And walked very fast to the platform... to then realise... that it's the wrong platform. 

I am really huffy now. The audacity!! I turned around really annoyed and stompingly (I doubt that is a word) power walked as fast as I could muttering under my breath. I see the train is just about to pull out from the right platform. So I run and make it.

Then who do you think is directly in front of me holding the metal pole?

That's right. He has a HUGE grin by this point. He must find it hilARious!

I literally throw my hands up and swear in two languages.

"PUT@IN de Merd3! For F sake!"

I turn right and go to the furthest end of the carriage in a four seater (occupied by 3 other young people- It is important that I did note they were "people of colour" but I assumed they also were locals, not tourists". I complain (Parisians are great at this. I have obviously spent too much time in France because I am so good at it!). I exclaimed out loud:

"Ce mec la- Il est un pickpocket!"

"That guy over there! He is a pickpocket!"

I literally point and look at him over my shoulder. He still has a smile. Odd fellow.

"En plus, il a essayé de me voler puis il a aussi osé de me demander de sortir avec lui apres!"

"He tried to steal from me... then he dared to ask me out!"

The guy sitting next to me lamented:

"Yes, I know... there are so many pickpockets around. You always have to be careful".

There was an Asian girl who leaned over from the opposite four seater as though she was very interested in this. She nodded.

These people would understand! It is so easy to be preyed on because of what you look like. There is a stereotype in France that Asian people carry a lot of cash on them at all times. Unfortunately for them, Libby literally never carries cash. It can be annoying. But I usually just have my card or my phone. 

Also due to circumstances/drama in my personal life at that time, I didn't even have my wallet on me. So if they had tried to steal from me- my, my wouldn't they have been severely disappointed!