Three points on staying alert

Three times our seasoned British guide warned us about pickpockets in the Paris Metro. Just before entering the subway, he gave us last-minute instructions—keep together, watch out for one another, be aware of strangers around us.

I was walking close beside my husband. As we moved toward the train, the guide suddenly sprang into action. "I saw that!" this affable, unflappable Englishman bellowed. Spewing a stream of accusations to an unseen assailant, he barked at his charges, "Get on the train!" Not until our intrepid guide boarded and a glowering figure spat ferociously into his face did we see the pickpocket. The doors closed and the train pulled away. After a few moments, the guide told the group he'd seen the person's hand actually in one of the men's pockets. Did we know whose? No.

It was my husband's! We were stunned. He hadn't felt a thing. Nor had the thief been able to take anything. But it was unnerving.

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Love dissolves the anger
November 12, 2001

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