It seems that when I was in Paris I looked like a tourist..shocking I know. Do you think it could have been my wide open mouth, gawking? The ever present camera around my neck? The fact that I don't look fabulously Parisian? Maybe all these things combined secured my position as gawking tourist, it also secured me as a target. My fifth day in Paris while at Le Louvre, I had the unfortunate experience of having my wallet stolen right out of my zipped up purse. When they tell you that these guys are fast, it really is not an understatement. By the time I had realized what had happened the man with the kelly green t-shirt was long gone, leaving me stunned and a little hacked off...fast forward a few days.
I'm walking (strolling really) along the Seine early one morning on my way to a Brocante (french flea market). Even this far into my trip I'm still visually overstimulated by this city, yes I'm gawking.
As I'm walking/gawking a well dress women walking toward me stops me and asks me something in French, I quickly reply,
"Oh sorry, English?"
"Is this yours Madam?"
She brandishes a very nice gold wedding band.
"No! Not mine."
As I quickly start to walk off, she reaches for my hand and puts the gold band in it.
"You keep it Madam, I'm divorced and will not ever wear it."
"No No!!" I protest. "You keep it, you found it, I do not want it."
All the while she is still holding my hands and I'm starting to feel uncomfortable, I'm sure my voice is about 50 octaves higher than normal and I'm undoubtedly making a bit of a scene.
"No it is a blessing to you." As she turns and walks away.
I turn and walk away quickly with the ring in my hand, thinking I just need to get out of there..I take about 3 strides..then hear...
I stop, turn around and she says..
"Do you have any coin or change for that ring? Just enough for a Coke?"
Then it all hits me..
My wallet being stolen by the man in the kelly green t-shirt, this women who had just felt my hands to check for a wedding ring, hoping to get close enough to find a wallet or any loose article of worth was now realizing that she could not let that gold band go and not get anything for it..she had not just found it. All at once my frustration about being the naive victim came rushing out.
"NO! NO! NO!" I shout at her.
She looks shocked.
I then take the heavy gold band and chuck it at her..hard.
So hard it bounced right off of her ample boobies and fell to the concrete.
"NO!!" I shouted once again just for added drama (hey I'm in France after all).
I turned heel and walked. Feeling a little bit empowered and a little bit victim all at the same time.
Next time I'm getting a money belt.
**Jess posted a very sweet post about our very sweet time together in AZ, you can thank her for this story making it to my blog**